We all get how impressive the hire from a name brand company might be. However, more often than not, making the vanity hire turns out disastrous for both parties. Why? 

Too often hires are made based on a particular set of skills or a person’s pedigree. Not taking into account the importance of cultural alignment or the objectives of the business. Your hires should be made on the basis of what is best for the company backed by evidence of performance. 

Today we are talking about how to Accelerate Company Growth with a Business Aligned Hiring Roadmap.

Today’s Quote: 

"I've found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often."

- Brian Tracy

Our guests today: Kelly OConnell, Executive Vice President & Shelley Iocona, Founder & Principal of ON ITS AXIS.  

ON ITS AXIS is a Product and People firm. We help organizations validate new digital product ideas and build the teams that allow them to successfully take them to market. 

They have found that just as the launch of a successful product begins with a customer-centric roadmap, Talent Acquisition that is grounded in understanding how a company can most efficiently deliver client satisfaction and adapt to changing client needs is critical to a company's ability to efficiently scale. 

Today we are going to discuss:

  • The common mindset and the problems that are created
  • The importance of building a business objective roadmap
  • How to create your own roadmap

Why is this important?

The strength of the company is the people delivering the product in the marketplace. The winning company will have the strongest team.  When managers struggle to hire it directly impacts team productivity and company growth potential. 

It is important for organizations to approach hiring with a business objective roadmap rather than focusing exclusively on skills and perceived fit. 

What challenges Hiring Managers face? 

The most common challenges we observe in the market are:

  1. adhoc hiring: where a manager is under pressure to make a hire in response to an urgent perceived team need
  2. confirmation hiring: where a manager tries to identify a replica of their own profile or the profile of a successful team contributor
  3. cultural fit exclusion: where a manager rules out a candidate based on their subjective perception that they won't fit into a current team culture. 

Although understandable, particularly for high growth teams, hiring to a standardized and generic target profile is problematic because too much of a focus on matching skills and current team fit can lead to uniformity in the workforce that can unintentionally limit both the potential candidate pool and the potential for innovation in the workplace. 

These challenges can result in several problems including 

  • Endless interview cycle with no hires
  • Offer turn downs
  • High Company Turnover Rates
  • The incorrect perception that a company needs A LOT more developers or Sales People etc. to achieve goals which can adversely impact profitability and growth

Additionally, there is often a corresponding negative impact to the existing team culture when organizations approach hiring in this way:

  • Internal Team Conflict 
  • The current team is overworked and under pressure.
  • Existing people feel they are doing more than their fair share of work
  • Poor Team Productivity and Missed Deadlines
  • Perception that the current team members are the “wrong fit” for the company

What needs to be in Place?

A structured, and efficient interview process.  

Align hiring triggers to business model objectives,  structure team OKR’s to directly correlate to key company goals and at each hire to modify the generic role job description and interview scoring rubric to address the most essential team gap at that given point in time. 

This doesn’t mean that companies should ignore skills and culture. They are important but we see them as part of the larger talent acquisition and internal performance management plan. 

Companies that most rapidly grow, are capable of executing nimble pivots in response to changing customer expectations. 

Team members must be able to grow and evolve within the company.  Rather than hiring for proficiency in a laundry list of current skills, instead, we encourage companies to establish predictive hiring indexes that will help them to assess a hires potential to learn and evolve to changing expectations within the company. 

How do we fix it?

  • Define the core success factors that allow you to best serve your users
  • Identify the key technical and soft-skill gaps in your core team
  • Leverage a Data-driven approach to both team composition and hiring capacity (Swarmvision- profiling to predict innovation capacity for teams- this is not personality profiling 
  • Create a regular cadence for review of your talent acquisition roadmap
  • Provide all employees with a clear path to career development & professional growth 

We encourage clients to Hire to fill the most impactful skill-gaps on your existing team and be willing to transfer internal team members into new roles that better serve them and your business objectives. 

Creating a business aligned hiring roadmap not only helps organizations avoid several of the pitfalls previously shared but it also has the added benefit of helping organizations attract and retain both gen Z and gen Y employees. 

Rick’s Nuggets

  • Structured Hiring process wins hires!

Key Takeaways:

  • Embrace a structured interview process that is based on a strategic hiring roadmap to avoid pressured hiring decisions and confirmation bias
  • Just as you evaluate your company business plan at a regular cadence, develop a regular cadence for review of your organization's talent acquisition plan
  • Rather than matching employees to a current team profile, view each hire as an opportunity to complement the strengths of your existing team and to support your most critical team business objectives.  This will allow your organization to evolve to changing customer sentiment.   
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