The world of headhunting has meant that the old art of hiring someone and them then progressing up the career ladder has largely died out. Now, boardrooms will be full of people who have never worked at the front of the business and thus have no particular idea how it should be run. Instead, they apply management techniques that have learned theoretically, rather than through knowledge of what’s best for your company.
Frequently, this can work. Most businesses, at their core, are fairly similar so the skills from one to another are transferable. However, there’s an argument to suggest the old way of hiring someone inexperienced and then training them up the chain of command, might not have been such a bad idea. After all, in those circumstances you have someone with unparalleled company loyalty, who knows your business inside out having worked their way through it. No amount of training or learned business sense is going to be able to replace that kind of wonderful insider knowledge.
The primary reason this kind of conduct fell out of favor is because of how long it takes. If you need someone on your management team now, then hiring an inexperienced 19-year-old for the future isn’t much use. Nevertheless, with time and investment, you can prevent yourself from ever having to scrounge around for the best employees to tempt from other companies – because they will already be working for you.
Whatever role you might be interviewing someone for, it’s worth judging them on two possibilities:
- Are they going to be a good fit for the position you need filled right now?
- Are they going to be an asset for the future?
Learning to identify talent is not necessarily easy, but you should trust your gut instinct on this one. Do you get a good feeling about someone? Sense they potentially have more to offer than the role they are interviewing for? Often in business you will be told to override your instinct – but not on these occasions.
Offer Further Training
There is always the chance that some of your existing employees have an untapped goldmine of ability, and all they need is a little extra training to take them to the next level. Run an office survey asking if anyone would be interested in a variety of courses, using those offered by the Seven Institute as a guide for what might be possible. If you have a significant level of interest, you could offer extra help such as time away from work or a bonus for obtaining an extra qualification.
Not only does this give you an existing workforce who are better informed and able, but it also again fosters that sense of loyalty. You’re the good boss who cared for their future, so they’re more likely to stick around and repay that loyalty in kind.
Finally, making the most of your existing workforce is sometimes as simple as regularly talking to your staff. Every employee should be invited to a yearly meeting to discuss their work and any potential for progress – this is a practice that might just help you unearth some diamonds in the rough.