5 Actionable Strategies to Improve Overall Talent Acquisition and Talent Management
Join Tony and Will as they walk through the steps of creating a standardized hiring and recruitment process that can be used with every new member you bring onto your team. Learn how best-in-class companies take a developmental approach to new hire success, and how to clearly define and map out an employee’s career path.
Attend this discussion and walk away with:
- Interviewing best practices to spot candidates likely to succeed in your organization
- Hiring tools best-in-class companies use to hire and retain top performers
- Tips to immediately improve your onboarding programs to get new hires ramped up quickly
- Easy-to-use templates for conducting successful one-to-one sales coaching sessions
- 5 action items to improve engagement and retention rates of your top performers
Read the Full Transcript of the Briefinar Below:
Will Brooks: This is Will Brooks, I’m COO of The Brooks Group and we’re excited to have you all here today on our webinar, Five Actionable Strategies to Improve Overall Talent Acquisition and Talent Management. Happy to be joined today by Tony Smith, regional vice president of sales at The Brooks Group. So if you’ve come for expert advice on talent management strategies, you’ve come to the right place. Tony’s worked with thousands of sales leaders and sales professionals over the past decade to uncover their greatest talent and sales effectiveness challenges and overcome them with practical sustainable solutions. So without further ado, Tony let’s jump right into these five actionable strategies that our audience can take to improve their overall talent acquisition and talent management.
Tony Smith: All right. Thank you Will. Yeah, so when we look at helping organizations with their talent acquisition as well as talent management, there’s really a foundation of three pillars that create a culture of excellence amongst the organization’s talent and the people inside that organization. And there’s really three pillars that form the foundation of high performance, high growth teams and organizations. The first pillar is, number one hire the right people. Make sure you’ve got the right people that not only fit the position that you’re hiring them for, they also fit the culture of your company. With your existing talent, are they in the right positions that maximize their strengths and help them to continue to grow and develop? That’s the first pillar, having the right people in the right positions that fit the culture of your Company.
Tony Smith: Number two is, understanding that training and development is an ongoing process not a one time event. The most effective organizations consistently apply training and development as a foundation for growth and for a long term sustainability of success within their organization, and that happens both in the classroom, outside of the classroom, but it’s a commitment to excellence and training and development. And then the third pillar is, lead coach and manage effectively, and that really becomes the catalyst of success, if you have the right people in the right positions, you’re training them consistently and now you’re a leading coach [inaudible 00:02:18] guiding effectively. That will ultimately create a culture of excellence.
Tony Smith: So let’s start with talent acquisition, getting the right people in the door. We know that many organizations struggle with finding talent, making sure they’re getting the correct talents into their organization and making sure that that talent thrives and survives. So there’s a couple of things here. Number one, do they really fit the position? So when we look at fit for the position, there’s two things come into play. One are the soft skills, these are things such as attitude, behaviors, how they communicate, how they interact with people. The other is hard skills, with every particular position they’re going to be specific skills that you need them to bring to the table relative to what we call hard skills. Now most of those hard skills can be taught or they’re acquired over time.
Tony Smith: But where we find people struggle are the soft skills which is, what are the right attitudes needed for success in a position? What are the behaviors expected for having somebody be successful in the position? And finally, how do I make sure that I’ve got people that are going to be motivated and engaged to give us the best that they have every single day they come to work, to give us more of their discretionary time, the time that they can allocate to being completely engaged and focused on the task ahead? And ultimately, do they fit the culture of our organization? We’ve seen time and time again, even with top performers, they may thrive in one organization because of the structure of that organization, the types of leaders that they have, the marketplace recognition that the organization may have, especially when you’re talking about sales professionals.
Tony Smith: If they’re coming from a strong brand, where that brand was well recognized, they were a market leader and then they move to an organization where it’s not a strong brand, maybe they’re not a market leader, it’s going to be more of a fight every day, sometimes they can struggle. They fit the first company but now they don’t fit the next company because the culture is different, their skills and talents are still the same, but it’s a cultural mismatch. And so you’ve got to make sure that you truly understand your culture, and what does that culture like, and everybody that you bring into your organization is actually going to affect the overall culture of your organization based on their personality, based on who they are, and we’ve seen time and time again, getting somebody who’s not the right for your culture could be devastating to the morale of the team. So make sure you’re getting people who fit the culture.
