4 Hiring Strategies for Building High Performance Teams

Hire HPT 210Simply put, high performing teams (HPTs), need members who are high performers. While this may appear to be a blinding flash of the obvious, what may not be so obvious is ensuring that your hiring system has the components it takes to attract high performers. High performers are not just going to come beat your door down. The truth is that high performers are not that easy to find and finding them will become even more difficult because the United States population growth is dropping. The fewer people, the fewer high performers. What can your organization do to help attract the best of the best out of a dwindling supply?

  • How Attractive is Your Organization?

It is well known that people leave jobs voluntarily because of some toxic situation, typically a toxic boss or culture. One source suggests that 79% of high performers who recently quit their jobs stated it was due to a lack of appreciation and a hostile work environment. Therefore, it stands to reason that executives in a job search are seeking an organization with a better culture than the one they left. A short search on social media can reveal information about your organization’s culture and reputation that will either repeal or draw in high performers.

High performers will not be drawn to cultures that allow disrespect, CEOs who take credit for the ideas of their direct reports, or an organization where they feel they must compete for their job every day. That is exhausting.

High performers want to work for a leader who can make decisions and who handles conflict. A leader who runs from decisions and conflict will not win the respect or the long tenure of a high performer.

Building a foundation of trust means more than any other point in this blog. So even if you plan on implementing everything that follows, without trust, you will neither attract or retain high performers on your team.

  • Who is a Fit?

Hiring, as I often tell my career transitioning coaching clients, is a two-way street. They may want you, but do you want them? That shoe fits the other foot just as snugly. Hiring must be strategic. What skills do you need on your executive team to meet current or future business goals? What is missing from your current team? What gaps do you need to fill?

An example of just a few years ago, may have been gaps in high performing team members with a solid background in technology. Now a new twist on technology is artificial intelligence (AI). Would increasing AI broaden product reach or enhance data gathering for your future goals? What recruiting strategies must in place to locate this talent? Technology talent is not likely to be found in the same places or with the same strategies as marketing, product, or sales talent.

Digging a little deeper, what benefits and perks do high performers seek from an organization? Yes, they want the opportunities to utilize their talents, but other considerations depending on the size of the organization might be:

  • Corporate jets
  • Corporate vehicles
  • Bonuses
  • Stock options
  • Dividends
  • Event tickets
  • Development opportunities

Keep in mind that both the hiring and onboarding experiences need to be pleasant. If you are not going to treat a candidate well, how can you expect them to follow-through with the application or onboarding process?

  • Look Beyond the Job Description

High performers have talents, skills and attributes that are essentials for successful HPTs. While you may have some that you would want to add to the list, the items below are a good start.

  • Strategic Thinkers. While just about everyone has an idea of what strategic thinking is, most everyone can agree that it is the ability to “see ahead.” Henry Mintzberg, a well-known consultant from Canada takes this “seeing” a bit further and suggests that to be a strategic thinker , one must have the ability to not only “see” ahead, but see behind, above, below, beside, beyond, and see it through.
  • Have a sense of Urgency: Hiring people who can’t make decisions, who procrastinate, or don’t see that things need to get done, have no place on an HPT.
  • Behave Ethically. Hiring someone who is unethical will not build your organization’s reputation.
  • Self-starters: Micromanaging is not a good management strategy on a leaders’ part and someone who needs to be micromanaged is not a high performer.
  • Job Fit

Even if someone was a high performer at their previous organization doesn’t mean they will be a success at your organization if they are in the wrong position. Your hiring strategy must include hiring for job fit. Anything less is a recipe for failure.

As part of your hiring strategy, assessments, background checks, and interview questions can be utilized to measure data and gain information on candidates to ensure they are a good cultural fit, have the skills and attributes your organizations requires to achieve your goals and that they fit the job. Implementing hiring strategies doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it does need to well, strategic.

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