Hire and Develop?

It is a common expression; hire a good person and develop them.  Sometimes this works out well and other times it does not.  The definition of “a good person” can get muddied for a variety of reasons.  Further, exactly what training are you considering?  Is Hire and Develop a good strategy?

So what can you as a hiring official do to ensure that you’ve hired a “good person” and that the training you provide is appropriate?

Let’s start with your definition of a good person.  Your business has a culture, perhaps you’ve even bought into the hype of being an employer of choice.  Your culture is most important as it defines exactly what you want your employees to be, behave and become.  Call it the 3-B’s.  This culture should focus more on the employee when it comes to your recruiting brand than you the employer.  As an employer of choice almost everyone applies; who will sort through those applications looking for a single nugget?  How much time will be wasted because as an employer of choice everyone wants to work there?


What you really want is the employee of choice.  You want to not good candidates to go muddy up someone else’s recruiting process while the good ones that are appropriate for your culture, apply to you.  Yes, this will reduce the number of applicants you receive.  That is part of the goal as the applications that you will now receive will be quality people who understand they are the best.


How do you make this happen?


The concept is relatively simple, but hard to execute without experienced help.  Remember that word execute too.  It starts by defining your organization’s strategy?  If you have one great; if not develop one.  Now start looking at your workgroups, the groups your business is divided into.  These could be production, sales, customer service, marketing and so on.  Which of those groups is most important to the execution of your strategy?  That group becomes your “A” group as it relates to strategy execution.   You can have more than 1 “A” Group but be careful as while all of these groups are important to your business, strategy execution is different.


What do I mean by strategy?


Your business strategy may include items such as:

  • Improve customer experience by X%
  • Reduce error in production by X%

If those are your strategies then what departments are most important to you in order to execute that?  These departments or operating areas become your “A” areas.  The number is limited by your strategy and your strategy is limited by your ability to execute it.  Generally, a strategy contains only 3-5 areas for your business.  If it has too many the strategy becomes difficult to execute and often times simply doesn’t get done.


Within your “A” areas you have employees.  Some are excellent, some just do their job while others require some level of management.  In order, we would identify them as “A”, “B” and “C” players.  You most definitely want the “A” players.  You also want the “B” players and some of them could be “A” players who are only “B” players because of some unique circumstance.  You want your “C” players to go away.


The next step is how you reward these employees.  Simply put, “A” players get more than anyone else.  They get paid more, get bigger raises, they get more training and so on.  The “B” players will get some of that but not at the level the “A” does.  You should create a sufficient amount of difference between the rewards of the two to matter.  What you don’t want, for example, is an “A” player to get a 3% raise and a “B” player to get a 2% raise.  No one will put in the effort for a 1% difference.  Your “C” players don’t get raises and the other rewards come to them if 1) they truly can be improved and 2) you actually have a budget for it.


This process is a challenging one for many as the mantra has been that you treat all of your employees the same.  This process rewards your high achievers and not only do they stay, they tell other high achievers about your business.  The low achievers go away and tell other low achievers that you were mean to them.  So what!


Through this process, you develop both a culture and a brand that says you value and reward excellence.  That you want hard work and won’t tolerate mediocre or poor work.  High achievers will apply to work for you while low achievers won’t even bother.  You save time in recruiting, improve the quality of hire and retention, and have a brand that your competition cannot duplicate.  You win in the marketplace.


It takes a certain skill set to execute this properly.  Make sure before you do this that the skills are present in your business or that you have found an external resource for them.