For years I have been speaking to HR Professionals and Recruiters about the need to partner with their end users in aiding them in choosing their talent wisely. Now more than ever, a companies ability to attract and retain the RIGHT talent is imperative to their ability to survive and thrive. More and more companies are leaning on the Chief Financial Officer to manage the expense and analyze returns as well as implement profit driven talent management solutions.
In a market that is flooded with candidates, it is all about being able to discern who to hire, and who to take a pass on.
When you open a job requisition for a “difference maker,” are you completely aware of the impact that this role is expected to make in your company within the first 60, 90, 180 days? When you ask yourself the tough performance questions, what do you hear yourself saying? Are you listening?
What nuggets of information surface when you assess and analyze the reasons why the incumbent failed to achieve results in the role? When on the hunt for that key difference maker in your organization, how aligned are you with where your firm is heading and how your difference maker is expected to help you get there? When you compare your final candidate with other top performers at your company, how does he stack up? Does he complement the company’s already high-performing team, does she fill a competency or talent gap, or is he simply the best candidate you can locate within the tight timeline parameters?
After all, in the war for talent, beggars can’t be choosers, right? Actually, statistics being generated in mass quantity by the Harvard Business Review as well as the major human resources consulting firms indicate that 60% to 85% of the retention problem is caused by defects in the hiring process.
If these statistics are true, the writing is on the wall that it’s critical for companies to improve their ability to put the right person in the right role the first time.
It is also critical for corporations to view their needs from a global organizational analysis perspective, including role benchmarking, behavioral interviewing and talent assessment. Even before you facilitate a conversation with other key stakeholders to refresh and realign your big-picture human capital needs, your ability to discern and articulate key behaviors indicative of corporate difference makers immediately positions you as a “good to great” leader.
A difference maker is someone who leaves the company in a better position when his or her time is complete.
A difference maker in many cases shakes things up, brings forth change, takes a tough stand for performance, and is at times not the most popular person on the team. In today’s competitive business market, difference makers typically directly impact a company’s ability to hit its targets — whether those are sales, effectiveness, innovation, market share, talent management or service.
True difference makers have highly developed competency at leveraging their behaviors and values for the betterment of their company. These people know what motivates them, and they position themselves in roles where they can shine. Often but not always, difference makers are the leaders in their organization, even if they do not have the title.
Difference makers almost always possess core values that position them as winners in their organization’s eyes. Difference makers tell the truth, they don’t cover up mistakes — they learn from them, and they are completely accountable for what works and what doesn’t.
They are fundamentally motivated by a strong sense of responsibility, and that impulse governs their desire and willingness to get things done. Additionally, most difference makers have an innate need to achieve personal significance and meaning in their work, and this is something that really has an impact on those around them. Furthermore, most of them make the case that they are never done learning and that mastery, or being excellence focused, is their way to stay ahead of the curve and bring innovative solutions to their company and the marketplace.
Difference makers are proactive and solution oriented; they are the type of people who act and don’t wait to be acted upon, and they don’t shift responsibility and blame others for their or their company’s shortcomings. Difference makers do whatever they must to get the job done, whether that means coming in two hours early or working until the wee hours of the morning. At times they could be accused of being workaholics, yet these people don’t work out of an addiction, but because of a passion and commitment to their mission.
A leader who is also a difference maker is a great coach. She typically demonstrates concern for her employees’ professional development and often gives subordinates opportunities to take on new, stimulating challenges that stretch their abilities and advance their careers. Another leadership competency that difference makers possess is the ability to consider the results of the group as a whole, make changes and improvements where necessary, and increase the level of productivity and performance at all levels of the team. Some difference makers are highly accomplished trendsetters; their innovative ideas, understanding of the marketplace, creativity, and willingness to take risks pave new paths for their company, their products and their services.
Difference makers are typically highly astute in their ability to assess themselves. They know which areas they excel in as well as the areas where they need to delegate to others more competent in that skill set.
As the war for talent and the economy continue to drive home new corporate challenges and your company is facing the grim reality of a problem called the leadership deficit, there will be a major push to identify, engage and develop difference makers.
So the question is…what are you going to do about it?