Can Science Be Used To Hire Kick-Ass Teams?
Can Science Be Used To Hire Kick-Ass Teams?
Kate Morgan, December 7, 2015
in Talent Acquisition

Chemistry There is nothing more disastrous than a bad hire. Time lost, money spent, disenchantment of the team–it’s a disheartening ordeal. The only thing worse than hiring a bad team member is hiring a less than perfect executive to join your team. Recruiting and interviewing is much like dating. You meet someone and you might become immediately infatuated, maybe you tell them you ‘love them’ a little too soon and before you know it you are moving in, even though you are horribly allergic to his/her 9 cats.

There is nothing more disastrous than a bad hire. Time lost, money spent, disenchantment of the team–it’s a disheartening ordeal. The only thing worse than hiring a bad team member is hiring a less than perfect executive to join your team. Recruiting and interviewing is much like dating. You meet someone and you might become immediately infatuated, maybe you tell them you ‘love them’ a little too soon and before you know it you are moving in, even though you are horribly allergic to his/her 9 cats.

The fact of the matter is, one does not know who the person sitting across the table. You like them enough that you want to make sure that you are getting who they say they are. In New England, as incestuous as it is, it’s easy enough to do a backdoor reference on someone. I knew one executive who would essentially call anyone and everyone until she would find someone that would say something negative about the person. Why do we waste so much time doing this? It comes down to, not trusting our gut reaction. You must be completely confident. We need to know not only the capabilities of the individuals, but how they will fit within an organization. We can’t afford to guess how they would be best managed because, in a startup, time is critical to successful execution.

Two years ago I incorporated a tool to my hiring process that has helped enormously from a management perspective. I started using an assessment that focuses on the behaviors and motivators. Before you go off thinking that I am going on in some HR mumbo jumbo bullshit, listen. To be clear, I don’t use it for selection. I think if you are using it to make your absolute decision, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. What I am advocating is that you consider it for the purpose of management and getting a jump start on how you can communicate effectively and motivate an individual. For my team, I am looking for hi-potentials because frankly I think most recruiters are useless and the time spent correcting bad habits is not worth my time. I much prefer starting with someone who is smart and possess an intellectual curiosity about things that they don’t know. When I feel I have that, and granted I’m ahead of the curve after spending almost 2 decades (feeling old) interviewing people, I have them take the assessment. The best feedback I have gotten from one of my employees was when he said, “It’s like you are inside me head!”. I have to say, having taken the test myself, I would agree that it captured me very well. As a leader, I personally use it as a means to know where I need to focus my attention in order to improve–a roadmap of my shortcomings of sorts and how to better myself for my team.

NOT the Meyers-Briggs

Everyone at some point seems to take the Meyers-Briggs and then the rest of their lives are talking about how they are an INTJ or ESTP or something like that. When I talk about behaviors and motivators, I am not talking about a personality test, I don’t have time to for cutesy crap like that. What I use is the TriMetrix DNA which helps you understand how your employees behave, what drives them and what personal attributes they are bringing to the table. I am also happy to share my assessment with my employees, to help them better understand me. It is something that I am careful with though, as I don’t want to throw-up my hands and just say, “that’s just who I am, deal with it”.

If behavioral research suggests that the most effective people are those who understand themselves, why wouldn’t I want to make this more obvious and help them in any way that I am able to do so? And if I can have the knowledge of an individual’s motivators to help explain why they do things, you know I am going to want to leverage that in way that is positive for both myself and the individual. I’m at a point that I do believe that I have a kick-ass team and I think that having assimilated our assessments has only helped. It’s a cheap way to gain tremendous insights without wasting time. You can find more information if you are interested in the assessment for your executive team, your employees or even for yourself by going to this link http://www.bostonhcp.com/for-companies/tti-trimetrix-dna/ or contact me directly at kmorgan@bostonhcp.com.

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