Recruit for YOUR Team

Posted by: Dr. Carolyn Goerner on Monday, May 24, 2021 at 11:00:00 am

Recruit for YOUR Team

Recruiting and hiring top-notch talent is a big challenge for any organization. There are two schools of thought on this topic. One maintains that the best hire “fits” your organization – someone with skills and personality that match and enhance your current strategy and complement your existing workforce. Other managers believe the best hire is the person with the best qualifications, period. Whether this person is a “fit” with the organization and its mission is a secondary consideration. What’s important is getting the best people in the door.

There’s a wealth of studies supporting both sides of this topic, but I have a personal favorite: the study of recruiting philosophy and organizational performance in men’s NCAA basketball. The question: is a coach more successful when he recruits generally for the best talent available, or when he seeks players consistent with his coaching philosophy and preferred game strategy?

The researchers surveyed Division I head coaches to identify their coaching styles and recruiting emphasis. Over time, their success – measured in wins – was compared.

The result: Coaches who recruited talent consistent with their strategy and philosophy performed better. Coaches who recruited the best athletes and tried to build teams to accommodate players’ talents performed worse.

The takeaway for managers is to hire people you can effectively lead. Look for people with talents that complement your management style and philosophy, as well as the culture and strategic direction of your company. You can still prioritize diversity of thought and perspective, but seek values congruent with your organization.

Basketball coaches know you don’t play your five best players…you play your “best five”. The art of selection is in identifying and hiring people who bring out the best in you and your existing employees, making everyone with whom they work better.

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