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War for Talent Part 7: Hiring Practices and Effective Leadership

In this eight-part series, we will take a close look at eight different factors that will affect your company’s ability to attract and retain top talent in the marketplace.

Leadership has become a popular buzzword over the past decade, and like all buzzwords, it has taken on an almost mythical quality. If we can just hit on the right leadership strategy, the thinking goes, then the business will flourish. It’s true that leadership can make or break a business, but it isn’t based on a magical formula. A successful leadership approach depends both on hiring quality people and creating a strong leadership culture within the organization.

Hire Good People

Hiring quality people on the executive level sets the tone for the business. Good leaders create a positive work culture that helps all employees excel. Bad leaders, on the other hand, sabotage morale, undermine employee loyalty, and tarnish your employer brand. During the hiring process, look for the following qualities in potential leaders:

  • VisionWhere is your company going and how will those in leadership positions help you get there? Good leaders are those who can inspire and motivate team members to work toward a long-term goal or to unite around a common cause.
  • CommunicationCommunication forms the backbone of a strong team. Leaders should communicate effectively and frequently in order to keep everyone on the same page. They should also be open to feedback and questions from those around them.
  • IntegrityStrong leaders hold themselves to high standards in terms of work ethic and performance. Shady tactics, deceptive techniques, procrastination, and laziness will cripple any business, and people who demonstrate these habits shouldn’t be in leadership positions.
  • Team BuildingNo one has all the talent and knowledge needed to keep the business running. Effective leaders value their team members and help them succeed by giving them the resources they need to do their jobs. They will also build team morale by recognizing success, demonstrating humility, and being willing to learn from those around them. If the team won’t follow, the leader can’t lead.

How Leaders Set the Tone for Hiring

Strong leaders make your business a place where people want to work, and that’s the basis for a strong hiring approach. Leaders can attract quality people in several ways:

  • Recognize the importance of hiring to the success of the business. Hiring good people isn’t just another item to check off your to-do list. It’s the foundation of your company’s success. As such, it should be a priority for leaders within the organization. When leaders fail to emphasize hiring, the process becomes bloated with delays and top quality candidates may get tired of waiting around. It takes a leader with vision to keep the hiring process moving forward in order to attract those desirable candidates.
  • Create a positive work environment. Good managers foster higher productivity and better morale in employees. Conversely, bad managers can sabotage performance and increase stress levels. Remember, a good employee doesn’t always make a good manager. When promoting from within, look for strong leadership qualities as well as high performance.
  • Invest in the team. Cultivating leadership potential in team members can increase the overall success of your business, but it takes more than sending employees to leadership conferences. It also means developing a mission and long-term vision for your business and creating a leadership philosophy that supports that mission.

People form the backbone of any business. Good leaders are those who recognize their employees as their most valuable asset, and who are willing to invest in the development of those employees in order to help the business succeed.New call-to-action