Tony Smith: [inaudible 00:04:55] the cost of turnover. Research has shown that in most cases, for most organizations now, this is the average, so some are higher, some are lower, some do a great job at reducing turnover. But 48% of your new hires are going to leave within the first 18 months, that’s very costly. If you think in terms of a sales position, look at the lost opportunity cost they’re having out there, you’ve invested in them, you’ve trained them, you’ve provided support to them and resources and all of a sudden, they’ve left in 18 months. Being able to reduce that turnover can dramatically improve the bottom line and results that your team achieves and exceeds relative to the overall morale of the team. When there’s high turnover, what we find is that other people in the organization often are frustrated and they’re becoming disengaged themselves.
Tony Smith: So how do you make sure that you’re getting the right talent? Well, best practices are one, make sure you’ve got a process in place for how you interview, how you source talent and how you decide who joins and he does not join the team. So when we talk about interviewing, we find that many organizations oftentimes have an initial phone screen, then if they like the person they’ll set them up for a face to face interview, maybe they have a face to face interview with a manager. And then there might be an on site interview, for example with an outside sales position, they come on site to the corporate office and have a couple hour interview with different people in the organization, and that’s it. And oftentimes it’s left up to the gut feeling of those who are doing the interviewing to determine whether or not they like or don’t like the candidate.
Tony Smith: We recommend using behavioral based interviewing. Behavioral based interviewing allows you to get a better insight within certain specific situations that they’re going to encounter every day on the job, what would their behavior be like? How would they go about responding to problems and challenges? How would they respond to people inside the organization? Having a way to use behavioral based interviewing will help you get deeper insight, because let’s face it, many people now have been trained on ace an interview. So you want to be able to dig deeper and get deeper into to not only their behaviors, but also their attitudes and also what motivates them. And it’s challenging because within an hour to two hour setting, it’s very hard to see that. But you can start by having good questions in place.
Tony Smith: One of best practices for that is making sure that you have committees involved. And that those committees have a standard for how they go about interviewing, how they judge is objective not subjective, not just based on their gut feeling, but has objective based measures in it. And one of the resources that we’ll provide you for attending this webinar is a list of solid interview questions that you can incorporate into your process. But use a committee, committees have the ability to see it more objectively than just the individual. If you’re looking at a sales position, have the person that you’re interviewing spend a day with one of your top reps. That way they get a chance to see a life in the day of one of your top reps, but what you’ll notice is, it’s hard for them to keep up a facade when they spend a whole day out there with a top performer where they know it’s not a manager or somebody else involved, and so oftentimes the real person comes out.
Tony Smith: And we’ve seen that when the best practices a lot of organizations incorporate, when they do this and what they find is, sometimes the people they thought were going to be great, within two to three hours of spending a day with one of their top reps, they find this potentially could have been a disaster. But you’ve got to really trust your top rep or the people that you ask them to spend a day with, they’re going to give you the right feedback and good solid honest feedback. And ultimately, beyond just your interviewing between how you source, how you interview, how you objectively grade and the things that you do, use a third party validated, EEOC compliant hiring assessment. Why use an assessment? Because this gives you an objective measure of somebody’s behaviors, motivators, attitudes, something that allows you to get deep beneath the surface and see more than just what they show you in the interview, and there are solid EEOC compliant assessments out there that the best companies integrate into their hiring process.
Tony Smith: Now, again that’s just going to be one third of your process, but you’ve got to have some standards around the whole interviewing, hiring and selection process. When you look at personal assessments, they provide to an objective standard by which to look at your candidate. Now, often times what they do is they eliminate what we call interview bias. This is the bias that the interviewer may have because they like the person. Oftentimes, we see candidates or organizations that the manager says, “Oh, I really like them, they’re just like me.” That’s because they have similar personalities, that’s what we call behaviors, that’s on the surface. And behaviors will tell you a lot, they’ll tell you how the person’s going to go about selling, are they extroverted? Are they introverted? Will they be the type of person that becomes very aggressive or do they seem to be more passive?
