Good managers arrive at their respective positions through strong performance and, in some cases, even seniority or expertise in their chosen field.
But exceptionally strong managers who really stand out possess another skill: having a keen sense of their employees' strengths and then finding the best role for them.
On top of that, gifted bosses are on the cutting-edge of hiring practices and talent development, rejecting outdated, industrial-era systems and processes that inhibit diversity, creativity, and innovation.
These insights are not only conventional in current thought-leadership, but science backs them up as well. Writing for Harvard Business Review, prominent business psychologists Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Jonathan Kirschner bring managers up to speed on reinventing their hiring practices, including:
1. Aligning hiring decisions to your long-term strategy.
The mistake so many managers make is looking only at solving their current hiring needs. The authors recommend planning ahead and considering whether the new hire has skills that align with a company's long-term strategy.
2. Putting less emphasis on resume and hard skills.
The authors point to two common mistakes managers make when evaluating talent:
- focusing too much on past performance, and
- overrating the importance of their resume, hard skills, and technical expertise.
Citing a World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report, the authors state that "65% of today's jobs will no longer be around in 15 years." Putting this into context, it would behoove managers to places less focus "on the current educational curriculum, which is primarily designed to prepare people for present, rather than future, jobs." Also, instead of judging job candidates on past performance, managers should be open to considering other traits -- like the necessary soft skills that will ensure success for the job.
3. Hiring from within your tribe.
Research reveals that external hires take longer to adapt and have higher rates of voluntary and involuntary exits. On the flip side, focusing on internal hires lends to higher success rates; they are better able to understand the culture and navigate the politics of the organization. Internal hires, according to the authors, are also more likely to be loyal and committed to the company, which is an important trait in all candidates.
4. Embracing diversity and inclusion.
"Most managers have a tendency to hire people who remind them of themselves. This tendency harms diversity and inhibits team performance," warn the authors. When you hire people with different and even opposing personalities, complementary skillsets, and varying perspectives to challenge the status quo, research shows that it tends to lead to better financial results.
5. Growing people through coaching.
The authors emphasize that the role of today's high-performing managers are coaches skilled in helping their people grow in new ways. They give critical feedback and have fearless conversations to address poor performance.
6. Predicting the future.
The authors also stress the importance of "predicting your future talent needs" to stay ahead of the demand and to keep your talent "relevant, valuable assets for years to come." This is critical to understand because, according to research conducted by ManpowerGroup, 45 percent of employers say they can't find the skills they need, and for large organizations (250-plus employees) that number grows to 67 percent.