I think recruiting is tough and management can be harder. Even harder when you are managing a team of chumps…

The question is, are you recruiting chumps or creating them with your management style?

I’ve both recruited and managed badly in my time, but have done better at them recently.

I now manage a team of three people with one 30-minute meeting every two weeks. They self manage and do more than their job spec. I may be lucky, or I may be benefiting from the three things below;

Be up front about your company culture in the interview

I like my business to be stress free and low on time wasting.

As a result I make it clear to anybody I employ that I value two things more than anything else.

  • Keeping promises
  • Bringing solutions rather than problems

I make sure that I explain what I mean by these two things to anybody I work with.

If someone is late for a meeting I regard it as breaking a promise. If they persist with doing it, I’ll want them to bring a solution to the problem their lateness is creating.

It’s a very simple strategy, but it prevents a great deal of time wasting.

It also scares off people who may not like to work in that kind of environment.

Do you clarify the way you like your team to treat each other and communicate this at the interview stage?

Manage behaviour, develop potential

I think that many people confuse “managing” with “developing”.

I try not to.

I try to manage performance and develop people.

For me, management is a hard skill based on identifying the KPIs that a person will be measured against, and development is a soft skill requiring time, patience, empathy and good listening.

I look to recruit people who can do the basics well, and then develop the potential.

It creates less stress that way.

How do you distinguish between management and development?

What numbers do you use to help someone manage their performance?

Practice beats paper

No matter how good a candidate looks on paper, I like to see them perform in the actual job role, under some pressure, before any judgements are made.

In fact, when recruiting trainers for Bootcamp Instructor roles I rarely looked at anything other than their qualifications.

So many people can talk a great game but fail miserably when it comes to performance.

If someone says they are punctual but are late for an interview, then they are not punctual.

If someone says they are organised but their handbag/suitcase looks like a mess, then they are not organised.

If someone says they have a good attitude and then spend the first 20 minutes of the interview making excuses about their last job, then they haven’t got a good attitude.

Performance beats paper every time.

How are you going about recruiting and managing people? 

Are you recruiting or creating chumps?