Tony Smith: All of those things come out of someone’s behavior style. And behaviors are very important as it relates to how we manage, communicate and coach a person as well. Values, that tells us why they do what they do every single day. What motivates them to get out of bed? What’s driving them? What are they looking to have fulfilled in their life? Do their motivators, their values align with what your position rewards? If they do, they would tend to be more excited and engaged every day. If however their motivators, what they’re looking to have fulfilled in their life are not going to be met on the job, it doesn’t mean that they can’t do the job, but it very well means that they’re not going to be as engaged. And what we know is long term, people will seek positions that fulfill their motivators.
Tony Smith: In a sales position, this is vitally important because certain motivators will determine their ability to have great success or in some cases maybe even struggle. For example, if somebody is highly motivated by money, which most sells position to reward because there’s a financial incentive based on performance, then that person is excited to go out there and have control of their own financial destiny. But if somebody is not that motivated for money, it doesn’t mean that they can’t sell, it just means that’s not what’s going to drive them to do what they do every day, it’s going to be something else. Maybe they got feel that what they’re doing is helping their customers or their clients, helping others. So within motivators and values, it tells us how they’re going to go about facing their job on a day to day basis and what drives them, and what gets them out of bed every morning.
Tony Smith: And then alternately, if behaviors and motivators align to your position, in other words what you’re asking them to do every single day, aligns with how they’re naturally hard wired, so they’re not having to become somebody that they’re not just to do the job, and they’re excited and motivated by what the job rewards, and what alternately drives performance is their attitude, which is their clarity and focus for how they see the world and how they see themselves. And we’ve seen sometimes, people look great on the surface, they’re outgoing, they’re pleasing, they’re friendly but internally they have a bad attitude, and six months into the job, the organization is wondering, why did we hire this person? This is creating all sorts of challenges inside our organization, it’s frustration for the manager and it’s lowering the morale of the team.
Tony Smith: So use some sort of assessment that allows you to dig beneath the surface and is objective in nature, so you can see the whole person. We recommend a whole person assessment. So if we think in terms of interviewing by committees, having standard processes in place for how you source and interview and also using a third party validated EEOC complaint assessment, then the real question is, where do you find the talent? We hear this all the time from organizations that, “You know we struggle finding top talent. Yes, we can find talent, but it’s not the talent that we really want.” But we’re going to recommend that you got to have the mindset of always be recruiting. For example if you’re a manager out there, maybe you don’t have a position today that’s available but you need somebody that could be great, being in the recruiting mindset to get to know them, because you never know, two to three years from now a position opens it up, now you’ve got a bench that you can pull from.
Tony Smith: Not everybody is going to you but the reality is, you can’t just leave it up to HR or sourcing departments because what happens is, they wait for an open position and then they’ll go out there and do whatever they have to fill the position, and some do a better job than others. Some have more structured processes in place than others. But you as a manager or a leader, it’s upon you to always be recruiting and looking for great talent. Even if you don’t have a need today, you are going to have a need at some point in the future and you’ve got a resource that you can go to because you’ve built up those relationships. Some of the most effective managers I know have shared with me that they always have five or six people that they know, that they keep in contact with, that if a position opens up, they’re going to reach out to those people.
Tony Smith: And a lot of times some of their best talent comes from their own efforts, not relying on the efforts of [inaudible 00:14:46] internal recruiting department or even sometimes external recruiting departments, where you source recruiting to a third party. So if you get the right people, and they’re in the right positions, and they’re motivated by what the job rewards, they’ve got the right attitude, they’ve got the right behavior, so they’re not having to be somebody that they’re not just to do the job every day, then talent retention becomes the key issue. How do you make sure that you retain your top talent? We know that top talent if they’re not completely excited by what’s happening inside the organization, they’re not being managed and coached effectively, they will tend to look for other opportunities. And often times, when you look at exit interviews and you really get to the real reason why someone leaves, it’s usually because of the direct relationship that they have with their direct manager.
