Here's something that happens to ALL of us and it's something you must avoid - to ensure that you're hiring good employees - meaning the candidates that will become superior performers in your open role. It plays out every day - and happened to me recently...
So - six weeks ago I met Julie at a networking event. I immediately liked her, and it seemed like she liked me. After just a few comments back and forth we both said, almost at the same time,
"It seems like I know you from somewhere." It felt like we were kindred spirits.
We couldn't find a past business or personal connection. I did notice that had similar interests and it seemed as though we had similar ways of thinking and communication. It was easy to relate each other and find common ground. We are drawn to those who seem like us.
When you find someone who thinks and acts like you do, at a cocktail party or trade show dinner, you've just found a way to make the evening more enjoyable.
But if, in your quest for hiring good superior performance employees, you hire someone who thinks and acts like you - mostly because they think and act like you - chances are good that you've just put the wrong person in the wrong job.
You end up with frustrated managers, unmotivated employees and lost productivity in time and money.
Tom the President of a software development company figured this out recently. Because his company has improved revenues over the last year one of his goals was to hire a Sales Manager.
The current Operations Supervisor (Margaret) was a highly valued and effective employee. Tom had been toying with the idea of promoting her to the Sales Manager job. She was dependable, incredibly organized, and her favorite saying really worked in her role, "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail."
Tom couldn't agree more - with the adage - or with Margaret's determination and focus. But, should Tom promote Margaret to Sales Manager?
Let's consider the behaviors necessary for success in a typical sales Manager position: Success in a sales management position requires a person who is direct, result-oriented, fast-paced, and control and challenge-focused. The right person for the job will naturally persuade and direct others, adjust to change in a split second and be energized by new challenges.
Does that sound like Margaret?
No, not really.
Margaret IS Tom's 'prime example' for how important matching someone's strengths to the role is to success. Her work excellence and superior performance in her role as a Operations Manager continually shines and helps the company, but her success is because she's in a position that matches her top strengths.
The requires that she be stable, slower-paced with a focus on quality and accuracy, research-oriented, logical and methodical. Margaret thrives when she can plan, implement, define quality standards and conduct research. She's a great employee thriving in her current position because she's doing what she loves and using her strengths fully.
Tom could move Margaret into the Sales Manager role, he knows and trusts her, and at first it seems like the easiest answer. But before long, he'd be disappointed with the results. And Margaret would be frustrated by the new responsibilities, she'd probably find it difficult to achieve success in the new role.
Over $250 billion a year is lost in productivity by workers who are not committed to their work.
Workers who don't have the opportunity to use and express their natural strengths are usually not going to give their very best at work. When you are interviewing a candidate and you start to think, "This candidate thinks the way I do."
Pay Attention! You may be about to hire yourself. But are "YOU" what the job really needs?