• Ross Owen

How to hire the right people

We all know the world is changing fast, and new and different demands are being made of leaders all the time. We continually hear that to rise to today’s challenges, businesses need to have a diverse talent pool, an agile organisational structure, meaningful objectives and fresh thinking.


Businesses, in particular, need to acknowledge that their stakeholders include a broad range of parties, including customers, employees, suppliers, the media and governments.


New research offers some answers and suggests three ways for employers to improve their hiring strategies.



1. Prioritise cultural fit above technical skills

The research found that almost two-thirds of business leaders (62%) still regard experience and technical skills as the most important considerations for new hires. This is despite the fact that almost nine in 10 leaders (87%) had found that in practice the most successful hires happened when they evaluated cultural fit – including congruent values, beliefs and outlook – as well as potential, during the hiring process.


2. Value soft skills

You could argue that current market conditions are causing businesses to undervalue soft skills, such as creative thinking and communication, in favor of candidates that appear to have the required skills on paper. “Leaders are clearly seeking a ‘safe pair of hands’ as they pursue growth and transformation strategies in a time of great change,” explains Matt Weston, managing director at Robert Half UK. But he warns: “In doing so they may be losing out on some of the most promising talent.


With 81% of business leaders reporting that it is more challenging now than five years ago to find suitable candidates, this is something that must change.” Fundamentally, digital transformation is a human process, not a technological process, and businesses would do well to bear this in mind when they are searching out the people who would be the best fit for their roles.


3. Hire for potential and then invest in training to impart skills

Businesses often underestimate the impact that good training and development can have with regard to helping employees develop the technical knowledge that will allow them to achieve their full potential. Also, smooth onboarding processes can support new employees to make a positive difference quickly.

You simply can't underestimate the importance of training, both during and after onboarding new staff, and it identified upskilling as a contributor to successful hires.


Some good take away advice is this: “Employers should strike the right balance between experience, skills and personality – only through planning can they evaluate gaps in a team, rank the required characteristics and tailor training accordingly.”


I'm always interested in peoples opinions so please feel free to drop me a line if you found this useful or interesting.


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