Tony Smith: So there’s a process here, you’ve hired them, now you’ve got to have an onboarding process. What does that onboarding process look like? Is it structured? Do you have standards for how each person is going to onboarded inside the organization? We’ve seen organizations where the onboarding process is nothing more than bringing them into the corporate headquarters or the office, they meet with HR, they fill out their paperwork, they’re given their computer, their phone. They go over some of the key policies and then they maybe spend a day with a couple people, then they go to some product training for a week and then just go out there and make it happen. “I hired you to sell, go sell.” Well, that’s not a structured onboarding process, there’s a little bit of structure there, but it’s not a true standard process for onboarding. We’ll talk about what that should look like.
Tony Smith: Once you do onboard them, training and making sure that you’re consistently training and developing your people, and that there’s a commitment to training and ultimately coaching. Coaching is the catalyst for success, we know that when people receive appropriate coaching their performance is enhanced, they stay committed to the organization, and it increases not only team loyalty but overall team buy-in. And then ultimately, a career path. People need to know, what does their path look like going forward? Are there future opportunities at this organization? For smaller organizations, maybe the career path is going to be more limited but there’s things that you can do to develop people, so that they see a clear path forward, and they know what that future looks like. We see time and time again top performers leave an organization because they don’t feel that there’s a career path, there’s not a next step and so they seek opportunities elsewhere.
Tony Smith: So let’s talk about onboarding. Do you have a 30, 60, 90 day plan? Has it been properly laid out? Best organizations actually have this in place, and it’s followed, everybody commits to it, every manager understands what the onboarding process is. They’re constantly looking to improve, if they need to improve their onboarding process. But it’s not just two weeks and then go make it happen, it’s a 30, 60, 90 day plan that allows for timely feedback between manager and employee. Oftentimes, part of that plan is to help them develop what their career is going to look like, understanding what that career may look like, having clearly executable action strategies or actionable items that they have to meet. Timely feedback so that they know they’re progressing. We’ve seen time and time again people will leave an organization and they have high turnover, because there’s no home boarding process, so people really don’t know where they stand and they’re left to just go out there and do it on their own. Make sure you’ve got a solid structure process in place.
Tony Smith: So how do you do that? One, set clear expectations. You’ve got to be clear about what are the expectations of the job, the organization and how are you going to measure if those expectations are being met. These are objective in nature, it could be based on certain metrics that you establish, it could be based on certain performance standards. For example, with a sales position it could be number of quality calls that they make in the first 90 days. How that works, how that’s set up, how that’s structured. But there’s got to be measurable milestones so that the employee knows that they’re progressing through that onboarding process.
Tony Smith: Company guidelines, have you really been clear about what are the guidelines of the company? And many companies have what we call formal guidelines, those are written down, but there’s also the informal guidelines. Things that you should know about, the structure of the organization, who you can go to for help, who you shouldn’t go to for help. These are things that all fall in what we call company guidelines and there’s formal and informal guidelines. Time and time again, many organizations don’t clearly convey this to their new hires, and so they’re left to figure this out on their own. And this is a chance to provide coaching and mentorship from manager to employee. Number two, have you been clear about what are the expectations of the job and the standards of work that have to be met on a daily, weekly and monthly basis? What’s being measured, what’s being graded and what does good look like, what does average look like and what does excellence look like? And set the bar high, you’ll find that the right talent will strive to achieve high standards of excellence.
Tony Smith: Measurable outcomes, how are you going to measure them? How do you give them that appropriate feedback? How do you help them get better? If they’re struggling, why are they struggling and what can you do as a manager to coach them through that time of struggle? Many times, it may just be one or two small tweaks that they need in order to have success and that’s where having these guidelines in place, expectations and ability to coach allows you to make those small tweaks, and that way they can thrive and grow inside your organization. But in order to do that, regular back and having structure around a regular cadence for how that feedback is going to be given. In other words, it’s not just, “Well, I’ll call you up once a week.” There’s set times for feedback, when those meetings are going to happen, some are going to be formal, some maybe informal, but there’s a structure there and the employee knows exactly what to expect, and that there’s a standard for how those meetings are going to occur and what’s going to happen in those meetings.
