The real truth about talent and your business growth strategy


Talent that shares your firm’s values critical for growth

How often do you think about your company’s values and purpose and how they’re related to your business growth strategy? The answer should be, “all the time.” As the leader it’s easy to be distracted with day-to-day operations and lose sight of what’s really important to you and your business. Successful leaders communicate these beliefs and priorities to their staff regularly as well as consistently model the behaviors that represent them.

There are certain times when reflecting on these company values is especially critical for future success– specifically during the hiring process. Sure, resumes with a long list of accomplishments and credentials are impressive. We can all agree on that.

But, how do you ensure a potential employee fits your company culture? Do you know how to figure that out? And, what makes knowing this and hiring based on this essential to your business growth strategy?

It goes both ways too. Potential employees need to feel that they are aligned with your values as much as you are with them in order to make a successful partnership.

I advise clients on an approach I used many times as an executive in an engineering consulting firm. Identify an interview team and give them a specific role. Make sure that at least one, if not two, are responsible for getting a sense of the candidate’s values and characteristics relative to the company’s culture.

Other evaluation topics to assign to interviewers include aspirations, technical skills, technical leadership history, non-technical ways they have contributed either professionally or socially as well as how they manage conflict. Dig deep– don’t let the interview process be a repetitive experience for the candidate.

Amanda Shore, writer for TalentCulture, shares tips to help you understand your culture better in the article titled, Cooking Up A Better Company Culture. Here, she describes steps for figuring out why people chose and stay at your company. Hire based on them to ensure you’re aligning with people with the right qualities. She identifies the following:

  • Start by identifying high-performing employees.
  • Define what behaviors and characteristics make these employees high-performers.
  • Interview these employees and ask them why they work here and what makes them stay.
  • Using their answers, determine what makes your company unique and defines the culture.

Focus on the values of the individuals on your team.   Try not to get too caught up in their particular area of expertise.  Most often, you need someone who fits into your organization and will engender loyalty with your clients.  Only with these two attributes can their technical skills secure the business results desired.

What approaches have worked well over your career?  When you try my suggested approach, send me an email and share what worked and what was challenging.  Thank you.

Doug Reed