Thursday, September 29th, 2022

Leadership/Management Development System: Finding Talent: Define what you need in a position first.


In my work with business owners of family businesses, it was apparent that the most neglected step in the talent acquisition process was neglecting to thoroughly define the position requirements.  A failure to do to this makes the process of hiring random at best as interviews and other parts of the recruiting and selection process have no points of comparison of candidates to what is required for success.  This means the entire process will be subjective rather than objective.

The lack of objectivity is one of the leading causes of hiring mistakes.  The element of needing objectivity in hiring is even more important in family owned businesses where children and other family members are being considered for employment.  A family member misplaced in a key position or any position as the danger of disrupting family relationships as well as costly business repercussions.  Therefore, objectivity will be a recurring theme in all leadership development processes.

How family members enter the business is one of the values and rules of engagement which needs to be discussed and written as a value statement in growing and succession planning decisions.  The irony of growing a small business is that the leadership and management skills need to stronger than in larger highly capitalized businesses.  Often the value of  a business is a substantial asset which needs objective processes to ensure its survival, growth and succession form generation to generation until it is ultimately sold (if ever).

Let me give you some thoughts about defining a position.  If it is a position that is currently being performed successfully, you can put together a team of top performers and ask their in put as to the five most important aspects of the position and what per cent of their time is spent in this major function.  Through a discussion you can narrow down the top five and obtain consensus as to the per cent of time spent on each function.  The next step is to think about your top performers and determine what you have observed as their behavior traits.  The final step is to examine where they came from- what industry or vocation- this will give you a source to target in recruiting.

Summary: An essential skill in obtaining the right talent for your team is to understand what is needed for successful performance.  Each position will have its unique success requirements.  These requirements will be identified as hard skills: prerequisite experience and education/training that is required.  Equally as important are the soft skills: chemistry necessary to interact with current team, peers and clients.  This references a cultural fit.  Finally, you will need to understand the behavior and interests that are common for success in each position. Remember, if you only hire for experience you maybe surprised as behavior and chemistry is what walks into your business the first day.

Learn more from  where you can download a free CEO Position Description.

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