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Dec 11 / gary

Hiring Decisions – Breaking down our own barriers

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Hiring Decisions – Breaking down our own barriers

In recent times, I have watched business owners baulk at hiring, and talk themselves out of hiring strong candidates for fear of taking on someone who did not fully meet their pre conceived ideas around who would best fill the role.

There is a variety of reasons offered for the decision not to hire and often the real reasons are not voiced or perhaps not even fully understood.

At OA recruitment, we specialise in the hiring of sales people and sales managers, and the strengths and characteristics of the applicants are the highest focus for us. We work towards placing the most skilled sales people that meet our criteria to sell in a given environment according to our client’s brief.

It is natural when recruiting to have a tendency to favour people who we “connect with” at interview. The dialogue is easy; we feel comfortable and all is seemingly right with that person. If we go on to employ only these people in our organisation we will end up with everyone like us – thinking the same way and behaving the same way, and while that may make for a happy and stress free culture, is it is best thing for our business?

Diversity of thought –referred to as Diversity’s New Frontier (Deloitte University Press, July 2013) offers us the opportunity to be introduced to new ideas and perspectives, opportunity to connect more effectively with our diverse client base. It helps to guard against “group think”. To build this environment we have to hire differently, to manage in a way that encourages a work culture that supports change, and is open to being challenged. This management style will result in growth and opportunity that would otherwise not be possible. Without it, businesses may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage because the best talent will be seeking situations where they can fully use their capabilities and that may well be with competitors.

Other reasons for last minute hiring fear could stem from the anticipated difficulty of managing strong sales people.

Are we or the sales manager capable of managing a strong sales person? Do we feel threatened by having strong sales people in the team?

Is the HR department reactive and risk adverse?

While we say we want “A” Players, do we really only want C Players who don’t challenge us and just do as they are told. In our busy lives they are easier to handle rather than someone who is high functioning and focused on making their mark, challenging us regularly to think more laterally and who pushes to do things differently?

Is saying that candidates have to have specific product experience, just a way of saying we don’t want to make the effort to effectively train, or make changes to our sales process structure to accommodate providing technical support as required.

Whatever the reasons we tend to stay with what we know, we really need to think long and hard about the barriers that exist in our minds and carry out an honest appraisal of whether those barriers are valid or whether they are simply protecting us from the challenges that will present with thought diversity. Are we the greatest barrier to real growth in our businesses, standing in the way of the success that can only be achieved through our openness and willingness to build and manage a team of high functioning and diverse “A” Players

By: Marion Mather