I’d sum up most advice about hiring strategies as tactical. Do X, Y, Z, and you’ll uncover your perfect fit! The recommendations are good, but they tend to overlook a key success factor: mindset. Your outlook, the demeanor of your candidates and your company culture are all just as critical as measuring skills and ability.
Think of hiring like a coach crafting a series of winning plays
She could have a roster of top-tier talent, but the team might not have good chemistry. Or players might feel defeated after a string of losses. Maybe a key player feels disconnected from their teammates. Under these circumstances, the brilliant plays won’t add to the win column.
Tactical strategies find talent, but success needs more
For that, you need to apply a championship mindset to everything you do. Including talent acquisition. When a championship mindset is woven into your hiring process, it helps you:
- Quickly find your ideal candidate
- Increase employee retention
- Improve workplace culture
What is a “championship mindset,” and how does it help you in hiring and keeping your next MVP?
I’m glad you asked. It’s the culture, outlook and standards you set that reinforce who you are, how you work and what you value. Three sports franchises show what you need to do to bring the positive impact of this mentality to your hiring.
The Miami Heat, Jimmy Butler, and Why You Want Strong Culture Fits
Jimmy Butler’s reputation followed him as he bounced around the NBA – and it wasn’t positive. Butler possesses an incredible work ethic and expects everyone around him to meet his standards. If they don’t, Butler has no issue with telling them they should be putting in more effort.
You can probably see why Butler’s teammates didn’t always enjoy having him on the roster. Then he was traded to the Miami Heat.
From top to bottom, the Miami Heat is an organization that values hard work, sets high standards, doesn’t shy away from conflict, refuses to compromise and always wants to win. Traits Butler embodies perfectly. At the time, head coach Erik Spoelstra said, “He should’ve been in a Heat uniform long ago. It feels like he’s about what we’re about, and we’re about what he’s about.”
Talent acquisition strategies can’t focus only on skillsets
Filling out your own roster of employees takes more than finding people with the right skillset. No one took issue with Jimmy Butler’s talent. He was taken in the first round of the NBA draft. His teams have regularly made the playoffs.
A winning team in any industry is about more than talent
You’ve probably hired incredibly skilled employees who just didn’t work out. They carried out their job, but that’s about it. Their skills didn’t translate into greater company-wide success because they didn’t possess key traits that reflect your company culture.
Know who you are as an organization
Teams who “know who they are” get a perceived edge in games, because everyone has bought into the culture and is working toward a common goal. As the leader, you’re responsible for setting and communicating your culture. During interviews with potential employees, have open discussions that communicate who you are, what you stand for and the characteristics it takes to thrive in your organization. They’ll either buy into your culture, or they won’t. If they don’t, you know the person isn’t a fit.
Do Your Job Like the New England Patriots
Like Jimmy Butler, Bill Belichick has high standards. Unlike Butler, he’s responsible for setting the tone.
It’s a job Belichick carries out vigorously. Not only does every New England Patriot know Belichick expects them to do their job, they also know what that job entails.
Clarity benefits the whole team, not just the individual players
Every member of the Patriots knows they contribute to the overall record. They see themselves playing a role – no matter how small – and stay motivated because they don’t want to let anyone down.
Your job description is the first place you’ll set these expectations. Expand on them during the interview and demonstrate how the role fits into your wider team. After making a hire, reinforce and refine your standards whenever you give feedback.
You retain more employees when they know what they’re supposed to do
Employee turnover has many causes, but several can be traced back to issues like:
- Mismatch between the job description and actual job
- Feeling demotivated
- Lack of purpose
- Little to no recognition of success
Setting expectations the right way can address each cause. A strong, accurate job description leads to hiring the right people. Based on your requirements, weed out people who are overqualified and, therefore, likely to get bored during the resume review and interview process. Clearly tying the role to the overall success of the company gets people invested in your mission and helps them stay motivated. Keep them engaged by offering opportunities for growth or special projects. Celebrate any win, even if it seems minor.
Expectations can, and should, change
Like an elite sports franchise, your team can’t run the same series of plays forever. You constantly tweak your strategy based on changes in the market or new demands from clients. Communicate the updates to your team, and personalize what it means for each role. Lay out what’s new, update goals and give people action items that clearly align with your vision.
Emulate Gregg Popovich and Have a High IQ
Gregg Popovich is deeply passionate about food and wine. As the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, he’s found a way to indulge in both and simultaneously build camaraderie. Throughout the season, Popovich brings people together for dinner. Depending on the night, it could be a team dinner, one for coaches or one for a small group of players.
People vie for these invitations. Not only because they have the chance for a memorable meal (but that certainly helps). The dinners are leisurely and designed to build relationships. People talk and really get to know each other, deepening the bonds at all levels of the organization. They also demonstrate Popovich’s high emotional intelligence.
Why you want a high emotional IQ
A high emotional IQ propels a good leader to be a great one. They’re willing to show vulnerability and aren’t afraid of failure. It creates an open, relatable, positive work environment. As a result, it’s easier to:
- Build strong relationships
- Overcome challenging situations
- Creatively work through problems
Bring your IQ to the interview
You probably aren’t inviting interviewees to Michelin-star restaurants. You don’t need to. You can start building a relationship during the interview phase by being genuine and encouraging whoever is sitting across the table to be open and honest. Instead of just saying “Tell me about a time you failed,” share a time you experienced failure, or discuss how your company handles mistakes. It’ll take pressure off your candidate, and they’ll offer up a more candid answer.
How You’re Rewarded When Hiring Strategies Reinforce a Championship Mindset
Don’t take our word for it. Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith credits these values for the incredible championship run the Dallas Cowboys had in the 1990s: “It was very much rewarding and goes to show truly hard work, dedication, camaraderie, teamwork and love for each other, compassion for one another, can build a championship organization.”
Talent acquisition companies like ProActivate can help you hire the best
Sports coaches rely on scouts to help them find the best players for their rosters. Our recruiting services do same thing for organizations like yours. Let us help you build a team of all-stars. Call us today at 833-698-1135 or reach out online here.