You’re in the process of evolving. Perhaps you have a new brand name, updated values, changes in strategic direction, or an INCREDIBLE, inspiring, clear new vision. As a leader who’s been part of creating the new version of the company all along, you’re totally bought in. You’re extraordinarily excited. And yet, you’re a bit unsure of how to bring the rest of the organization along. One of the best places to start is with hiring your newest (and even yet-to-be-hired) employees.
Hiring is one of the most overlooked, and yet most powerful, elements of transforming your company. Why? Because inviting your existing team to join you in ushering in the next era of your business is HARD! Necessary, but a longer game. You have some people who are wired to quickly accept and implement change. You have some people who will resist or even sabotage. And then you have those who are apathetic, and nothing you say or do will get them on board.
With new employees, you have a clean slate. The only company they know is the one that’s described and demonstrated to them during the hiring process. However, you’ve got to put in the work to make sure their experience matches the company you’re becoming. Many leaders we work with fail to see the connection between successful transformation and employee attraction and hiring.
Won’t HR feel like you’re stepping on their toes? Possibly, but it’s your job to make this feel like a team effort. Transformation requires extraordinary creative collaboration, and the best ideas can and should come from anywhere in your organization. When you’re looking for results you haven’t been able to achieve before, it’s time to take action you haven’t taken before. That goes for the rest of your team, too. Hopefully you have the level of trust needed to shake things up a bit, and that begins with spending some time with the person in charge of hiring.
Prospective employees are prioritizing culture (which includes vision) in their career search, so they have to be sold on what you’re trying to create in order to consider making a leap. The good news is, many will prioritize this over money, so it’s an extraordinarily powerful strategy.
So, does the person who does the hiring know your vision? Do they believe it? Can they describe it in a clear and compelling manner?If the answer is no, it’s time to get creative. How can you earn their buyin? And if you believe they are motivated to come along with you, consider getting more actively involved in hiring until they’re comfortable embodying the future. Consider that YOU, as the person clearest on the future, might potentially be the best person to be the first touch with certain prospective new hires, until your lead hiring manager can describe the vision as well as you can. If you don’t believe they’ll be bought in, you may have a new number-one hiring priority.
Hiring experience is extraordinarily important. Take a look at these statistics from Zippia for a quick deep dive into all the things that can get between you and the right next hires. For example, did you know that 79% of candidates use social media when job searching, or that 40% of job seekers drop out due to poor first interaction?
How are prospective employees learning about your company? Is the information they’re getting in alignment with the future vision? What kind of impression do you think they’re getting when they look up your company online? No matter what is going on in your company today, many people get excited by the prospect of helping turn things around. They are willing to deal with short-term pain in order to feel part of something bigger. You can sell them on your company’s potential (as long as you are willing to follow through at every level), and their role in helping reach it.
Here’s how to do it:
When you’re engaged in a transformation effort (or really, at any cycle in your business!), you need great people. You can’t take a single step forward without them. When considering new talent to meet your hiring needs, adopt the attitude that you WILL find the right-fit talent. Even if you can’t pay top dollar, the right people for you are out there. Many leaders we talk to express a defeatist attitude before they even try to find the “needle in the haystack.” The truth is, the only guarantee you won’t find them is if you don’t even try.
There are so many nuances to hiring, and to empowering your existing team to support your transformation effort. Hopefully, you’ve seen at least one idea you hadn’t previously considered. Hopefully, you’ve got one new tactic to try that can move the needle for you. Did anything in this article pique your interest in particular? Email me - I’d love to talk about it!