Recruiting? – Start before you start

It’s always surprising to me that when a manager needs to recruit, they don’t start with where they want to get to.

It seems that when there’s a gap in the team then that’s the perfect moment to have a think about how you want the team to look, operate, be.

Just like a project because this IS a project.

You need to know what the company mission is, what the teams part in that mission is and what each of the component parts needs to do.

So what does your team look like in the end?

Is it a project team?

Is it a temporary turnaround or integration team?

Or is it a permanent team.

When you have that then you’ll know the people you need and more importantly the attitudes, aptitudes and skills you need to build your team.

Value diversity

Value diversity, but not just man/woman straight/gay type diversity. This is about diversity of thought.

Interestingly research has shown that companies that have just one woman on the board are more profitable than ones that don’t.

The reason that diversity works so well is that it brings in so many different points of view.

The most diverse teams are also the most innovative.

But you also need to bring in a diversity of ability, aims, enjoyment.

Imagine a finance team. You need the people who are stars, who are going somewhere, who have something about them but you also need the footsoldiers.

You need people who are going to be happy just sitting there processing invoices every day.

You need people who love financial accounts but don’t want to talk to people

You need business partners that have no interest in producing a P&L but love taking it out to their operational managers and explaining it.

Value outcomes, not numbers

So a professional manager will look at where they want to get to, analyse the resources they have, then look to recruit.

A good place to start is Belbin’s team roles. This describes the kinds of behaviours that really effective teams exhibit such as completer finisher, co-ordinator and shaper.

When you are recruiting it is also an ideal spur to look at your current team members and see if they are in the right place, or if moving them to the open slot could be an ideal development opportunity.

As a professional manager, you would also be remiss if you didn’t take a look at the whole situation and decide whether you actually need the extra person or if you could actually do things more efficiently.

Now this doesn’t always happen in this neat way. Often you are given a team and told to get on with it. But that doesn’t mean you have no options.

You can still go through the process of assessing what roles you need to fill and then putting all of your square pegs into square holes.

Again it’s always a good time to think about extending people’s experience and giving them development opportunities by swapping job roles or redesigning them altogether.

Above all don’t just automatically recruit someone exactly the same as the last person to keep your headcount the same. You are better than that.

I genuinely believe that a top class manager wouldn’t even put a call into a recruiter or ad site before they’ve gone through a rigorous process of understanding what they, and more importantly their company actually needs.

Recruiting right is the bedrock of forming an awesome team, taking some time to think about what you and your company wants and needs is the starting point and if you do this then  I know you’ll build an epic group.

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