Tony Smith: And then finally, the communication channels. What are the appropriate channels of communication inside your organization? For many sales positions that rely on project teams, maybe engineering, there’s all different types of organizations and different types of selling environment, who do they go to? When they need something, do they go to customer service? Do they go to somebody that specified inside the organization? All of that needs to be clearly conveyed so that you’re maximizing their chance for success and they’re not out there struggling with, who do I go to for help? When I need something, what are the appropriate resources? And often times we may think we convey this, but we hear time and time again when we’re working with sales teams, [inaudible 00:22:14] area, a lot of times of weakness amongst organizations. It’s not been clearly communicated what the structure is and they learn through trial and error.
Tony Smith: Let’s talk about understanding how to coach, manage and motivate your people as it relates to their communication style. Every person on your team, including yourself is going to have a dominant behavior. There’s other behaviors that come into play but we all have a dominant behavior style, and that’s how we’ll go about communicating with people, how will do the job, how we respond to problems and challenges. And it’s also what drives us as it relates to how we want to be managed and communicated with from others. We find many times when there’s a challenge with an employee, a lot of times it comes down to an effective communication. A manager is hardwired differently than the employee, and so they’re mismanaging them as it relates to communication. They’re saying things and doing things that are actually causing that employee to shut down and so that employee is not even open to the feedback and coaching that the manager is giving.
Tony Smith: And so therefore, we wanted to provide you with a way to recognize the four dominant behavior styles and then the resources you’ll get more information around this. But basically there’s really four dominant styles. There’s what we call the dominant DOER style, the influence TALKER style, the steadiness PACER style and the compliance CONTROLLER style. And for 95% of your people right now you can recognize their dominant style by asking three questions. The first question is, do they tend to communicate with higher energy or lower energy? Higher energy means they’re outgoing, they’re expressive, you see a lot of use of hand gestures, they tend to be more extroverted in nature and you can see that they have a higher energy approach to how they communicate. It’s not soft, it’s not slowed down, it’s a high energy outgoing expressive approach. If they are higher energy, they’re always going to be either a dominant doer or an influence talker.
Tony Smith: If it’s lower energy, they’re more reserved, maybe they’re more calculating in their approach, they don’t speak this fast as others, maybe they tend be softer in the way that they speak. You’ll notice that their energies, not that they don’t have energies the way they communicate with people, it has a lower energy level to it. They’re either going to be a compliance, what we call a controller or a steadiness pacer. So let’s talk about that, high energy will either be a doer or a talker, lower energy is going to be controller or pacer. The second question to ask yourself is, do they tend to be more formal in the way that they communicate or is it more informal? Formal means it’s very businesslike, it’s structured, it’s a focus on driving results versus informal where it tends to be more open, friendly, more about the relationship.
Tony Smith: So we think in terms of, are they more formal in their style of communication, very businesslike or does it tend to be more informal? Then you’ll be able to box out, the doers and controllers will be more formal and results focused. Talkers and Pacers tend to be informal and it’s all about the relationships. So again, those three questions, higher energy or lower energy, formal or informal in their communication approach and is it more about results or relationships? If we look at the different styles, you’ll notice that doers tend to be very direct, they’re aggressive, they’re focused on getting results and delivering results very fast because they operate at a very fast pace, they tend to be in some cases under stress. They can become a little hostile or belligerent, but they tend to be very direct, aggressive, assertive, take charge type personality.
Tony Smith: And when they use their body language, they tend to be very angular and direct, oftentimes pointing their finger when they speak. Emails, you’ll notice in their emails it’s very quick, short to the point, responses are usually done in bullets. So when you’re working with a doer, they want things to be direct to the point, be brief, be bright, be [inaudible 00:26:32] and focus on the results that they deliver. For talkers, you’re going to notice that they tend to be very expressive, they’re optimistic, they’re high energy, they’re outgoing, they’re engaging, they tend to be very fun, they may smile a lot, they enjoy relationships, they like to have a lot of relationships, a lot of different people but sometimes they can be scattered. They can often times be so energetic towards people that they lose sight of some of the details.
Tony Smith: So if you think in terms of talkers, they’re the type that are looking for you as a manager to have that relationship with them. For example, we were once working with a high performer and that high performer started struggling a bit. And the reason they were struggling was because their manager had stopped talking to them that much. Well, that manager had, had several new hires and so they were busy focused on those new hires and they quit reaching out on a daily or every other day basis to this top performer, and basically that top performer started thinking that the manager did not like them anymore, that they had done something wrong and the reality is, it was just a misunderstanding. All that manager needed to do was to be clear with the top performer, “You know, I’m going to reach out to you every couple day, I’ve just been busy with my new hires.”
