In a business context people are not your greatest asset. Jim Collins makes this clear in Good to Great when he says that people are not your greatest asset – the right people are. In fact the wrong people are a liability.
We all know that if you have the right people in the right job your job as a manager is easy. Get the wrong people and the job becomes virtually impossible. To get the right people we need to stop paying lip service to this and get serious. That means making recruitment, from outside or inside, a genuine priority for the organisation.
There needs to be proper upfront investment of time in fully defining the requirements of the role – not just in skills and experience but also in the personality and behaviours required. Psychometric tools need to be used to bring an objectivity, perspective and insight which can’t be gained by interviewing alone. Interviewers need to actually be trained in interviewing skills.
We will spend days deciding on an investment in a £10,000 colour copier. On the other hand, many organisations will recruit someone that will cost them tens of thousands of pounds on the basis of a recommendation and a, frankly, amateurish interview. Get serious!