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If you really want Engaged Employees, Hiring Right is over ½ the Battle

In my work in Talent Development, I have seen so many times over the years where an initial bad hiring decision was the root cause of performance issues, heartburn, lots of stress, and ultimately lower levels of employee engagement on teams. The vast majority of people want to do awesome work, but how many times have you seen the wrong person in the wrong seat disrupt teams and result in lower team performance? While not comprehensive, I have outlined below what I have found to be the 3 most important things you have to get right when hiring!

  1. Values and Cultural Fit: Hire people who believe what you believe. While this may sound soft to some of you, people need to believe in your organization’s “Why”. Why are you providing the product or service you are providing to the market? What is your organization’s higher purpose? If you organization has not yet mapped this out, I love Simon Sinek’s thought process in his Ted Talk, the Golden Circle, and his book, Find Your Why. It is first about finding your “Tribe” of potential employees who believe what you believe from a purpose perspective. This is really the foundation of developing your organization unique “employee value proposition”. What do employees get by choosing you, and how can you become an employer of choice for the type of employees you really want! The second layer of this is hiring people who truly live your values as an organization. What are those for you? Integrity, diversity, teamwork, ability to leverage cross cultural perspectives? When the right people are hired who believe what you believe, they are proud to be part of your company. They recommend you as a great place to work. They are more productive and stay longer. Those qualities you want most have to be incorporated into your interview and hiring process.

  2. Attitude: Sometimes bad things happen, and sometimes bad people happen! Have you ever worked with someone who was constantly in a bad mood, or was always pessimistic? These are the consummate “glass is half full” type of people. They can believe what you believe as an organization and have the values you want, but still be cancerous to their teams and your company.

Capabilities: (Yes, you must hire for your basic qualifications for the job) But from my observations, the capabilities you should really be focused on relate to their talents and strengths relative to the position you are hiring for. In a strengths based approach, it is looking at your top performers by position and inventorying what are the main strengths needed to help them excel. (Execution skills, communication, relationship building, strategic, etc.) You then structure your interview and pre-employment assessments to identify these in advance to help insure you are getting the right person for the right seat!

Let me know what other high impact factors you consider when hiring to help you support and drive high levels of employee engagement and performance in your organization?

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