Tony Smith: And so those are the settle differences that communication styles can have as it relates to the manager and employee. When you look at the controllers, they tend to be very analytical, they are very structured, oriented, precise, detail focused but oftentimes they don’t show a lot of hand gestures, their arms are folded, they sometimes speak very meticulously because they calculate what they’re going to say before they actually say it. And then finally with the pacers, they tend to be again very relationship oriented but it’s a slower pace. They like things to be steady, methodical, often times they’re looking to build close relationships with people that they know well and they’re looking to really have a structure and a system and a methodology for getting their job done, but they don’t want to go too fast of a pace because they like to structure their work on a daily basis.
Tony Smith: Again, we could spend a lot of time going into these different behave styles. Any key assessment that you may potentially use will be able to recognize these styles, but I did want to give you three questions and will give you some resources afterwards so you can use to help you as well in looking at your team. So based on that, if you think in terms of their communication style, that helps you manage and coach them effectively, speaking to them in the way that they want to be communicated with, not doing the things that offend them, is going to create better channels between you and employee. But then, having ongoing training, coaching and career pathing. What are the benefits of that? When people know you are committed to their development, when you invest in them, they will tend to give you the best, because they know that you’re not just seeing them as somebody that’s producing a number, you’re actually investing in their development and their growth.
Tony Smith: And so training, you’ve got to have a commitment to training and they got to know that commitment. Sometimes it’s going to be formal but sometimes it can be informal training, could be team based training, it could be one on one training. There’s a lot of different types of training, but that you’re also committed to coaching. And coaching isn’t just, “Oh, here’s what you did wrong.” Coaching is all about mentorship, guiding them, helping them become better at not only what they do in the job but as a person. And the most effective coaches put their people first, they put themselves in their people’s shoes and they seek to understand where they’re coming, and they think in terms of what’s the best coaching for this individual today, a few months from now, a year from now? Increasing engagement, improved retention and employees know that you care is going to create a talent base in your organization that thrives to give you their best every single day and creates that culture of excellence.
Tony Smith: We talked about training development not being just a one time event. If you look at a sales organization, the sellers need more than just a day or two in the classroom. We find companies sometimes every two or three years they’ll bring their people together at a national meeting, they’ll have somebody come in and maybe it’s a motivational speaker or maybe they have a day of classroom training, and they say, “Great, we’ve checked the box. We’ve provided training to our people.” That’s just an event folks, you’ve got to have an ongoing process for training and development, and your people are going to be at different levels. So the ability to objectively grade and measure where they’re at and focus on, what do they need training and development of? Is it selling skills? Do they need training and development on presentation skills? Whatever it may be, each person is going to be unique and different.
Tony Smith: So being able to understand that this is a process, not just the one time event and having a plan for each individual on your team, there’s things that they can do on their own, there’s things that you can help them with, in some cases, making a commitment that when you get together as a team, there’s always going to be some sort of component of training. It could be around a new product, it be around best questions to ask when out there meeting with customers. Again, use your peers, colleagues and team members because they’ve got great knowledge as well, and allow them to employ that knowledge is going to continue to create that culture of excellence. And then finally, coaching becomes the catalyst as we’ve talked about before, and there’s different types. There’s one to one formal based coaching, sometimes there’s team based coaching.
Tony Smith: A lot of times coaching happens on an informal process, when you’re speaking to them on the phone or you pass them in the hallway. But to have a commitment to coaching, to really look to get the best out of your people and to get them to thrive and succeed in a challenging environment, coaching becomes the catalyst for that success. And we again often find that most effective managers truly create a commitment to coaching, some naturally have the ability to do this, but a lot of times as managers you have to learn how to be an effective coach. So encourage you, focused on are you really coaching?
