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Hiring for Value

02/07/2012 – Kim Follis, CPC, CTS, Vice President

Delta Dallas News - Hiring For Value

Value. Everywhere I go the constant conversation is about value. Americans have always wanted to get the most bang for their buck, but in recent years this has become even more important.

This is true in the corporate world as well. Employers, more than ever, are looking for the best value in their new hires. Companies are hiring people with skills and creating teams that have a higher level of business acumen in order to be innovative contributors.

I had a chance to read an article by Vivian Giang with Business Insider this week.2 Seth Godin, one of America's most prolific business and marketing gurus purports that the 'average' American worker will not be employed soon. This era of recession has created a demand for employees that do more than fill a cubicle and maintain the status quo. It has created a new kind of competitive and creative worker and the people who have ignored the change will soon be without work. Godin says, "For 80 years, you got a job, you did what you were told and you retired..." He then discusses how many harbor the ideal that, if they pay their 'taxes' and do what they're told, there's a safety net, or pension plan, waiting for them. However, the days where employees get above average pay for average work are over. The good news, Godin says, is that if you're different somehow and have made yourself unique, people will find you and pay you more. 1 He's right.

When I look for new team members, there are the key factors in my decision-making process:

#1: Are they a good match for the role which they are being considered?
Delta Dallas has defined several key characteristics that we find desirable in our recruiters. We have discovered that people are more likely to be successful when they possess these. What are the key characteristics necessary to be successful on your team?

#2: Are they ready to make a meaningful contribution including innovation?
Leaders are always looking for people who are creative and energetic. These are the people who don't stop caring about their role EVER. These people are driven because they are passionate about their work...maybe it was ingrained in them as a child, maybe they were born with it, maybe they decided to work in a field they were passionate about. A-players can work with minimal direction and can make a difference on their team in a short amount of time. They can do three times the work of an average worker, so they have time to innovate.

#3: Will they have the desire to constantly reach for excellence and go above and beyond required tasks?
Work is work but again, those top-tier candidates have an innate desire to contribute at a high level. These high-contributors are the ones who make suggestions to streamline processes, who work to find new ways to make things more efficient...and these people hardly ever slow down. Companies are attracted to this kind of employee because they can grow with the company. They are promotable, and worth the investment.

Now, take some time to consider your own teams. Are there people on your teams right now that are high contributors? Who are they? What are they doing that makes them valuable? Sit down with them and ask them about their thought and work processes then pass the information onto your B players. (You shouldn't be keeping C players, anyway.) Use the information that you get from your A-players to create new objectives and reward systems. Train your team to give you what you want, and eventually they can all be A-players, or replaced with A-players.

Value is the word of the day. Your employees need to value the opportunity they have been given with your company as well as the work ahead in order to be a part of your organization. It will take this type of value for your company to compete with the up and coming work cultures around you. Set the pace now or catch up later, it's time to take your teams to the next level of excellence.

Kim Follis
Vice President

1Seth Godin in an interview with the Canadian talk showGeorge Stroumboulopoulos Tonight"<(via)Pragmatic Capitalism).

2Read more: