Are you too scared to hire the right person?

We hear it everyday, organisations want to hire people who can drive innovation. But do they really have the appetite for it, and, is the fear of getting it wrong holding them back?

When clients talk to me about wanting more innovation in their business I tell them it starts with hiring the right people. And it’s not always the candidate who ticks all the boxes.

Many risk adverse and cost conscious organisations are hesitant to hire what they don’t know, and continue to rely on tried and tested models for attracting talent. This leaves HR departments and recruitment consultants charged with the task of filling job descriptions and delivering safe bets, rather than the candidates who reflect the changing needs of a business. 

To drive growth you need an innovative workforce who can bring new ideas to the table. A study of senior executives showed that only 1% had the right competencies to drive growth. So consider how you might tailor your talent management strategies to cultivate the right people with the right potential.

To uncover those elusive “movers and shakers” you need to demonstrate innovation in how you seek out talent and have an appetite for risk. Those charged with the hiring must have the skills and intuition to identify the potential drivers in the talent pool, and the ability to use the prescriptive recruitment techniques to unlock the potential you’re pursuing. Key to this is ensuring everyone involved is an expert in your business and understands your growth priorities.

Candidates who want to get noticed also need to look beyond generic position descriptions. They need to understand what’s driving a business and be able to communicate how they can bring innovation to the role.

Taking a punt on the potential of one candidate over the proven ability of another will go a long way to building a workforce with the skills needed to drive growth.

1 Hermann, K., Komm, A & Smit, S 2011, ‘Do you have the right leaders for your growth strategies?’
McKinsey Quarterly, July 2011, viewed 23 July 2013