How to Spot Talent on Your Team and Nurture It
An overwhelming challenge for most companies is not only making sure you have the right people in the right positions, but also making sure you have a pool of talented people to choose from to fill those seats! Not having the right team in place can cause us to scramble to find people to plug the holes we have. We invest so much time and energy into filling the void that we can’t see the inadequacies of our existing team. We can’t grow or improve because we are in reaction mode, vs. being consistently in action around finding talent for our teams.
The first part of the equation is spotting the candidates. Once you learn to do it, you will see talent all around you. As if the world of the Matrix starts opening before your eyes, candidate after candidate will show themselves to you without you even really trying to find them.
RAISE YOUR AWARENESS
Watch for members of your team that are working hard, moving fast and providing excellent service. Start with a list of traits of your ideal candidate such as: work ethic, caring about others, friendliness, social ability, ability to follow instructions, etc. Then start watching for signs of those qualities in the people around you every day. At the store, the gym, a restaurant, or anywhere else you go, and start to notice attitudes and morals. Keep your radar on for people that go above and beyond. You’ll start to see more of what you’re looking for, and be able to spot it in your team members. Remember, even the people you have today that are experienced had to start somewhere.
The old adage hire for attitude, train for skills is such a valuable mantra.
ONCE YOU HAVE THEM, YOU HAVE TO KEEP THEM
If you follow the earlier advice, you will have a new crop of eager, excited and engaged team members. They will push you for knowledge, status and opportunities. Be careful what you wish for! Now you must deliver. Before you bring them in, build an outline of what they need to learn to become excellent members of your team. What skills are needed, in order of how they should be learned. Then assign a timeline and an owner to each skill with a test at the end that proves proficiency. Make the trainer/trainers just as responsible for the passage of the test as the candidate. A monetary incentive is one way to do this. As they progress through the skill levels, go back and test earlier skills periodically as well to assure mastery. At the end of the process, you should have an employee that you are not only sure understands their job, but has a great attitude and hopefully an appreciation for what you invested in them.
“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” ~Richard Branson
Spotting talent, then nurturing and keeping it is almost as important as growing revenue is to a business. The sale must happen first for you to stay in business, however, without the right team in place to deliver, you are destined for failure. Raise your awareness, see the talent that is all around you, then grab a few and develop them into valuable employees that make a contribution to your organization.