The Best Team Wins: Build Your Business Through Predictive Hiring
March 14, 2017
The people we hire are usually the greatest cost, and the greatest determination, of a company's success, but most don't have a defined process in place to hire, train, and retain their employees. Adam Robinson can help you remedy that.
Adam Robinson believes that, in order to make a successful hire, you should typically look at about 135 resumes, do 27 phone screenings, conduct nine in-person interviews, and have three viable finalists before making a final decision. You're probably thinking right about now, "Who has that kind of time?" It's a good question. Most of us have a hard enough time keeping up with what we already have on our plates. But that is exactly why we need to get serious about hiring.
And, in his new book, The Best Team Wins: Build Your Business Through Predictive Hiring, Robinson has a question of his own:
People are almost always the single largest expense in a company's budget, yet most companies have a better process for buying office supplies than they do for hiring great talent. Why?
That question may be a bit of a straw man—office supplies are obviously easier to evaluate than potential employees—but his answer is dead on: "most companies are bad at hiring because most companies don't teach their managers how to do it." And that is a potentially devastating deficit, much more than any lack of time we all may feel like we have to dedicate to finding the right people to come work with us. People are usually a company's greatest strength or weakness, and that's even more true today, when the barrier to entry is lower than ever before and the competition from all sides more fierce:
In today's hypercompetitive world, where your competitors can copy even the most innovative new offerings … it's your people that are the true secret. […] They are the one truly competitive advantage left to your business.
You're never going to get every hire right, but investing more time and effort in the process and improving the odds in your favor will save you money—perhaps even save your business—in the long run. It must become a more defined and deliberate process, in part simply to overcome our own underlying biases that can lead us to hire people that feel like the most natural fit or we're most comfortable with, when that is probably the last thing we should be hiring for. "Such biases," Robinson warns, "create a homogenous workforce, the antithesis to innovation." There is a good likelihood that the best candidate for you isn't even currently working in your industry. You don't have to poach your next star performer from a competitor or develop them yourself, because your next star is likely already a star in another industry. You just need to find them and bring their specific skills to bear—whether they be sales, marketing, administrative, or elsewhere—to make an immediate impact on your business.
Over the next twenty years, the skill that will separate the mediocre managers from the truly exceptional will be their ability to find, recruit, hire, and retain great people.
That is basically your career, right there. And not only will it determine your business success, it will increase your overall personal satisfaction at work because you'll be working with people you know you can trust to do the job. and who you know will be with you for the long-term—creating lasting relationships and stronger connections in business and in life. Getting started may require some time, but the tools required to start building that team are more straightforward than you might think.
Just the act of sitting down and writing a job description can teach you a lot about your business. It will help you avoid making hires where there isn't really a financial justification, and avoid putting too little or too much on any potential employee's plate. It is here that Robinson urges us to avoid a common temptation—the tweener, "a dual role that combines two similar but vastly different positions in an attempt to get more value out of a new position." The problem is that lacking skill or potential in either role could result in "someone who underperforms in both roles." It is also true that successful people have a tendency to expand their role anyway, to bring in new business or take on more responsibility, and they will need some space to do so. Asking them to do one thing well will ensure they have a greater chance to do it exceptionally, and likely lead to more growth for them and the business than asking them to take on multiple tasks.
As a business leader, it's your job to decide what kind of role you need to fill. When you fail to isolate a single job description … You're risking throwing months of high-dollar salary into a deep hole. Failing to make up your mind can be expensive.
Don't make that mistake (or the many others Robinson warns of). Get The Best Team Wins, and get serious about hiring.
We have 20 copies available.