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Five Steps to Hiring Successfully

Al Crisanty
May 30, 2012

I have often been asked, “How do you hire and keep great people?” I’ve had the good fortune of working with some outstanding organizations and extraordinary people throughout my career and have some insight into this subject. Through trial and error and a lot of introspection, I’ve identified some interesting patterns in my hiring approach. I learned that we all view the world through our own set of filters that are skewed by experiences and create strong emotions about certain candidates during the recruiting process. Rather than letting our emotions take over, we need to understand that in order to do what’s best for our organization, team and customers, we must instead remain completely unbiased during the decision-making process and focus on five key steps to ensure we’re hiring and retaining the highest quality team members: 1. Define your target employee Narrow down your prospect list and identify your ideal candidate by creating a detailed job description of duties, responsibilities and minimum performance standards. Also, examine your organization’s culture, growth strategy, target customer and the characteristics of your top-performing team members to help determine the ideal attributes and qualities you’re looking for. 2. Focus on soft versus hard skills As managers, coaches and mentors, we tend to focus on “hard skills,” i.e. sales and underwriting aptitude, product knowledge, and customer service follow-through. While these are very important skills that successful team members must possess, I believe that soft skills—integrity, work ethic, team/collaborative spirit, and passion are the crucial un-teachable attributes that are the real indicators of future success for the individual, the team and the organization. 3. Hold multiple interviews Rather than viewing the interviewing process purely as a “sales job,” recognize it for what it really is: An opportunity for you and your candidates to make a well-informed and correct decision. Have candidates speak with other team members and managers who can provide additional feedback that will help identify potential red flags up front. Many candidates make strong positive first impressions, but later reveal a lack of alignment in some areas, while others may improve or validate your initial impressions, bringing you closer to your final decision. 4. Give employees a strong start Some managers subscribe to the “sink or swim” method when initiating new employees to a job. This method is not only disrespectful, but also sets up new employees for failure. Instead, take time to ensure that the new employee clearly understands their role, and has clearly defined expectations along with the tools necessary to succeed. 5. Retain employees and create a great work environment Studies show that the most satisfied employees feel they are a valued and vital part of an organization. Once you have a strong team of employees, create a supportive and collaborative work environment and provide venues for everyone to feel they’re contributing to organization success. The ability to attract, motivate, and retain great employees is the single most important skill of a successful leader and manager. In Good to Great, author Jim Collins writes that the key to building a great company is to, “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats on the bus.” In Execution, author Larry Bossidy writes that the key to business success is finding people who can execute and get the job done quickly and well. It’s imperative to know what you’re looking for and to dedicate the time and effort necessary to hire and keep the best. The success of your organization depends on it! Al Crisanty is vice president of national wholesale production for 360 Mortgage Group and is responsible for overseeing territory sales managers as the company seeks to expand operations to all 50 states. Al has accumulated more than 25 years of management and leadership experience in the mortgage industry, holding positions in secondary marketing, retail, wholesale and correspondent lending. Formerly the national wholesale director for Caliber Funding, Al was responsible for the development and expansion of Caliber’s wholesale production channel. Additionally, Al served as executive vice president of national production for American Home Mortgage, successfully transitioning the 500-member production team from Capital Commerce Mortgage Company after its closure. Al may be reached by phone at (916) 761-1624or e-mail [email protected]
Published
May 30, 2012
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