Tony Smith: Do you have a structure in place for coaching? Do you have regular meetings? Do you have formal coaching sessions, informal coaching sessions? Again, each organization’s going to be unique and different but implement a standard cadence, so that everybody knows that there is a commitment to coaching inside organiZation and that there’s open feedback, people are going to be held accountable but they’re also going to be given the best chance for success, and that you’re committed to their success, because when you’re committed, they’ll be committed to you. Again, if you have the right people, you’ve trained them properly and you’re providing the right coaching, guidance and feedback to them.
Tony Smith: Career pathing, in many organizations, the bigger organizations they all post jobs and positions on some sort of internal website letting people know when there’s a new position open, maybe it’s a manager position, maybe it’s a position of marketing, and so people have at least some sense of what a career might look like, but maybe nobody has sat down with them and shared with them, “Here is what a potential career could look like for you.” And each individual is going to be different. In smaller organizations there may not be that many other opportunities for moving up in the organization, so having a culture where they can become mentors, especially seasoned tenured folks, what are you providing them so that they can feel that they’re growing and developing as well? And sometimes in large organizations, they’re moving up to the organization.
Tony Smith: However, in a lot of organizations that we’ve worked with over the years, there’s not many open positions so giving them a chance to mentor new hires, giving them a chance to be a team leader amongst their team, these are things that allow them to grow and develop and continue to thrive and have a clear career path for where they’re going in the future. Again, people want to know what their future looks like. And if we look at that, what ultimately drives a career path are their motivators. And there’s actually eight motivators that come into play, economic is the financial motivator. Utilitarian, that’s the business driver, the desire to see a return on one’s invested period of time, energy and resources. Theoretical, the desire for learning and knowledge. Aesthetics, the desire for form, harmony and beauty in the universe. Social, a desire to help people.
Tony Smith: Political, a desire to have control over one’s destiny and the destiny of others, the leadership value. Individualistic, desire for freedom, independence, flexibility and traditional regulatory, a desire for structure, rules, regulations. Every person is going to have a unique set of motivators, certain motivators will be rewarded in certain positions, other positions they’re not going to be rewarded in. We’ve seen people who believe that their next step is to move into management but they’re not motivated by the motivators that drive that particular management position. Other times maybe they move over to marketing, that’s a great pass for them because it’s going to even fulfill their motivators even more.
Tony Smith: You’ve got to be able to understand this about your people, and it’s not on the surface, it’s beneath the surface and often times, unless you really get to know them, you can sometimes see clues but often times you don’t really know what’s driving them to get out of bed every single morning. And this is what ultimately drives their careers, is what motivates them because if they go to a position that’s not going to allow them to achieve their motivators, they’re going to be frustrated in that new position. The same is true when you’re hiring, it’s also true when you’re moving people inside the organization that are existing employees. Again, the ability to understand what drives them is going to allow them to truly be engaged, thrive and allow for great retention.
Tony Smith: Let me turn this back over to Will Brooks. We know that there were questions that came in prior to the webinar and so we want to make sure we have time to answer some of your questions.
Will Brooks: Absolutely. So first of all Tony, I got to say I really feel that you delivered on our promise to give them some actionable ideas here. I think there’s a lot of good stuff here. Yeah, we have a few minutes and so I’m going to go through some questions here that the folks submitted to us prior to the program. So the first one comes from Russell, and Russell asked, “How can we differentiate the needs of young team members versus tenured team members?” So Tony, what do you think about that?
Tony Smith: Russell, that is a great question. Oftentimes, young team members and if we look at new people coming to an organization today, there’s a different generation there’s millennials, there’s boomers, there’s Gen X, and they all have different needs and things that they’re looking for. And so if you think in terms of the younger team members, they’re just getting started in their careers a lot of times. They’re looking for a path forward, they’re looking for coaching and feedback. We know that millennials are constantly seeking timely feedback, and there’s actually a new generation coming into the workforce starting in a couple years, I call it generation Z, that’s even different than the millennials.
