One of my team had called me buzzing about the wins she’d had that day. Her excitement was infectious. I left the call smiling, only to get another call telling me about another banner day.
I was reminded, yet again, about the importance of surrounding yourself with great people.
Both were relatively recent additions to the team. One had come aboard after we’d been trying to hire her for a long time. The other was an internal promotion, a star who I’d been grooming for the role for over a year.
It highlighted the reason we spend so much time and effort finding talent and then getting them into the right roles. At IMA our whole business relies on our people. That’s probably true for every company, but we work incredibly hard to make sure we find, hire and retain talented people.
A significant portion of my and Archana’s (my peer in Sydney) time is spent on the recruitment process. We meet fortnightly with Dan our GM of recruitment (check out his twitter feed), keep abreast of the pipeline of talent and personally interview everyone before they get a job offer.
We also realise our limitations. Dan is far better at his job than Archana or I. So he has the ability to overrule us when he needs to. Usually we agree, but occasionally we don’t and some of our best people come from Dan’s “Captains picks”.
Dan is also constantly experimenting on our six step recruitment process. He has a dedicated budget for his experiments.
If we are particularly excited about someone will hire them without a role and then work to make one for them. Dan was hired in that way and now he does it with others.
The final piece of the recruitment puzzle is making sure that people are in the right role. This often means hard decisions about people who are struggling, or even performing well but not to the level of excellence required, into a role where they will excel. On occasion that means they leave IMA to find a company where they’re a better fit.
Moving people into the right roles is an area where I’m still working on my own management skills. Over time we have lost some talented people because I didn’t, or couldn’t, move them into the right spot. Sometimes it works out, but I can get better at this.
Too much of today’s society ascribes success to one person. My experience is the opposite. It can’t be done alone and finding great people to share the journey is the best way to make it happen.