How to Hire Top Performers

It seems intu­itive that we should hire the best pos­si­ble peo­ple for every posi­tion in our com­pany. But in real­ity, this hap­pens less often than we may care to believe.

The hir­ing process is crit­i­cally impor­tant, and it needs to be exe­cuted well. If you are truly look­ing to hire the best tal­ent, then you will be com­pet­ing against other com­pa­nies, so putting your best foot for­ward could make all the difference.

Obstacles in Hiring

Lack of Clarity

The prob­lem often starts with a lack of clar­ity about the skills required for the posi­tion.

Job descrip­tions may be poorly writ­ten, and per­for­mance expec­ta­tions may be ill-defined. Prospec­tive employ­ees may fail to get a good overview of the com­pany — where it’s going and the rea­sons why some­one would want to join the team.

Low Expectations

When hir­ing for “low-level” posi­tions, some man­agers may believe that any­body with a pulse will suf­fice, espe­cially when they see that role as non-critical. They fail to con­sider the company’s cul­ture and the impor­tance of hav­ing every­one work well together.

Every indi­vid­ual on the team has an impor­tant role to play. All employ­ees must be will­ing to pull in the same direc­tion and be able to pro­vide the exper­tise and ser­vice lev­els that the team needs to succeed.

Reluctance and Fear

There is also the real­ity that some man­agers are afraid to hire the best peo­ple. They may be cau­tious about being replaced them­selves.

These man­agers are often reluc­tant to give exist­ing employ­ees the oppor­tu­nity to shine or give them the credit they deserve for the con­tri­bu­tions they make.

How To Find the Best People

Clearly, there are some obsta­cles to effec­tive hir­ing and recruit­ing. So what do we do about them?

Create a Rigorous Hiring Process

First, we must be thought­ful in defin­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing the require­ments and spe­cific skills nec­es­sary to per­form well in that role.

The hir­ing process should be rig­or­ous. Hav­ing more than one per­son inter­view job appli­cants can ensure there is bal­ance in the hir­ing process.

Every­one involved should under­stand the goal of hir­ing the most skilled appli­cant who will fit well into the com­pany culture.

Develop Your Management Team

Lead­ers must pay close atten­tion to man­agers who con­sis­tently strug­gle with hir­ing the best peo­ple. Low per­for­mance mea­sures and high employee turnover rates may point to man­agers that need help.

These strug­gling man­agers need devel­op­ment and encour­age­ment to feel more com­fort­able with their hir­ing role. As their respon­si­bil­i­ties became more com­pli­cated, they may not have kept pace with the new demands and skills required. Extra train­ing may be necessary.

We need to con­vince man­agers that the stronger the team, the bet­ter they look.

When they sur­round them­selves with the best pos­si­ble peo­ple and encour­age them to shine, it reflects favor­ably on their effec­tive­ness as man­agers. Most impor­tantly, the work pro­duced by a strong team is notice­ably bet­ter than any­thing the man­ager could do on their own.

It’s a win for the man­ager, their team and the company.

Foster a Culture of Excellence

Lead­ers must fos­ter a work cul­ture where every­one believes they both need and deserve to hire the very best peo­ple. It’s a cul­ture that rec­og­nizes and cel­e­brates achieve­ment.

As man­agers praise team mem­bers, and are praised for the team’s suc­cess, it will lessen their per­sonal con­cerns about hav­ing the best peo­ple on their team.

Long-term suc­cess is built on a foun­da­tion of ener­gized and engaged employ­ees. Once you’ve found the best peo­ple, then you can fur­ther develop their tal­ent.

Being on the team is all about con­tribut­ing great per­for­mance, and being rec­og­nized and rewarded for it.

Want more leadership tips from Coach Jerry Baker? Download his free eBook, Leadership Lessons from the Ground Up



This is an updated version of an earlier post, originally published March 2, 2015.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *