I’ve attended countless meetings with hiring managers looking for new team members, and with people looking for a new job.
The one thing all the meetings have in common are lists.
Hiring managers will give us lists of skills and experience they’re looking for in a person. Candidates will give us lists of requirements for their job search – location, salary, responsibilities and so on.
While I understand the need to put some tangible specifics around your search, there’s one crucial factor that the majority of people don’t talk about – the 'people element'!
The people element is represented in the culture, values and general behaviours of both a company and an individual.
In my experience, the best hires happen when there’s a close match in these key areas. People work best together when they share common beliefs, values and behaviours - and people working well together is what’s behind every successful business and every satisfying career.
As a recruitment consultant and business owner, I'm in the privileged position of being able to glean best practices from a wide range of hugely successful businesses.
Voyager is a recent example that springs to mind. We recently worked with Seeby Woodhouse and his team to find their CFO. Although ‘The Voyagers’ (as they call themselves) have very varied backgrounds and could all be described as unique characters, they’re absolutely clear about what’s important to them as a business and a team: speed and service.
So when it comes to hiring, they look for people who are comfortable thinking on their feet and who take ownership for their decisions. This was a clear-cut directive that cut right to the chase like a long list of skills and experience never could. We instantly knew when we met Voyager’s now-CFO that we’d found the right person.
Another high-growth NZ company we recently placed a CFO with is Results.com. We’re a client of theirs and we’ve really embraced their message that shared, living, visible values are essential to business success.
Our whole team recently got together and came up with a list of values and behaviours that are important to all of us (check them out). We’re really happy with the results and have them posted prominently around the office.
But one thing I’ve learnt from CEO Ben Ridler and his team is that it’s not enough to just write our values on a wall. Every member of Consult talks about our values in every weekly meeting. We aim to come to work each day with these values at the front of our minds.
Our team has grown very quickly in recent months, and without the open communication we have around our values, I’m certain that not only would we not have been able to identify the right people for us, we also wouldn’t be as cohesive as we are. Despite the pressure that comes with high growth, we’re all still having fun.
As an employer or a job seeker, I would encourage you to dig a bit deeper with your lists and to talk about the stuff which is actually important to you.
It’s the only way to truly find 'your people'.