Hiring successfully is not about finding the most successful, experienced or skilled person.
In fact, despite being a head hunter, perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned in my career is that strong leadership is even more important than a strong recruitment process.
Far too often, companies and hiring managers seek the “magic cure” – that one-in-a-million candidate who can out perform the rest, immediately fit into the system and require minimal supervision.
Sorry guys. Unicorns don’t exist. Successful hiring alone does not guarantee results.
It has to be backed up with strong leadership.
Hence to succeed, it’s essential to hire those people who fit your management style. Just like no two candidates can be the same, this is also true of hiring managers. Some use affection and a more relaxed approach, others are more formal. One manager might rely mainly on intuition and flair; the other more on process.
Knowing your management style and which type of people respond best to it, is essential in ensuring new hires perform.
Here are some ways to increase your chances of hiring people who fit your management style.
Ask others about your management style
As humans, we tend to overestimate our own abilities. When dealing with high pressure and emotional situations our judgement often becomes clouded. Most of us all feel that we can “get on” with most people. If things do go wrong…it’s usually to do with the other person.
To get the full picture often requires getting more perspective. The best leaders I have ever worked with understand that when leading others, it’s more important to know what your followers think of you than your own self-opinion. They consistently gain feedback from others to understand themselves better.
By asking others, hiring managers can gain valuable input as to how they lead and what types of people respond best to their management style. When looking to build new relationships with others, they realise that it’s not all about assessing others – but also self-reflecting to see if they themselves can contribute positively.
Don’t just rely on your own assumptions – ask others around you.
Learn from your top performers
When doing a hiring search, many managers immediately want to know what the market has to offer. See a wide variety of candidates and look for the uncovered diamond they have endlessly been searching for. To find a magic formula that can then be repeated easily for subsequent hires.
But before we start looking elsewhere for the magic formula, we can often learn a lot more by firstly looking at those around us.
Relationships in all their forms require hard work. That’s why the best hiring managers I have ever worked with look to replicate the existing qualities of their top performers as a starting point for future hires.
Maybe all your top performers take criticism constructively. Or maybe they all don’t. Or maybe all your existing team have personalities that appreciate your guidance and coaching.
Whatever the characteristics, by looking at those people who thrive most under your management style, it’s possible to gain vital knowledge that will increase your chances of success.
Learn from past hires when making new ones.
Be honest about your management style during interviews
Leadership is not all about hiring the best person.
It’s sometimes not even enough to be a strong manager.
No, in order to guarantee success it’s important to tick one final box before you can gain the full commitment from others:
Be clear about who you are and what you expect.
We all know countless examples of good candidates and good managers who enter a partnership only to be left disappointed because of mis-managed expectations.
If you are a control-freak, be honest about it. If you expect others to work just as hard as you, don’t be afraid to say so. Even if there are holes in your leadership skill-set that you need to address, it’s better to say so from the outset rather than lead others astray.
The best way to hire someone for your leadership style is to be explicit from the outset. Rather than focussing on solely interviewing “others”, selling the role or promoting the company, don’t forget about yourself.
People buy into people. Candidates want to know exactly who they’ll be working for.
Those who admire your management style the greatest, are the one’s most likely to want to work for you.
Use interviews to sell your management style.
When hiring, don’t just think about the candidate, the role or even the company.
Start with you.
The greatest leaders understand that everyone is different and has a unique leadership style. Understanding what your leadership style is and which types of people respond best to it, significantly increases the chance of success.
What’s your leadership style?