Tony Smith: So we’re going to have several generations inside the workforce and their needs are going to be different. So if you think in terms of your young people, you’ve got to have somethings specific to them, but your seasoned people oftentimes what they need is that partnership between them and their manager. They don’t want to be treated like the young person, they don’t sometimes want to be asked to change. Sometimes you need going to change, I’m going to recommend, based on Russell’s question that there’s an exercise that we do with managers oftentimes when they look at their team, and that is, to put your people into three buckets. The first bucket is what we call the parentship supervisory role. And what that mean is, the new to the organization, you’re having to be more structured with them, you’re having to really inspect a lot of things that they do because they’re quite frankly brand new and they haven’t figured everything out yet.
Tony Smith: We know in most organizations it takes 18-24 months before they truly ramp up. So sometimes they’re going to be in this parentship supervisory role until they start growing and then they move into what we call the mentorship role. In a mentorship role, you’re actually mentoring them. You’re working on their selling skills, you’re getting them better on some of the things that will help them thrive and continue to grow say for example in their territory. And then ultimately, the third category is what we call a partnership. A partnership means, they’ve achieved a high level of success. A lot of times your seasoned senior folks have achieved that level of success and they want to be appreciative for what they’ve done, but also they’ve got a partnership with you.
Tony Smith: They’re bringing new ideas, they’re coming to you and looking for your feedback, it’s just a different type of relationship. But taking the time to bucket your people into those three categories, parent supervisory, mentorship or partnership. And ultimately I will say this, if you have somebody that’s been in the organization for four or five years and you put them in the parentship supervisory role, the real question you should be asking yourself is, why are they still with you? Hope I answered Russell’s question.
Will Brooks: Excellent. A lot there. I know that’s a good exercise, I’ve seen that play out before. Okay, here’s another one from Jonathan. And this is what I would call the silver bullet question, it’s a really good one. What is the best question, the single best question to ask during an interview?
Tony Smith: I’m going to tie this back to a sales position, or some sort of sales related role in an organization. There’s a lot of great questions out there but one of the questions I believe is the best question, and I encourage managers to ask this in every interview is, to ask the candidate, “When is the last time you invested in yourself? Either you read a book, you went to a seminar, you attended a webinar, which you actually spent money investing in yourself?” You’ll find, there’s people that haven’t picked up a book or done anything in 10 years. If they’re not willing to invest in their own growth and development, then they’re saying to you, “Employer, you’re responsible for my growth and development.” We believe they are responsible first and ultimately, you provide extra things when they come to you from ongoing training and development.
Will Brooks: Excellent, love it. Okay, great. One more question, this comes from Fred. Fred asked this, “Which practical repeatable practices are hiring managers employing to reliably identify who will be both right fit employees and top core tile performers?”
Tony Smith: Yeah, great question. So Fred … Again, hopefully we answered that through a lot of the content that we went through today in the webinar. But boiling it down to the best practices, number one, they have a standard and process in place for how they source their people, and the interviewing process is very structured. Everybody knows exactly what’s being covered in the interviewing process, it’s being objectively measured, but they also use assessments. And I want to lead into this because we obviously have assessment that many of our clients have used effectively and very successfully year after year in hiring great talent. [inaudible 00:42:07] hiring assessment. It’s a whole person assessment, but it’s a best practice to have.
Tony Smith: Again, this third party validated EEOC assessment that lets you get beneath the surface. You can [inaudible 00:42:20] underneath the hood and really see who they are as a person. And it should be just me one part of your process. There’s always the background, there’s always what you see in the interview, there’s always your gut feel, that comes into play as well, do you feel that you can manage this person? Is this somebody you can get along with? But having that assessment can make all the difference because it gives you another data point that you just can’t see in the interview process that allows you to make an informed decision.
Will Brooks: Absolutely, well great. Well, Tony I’d like to thank you again. And for our viewers, for our guests if you have any additional questions Tony is of course of available to you, I’m going to throw out his email address here, it is T, as in Tonysmith@thebrooksgroups.com. Of course if you’re interested in learning more about the Brooks Talent Index, any of our services or if you’d like to contact us, you can certainly visit our website. Couple of housekeeping items. We’ll be sending out some emails over the next couple of days, we have some additional resources that tie back to the content. We have some interview questions for you all to use and a couple of other tools specifically related to how to read behavior styles and how to manage to those styles. So I’d like to thank you for joining us today, hopefully you’ve gotten what it is you were hoping to get and we look forward to hopefully seeing you all on the next program. Thanks.