For all businesses, having the right person in key roles is vital to the success of that business.
Without the right people in place, it is very difficult for an enterprise to achieve its business objectives.
For any number of reasons, companies find themselves in a position where key people do not fit the needs of the business. Or a new role has been created in the business, and there is no-one internally with the skills to fit the role.
This could be that market has changed, so the company needs to introduce new products, or the way in which business is done (e.g. digital) has changed.
Leadership is considerably more difficult in situations of transformation and change. It takes a different type of person to lead in a change scenario, than a steady state scenario.
If a business does have the wrong person in place, there will be a number of negative impacts:
“You can't do a good business with a bad person. Find the right people to work with and you can't go wrong. “ Richard Branson
So what to do about it
In a situation of transformation, the leadership of the business needs to assess the organisational readiness for change, and tackle the issues that get in the way of business transformation.
A solution here is to use a strategically minded HR professional to help this process. Often it is best to use an external party who can look at the business through an alternative lens - an interim HR director with a strong strategic mind set.
For all businesses, having the right person in key leadership roles is vital to the success of the business.
Without the right people in place, it is very difficult for a business to achieve its business objectives.
Any strategy, no matter how smart, is dead on arrival unless a company brings it to life with people – the right people. Jack Welch – “Winning”.
Having the wrong person in place can mean:
· failure to meet the objectives of the business due to lack of appropriate skills
· lack of faith in the leadership of the company
· loss of key staff (good people will leave)
· imbalance of leadership which leads to disaffection of other key members of the team – this leads to business decline rather than business growth
A lot of companies get this badly wrong.
A lot of hiring at leadership level is “quick fix”.
Often this is done by word of mouth. People are hired that are known to the business - usually because the person hired is in the same sector, or the same line of business.
This is often perceived to be lower risk because:
· The candidate does not have to learn how the business works or the way the sector works
· People in the business like him or her
· It makes the hiring process quick
· No need to pay a search firm fee – saves money!
But very often, the person hired is not the right fit from a skills, culture and strategy perspective.
So how to solve this problem?
Most recruitment discussions start with the job description.
In my view, this misses the vital point.
Every discussion I have about a search starts with a discussion about the business, typically:
· What is the strategy of the business?
· What markets is the business in? Who are the customers/ clients?
· What is the growth plan?
· How ambitious is the business?
· How successful has the business been in recent times?
· What are the challenges the business faces?
· What is the culture of the business?
After this discussion, it is invariably very obvious what the business needs are, and why there is a need to recruit the person the business wishes to hire; and therefore, the type of person required. The discussion about the job description is often a very short one, if required at all!
Armed with this information and a much deeper understanding of the business needs, I am in a much stronger position to find the right person for the business, improve the bottom line and help the business to grow.
It is an approach that I have been using for a long time, and has yielded great results.
For examples where I have done this, see my case studies