The sign of a great leader, a leader who REALLY understands how to be successful, is to build teams of A-list players. People who have the ability to drive performance, to take responsibility and importantly, to self actualize.
Winning companies win because they have good leaders who nurture the development of other leaders at all levels of the organization. — Noel Tichy
When building General Electric to become one of the most respected companies in the world, Jack Welch famously spent 50% of his time on talent issues.
Why were talent issues such a focus of his?
Because he believed that despite a company's technological innovation, intellectual property, or brand recognition, talent alone was the only true sustainable differentiator that really matters, and this is still true today.
To be a great leader, the quality of the team supporting you should be your number one concern. But as a hiring manager who is judged by the quality of the people in your team, you know that finding Finance talent is challenging, let along hiring and retaining the top 10%.
The market has changed. The very best people in the market are no longer posting their CV to job boards.
They don’t look at job adverts, as they are pro-actively managing their careers within their own organisations. It’s not that they wouldn’t consider career enhancing opportunities, they absolutely would, but they don’t take notice of all of the white noise created by contingent recruiters who are copying and pasting your job advert onto multiple sites and they are likely to have had negative experiences of applying to job postings via portals and never hearing back.
The very best 10% in the market, the people who will make YOU stand out as a finance leader don’t generally respond to cold calls or inmails either. They tend to work with recruiters who they trust and who have an understanding of what a GREAT opportunity looks like. Not just generally, but specifically for them. Someone they have known for a number of years and someone who has added value during that time.
Here’s the thing too, nearly 100% of contingent recruiters will rely on their database, job boards and Linkedin to “find you” someone for your vacancy. They do an email, they sift the best of the people that reply and they send you those options. (they may even make a few phone calls on your behalf) And with only 18% of the Finance talent pool actively seeking a job at any one time, 82% of the talent pool can remain untouched and unaware of your current or future hiring needs.
Given that 86% of the most qualified candidates (the top-performers) are already employed and not actively seeking a new job, relying on these outdated recruitment methods leaves hiring managers with limited access to the top 10% of the candidate market.
You hire the “best of the rest” and hope that they happen to be someone that can make a difference to your business. The likelihood is that they will be a decent B Grade candidate, they won’t get things wrong, but they also are unlikely to be the next great leader for your organisation.
The mark of a great leader is the ability to build a team of top-performers.
...so if you want to be a Superstar Business Leader, then you need a team of Superstars supporting you.
It's this lack of access, combined with a weak Employer Value Proposition to attract top-performers, a haphazard interview process that can't screen the very best from the pretenders, and a hiring process that encourages the recruitment consultant to skew your view of the candidate in their favour that results in weak hiring.
Think about it, if you had a prospective client that came to you and asked you to complete some work, whilst also asking 6 of your competitors to do the same (all with broadly the same approach), suggesting that whoever provided the best fit solution FIRST would get paid (a 14% chance of payment for the work) would you invest the very best of your time and resource into that project and are you more likely to promote the virtues of the solution that you have provided? (even if you knew there were some flaws in that solution)
From a selfish perspective, you are more likely to invest the very best of your people, resources and time into the project with the best likelihood of being paid, even more than that though, you would probably have your best people working on the project where a valued partner has already paid you to work closely with them to provide the best possible solution for their business.
And THAT is where you will transform the ability of your teams. Finding the very best talent out there, beating your competition to them time and again. By retaining a recruiter to truly map the market, by that recruiter taking prospective candidates through a rigorous screening process and by them working for YOU not the candidate.