In my Executive MBA course at Harvard the professor asked us to rate ourselves as business owners/managers on a scale of one to 10. We all averaged between eight and nine. Then he asked us to rate collectively our direct reports. Now we were down to a seven. By the time we got to the front line – those who actually do the work and interact with our customers – we were down to a five. Is this the picture of a successful business? Probably not.
It became evident to me that I needed to hire 10’s. Not just for the important jobs, but for all the jobs. But before I looked for the best people, I developed a clear job description of exactly what I wanted that person to do. Then I would cast a wide net so I could interview and compare a number of candidates. By having a specific job description and knowing that I was going to interview more than one candidate I ended up hiring great people who were eager to work for me.
Many organizations make the mistake of finding what they think is a great person and then trying to fit that person’s skills into a job. The person may indeed be great, but may not be suited or qualified for the job. So take the time to put together a well-thought-out job description and interview a diverse number of candidates and you’ll end up with a great group of people.
President, Business 360 Northwest