Tips for Hiring Great Talent

The other day, I was reading a post by a senior HR professional on a social media channel called CoNnEcTd. He wrote his own experiences of hiring in his job as a Vice President HR of a well-known MNC. One of the trickiest things for a business owner is about how to attract and retain great talent. A lot has been spoken about hiring over the past ten years and while some thoughts evolve, others remain the same. Let’s identify the top three tips for hiring professionals in 2021.

Shed Egos to attract great talent

If you are thinking about hiring, the first thing you need to do is to put aside your ego. You may not have realized, but indecisiveness, debate, and pretension are ultimate–ego. That’s a major roadblock that prevents so many people from being successful. Most recruiters want to be someone who is good at hiring, and that’s where companies commit mistakes. In reality, you should be looking at what your team needs as a company, what skills you don’t possess as a leader, and where a recruit could fit into your system–instead of looking at subjective measures of success.

For instance, if one of your team members tells you to hire an IIT, or IIM graduate, while another suggests you to Government College, you look at them the same. If anything, you should go for people who like dirt because such people won’t let their pride make them insecure. It’s all about whether your new hire fits or not, and it’s incredibly micro, to wrap your pride around how good your hires are.

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Let me explain this through a story. One of the top recruiters of Samsung, the South Korean behemoth had EQ and people skills that were off the charts. Yet, he was baffled by how many horrible hires he made in the last 20 years. Most of them just weren’t a good fit. Therefore, when you think about your intuition and ability, deploy them against the masses. There are lots of people who make huge mistakes while hiring. It doesn’t matter what others think about you, you should be very comfortable in admitting that you were wrong.

For someone who is starting his company, it’s natural to hire quickly in bulk, because he knows that if something goes wrong, he would still do the necessary changes. Nobody likes to fire but as long as it’s handled with empathy and respect for the person, you’ve hired, you have to accept it as a part of your business.

One of the most common mistakes people do is to sit on new hiring for a year or two because they don’t want to admit a wrong decision. But what about the enormous damage they would have done to your business? So, even if one person reading this admits having made mistakes while hiring, the purpose of writing this article will be met.

You shouldn’t be afraid to be wrong, and you shouldn’t be afraid to hire. If anything, you should always overhire, because if you are anticipating growth that’s how you grow. In the end, everything comes down to knowing yourself first. So, if you are looking for a very good piece of advice, hiring people for things you don’t want to do is unbelievably powerful. It’s time to take a step back and say, what do I do every day that I don’t want to be doing and hire for that.

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Maintain Continuity

Before hiring for an important position, you must decide about qualities that matter to you the most: emotional intelligence. You may find it rather strange, but the talent isn’t everything, not to the degree that most people do. It’s unbelievable for some of the most successful brands in the world to realize how secondary pure talent is to people skills.

The premise that creative people are such a special breed that they can be impersonal, and bully everyone else is the exact opposite of how successful brands run their businesses. You obviously don’t want to run a business where being mean brings the best out of people. It doesn’t matter if your new hire is a creative genius; he should better act like a normal person or leave.

Secondly, continuity wins over everything. It’s so much like sports. A team that eats, sleeps and makes fun together usually beats a team with superstars that were put together for one season. You should allow continuity if you are a business owner, and should keep it forever.

Look for Intent, and look for Insecurity

One thing you must do while hiring is looking for intent. In fact, not only intent but also look for a lack of insecurity because insecurity often leads to disproportionate worst behavior. Moreover, also look for someone who compliments you or has a communication style that works for you because micromanagement is the last thing you wish to do. You should rather choose people you believe in and empower them. Your objective should be providing flexibility because that is humility.

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Hiring is essentially guesswork and there is no harm to admit that. It’s absolutely normal to admit when you have made a mistake. It’s true no one likes to do this, but if hiring is guessing, then firing definitely knows.

As a recruiter, hiring and firing are both equally important, and you need to do that because it’s a part and parcel of every business. As a matter of fact, firing is sometimes more important to company culture because it sets the tone for the culture. Why should you be afraid to fire someone who’s cancerous in culture, and may become a pain point in the future? In a way, it also builds your credibility, it says, “No matter how talented someone is, he has to treat people with respect.” It also sends the message, “It’s not important how I know you or how long you’ve been here–we reward people based on merit.” This is why self-awareness is so vital; it not only helps your company, and your community, but it also helps you.