My role heavily involves bringing fresh talent into leadership roles within the Building Products and wider Built Environment industries. This often requires a new recruit to disrupt, diversify and challenge the status quo of a department or organisation. Results count, but without sacrificing alienation of teams; breaking trust and respect for those above them.
I find this to be especially important within Building Products, where companies are often made up of established teams, who are both loyal and passionate about the products and their part in what has made the business a success.
Any good executive search firm should spend substantial time understanding the cultural fit necessary to make a new addition a success - this leads to in-depth conversations around personal characteristics, beliefs, values, and broader fit with the rest of the senior leadership team.
And so you have secured your new hire. Tony Robbins outlines in the below article a number of points that are often overlooked, and certainly areas I look for when assessing candidates at interview stage. These include:
- The need to set clear expectations. This is hugely relevant when embedding your new hire and, in turn, their introduction to their team. You will be surprised how many companies do not outline these within the first couple of weeks
- Obtaining the services of a strategic lead within a given discipline can come with its downfalls. Especially important within SME's, owners need to be very wary of ivory tower syndrome. With changes required, how important is it for this person to lead by example and can they demonstrate the ability to do so at interview stage?
- Integrity - pretty self explanatory and hugely important (alienation of staff etc). This is pretty easy to suss out at interview stages but interviewers can get blinded by the shear magnitude of successes the candidate can wax lyrically about
- Ability to interact with teams - again, change is often disruptive to organisations who are established. Softer skills and cultural fit massively come into play here
I would like to add one more from my experiences of past placements - visibility. This works both ways. Does your new hire get enough face time with you to share ideas and so that you can set expectations as outlined above? This is especially important if the owner runs around the country a lot (or, in fact, juggles various investment commitments) or reporting lines dictate this new hire reports into a VP abroad.
Employee retention, achievement levels and even creativity all depend on learning how to build trust in a team. After all, employees won’t stick around in an environment where they don’t feel secure, and they won’t do their best work for leaders they don’t trust. Most importantly, successful brainstorming and innovation depend on employees trusting each other with their ideas. The crazy, outrageous ideas are often the best, but your team won’t feel comfortable sharing them if you don’t understand how to build trust with employees.