How L&D leaders can ensure they recruit the right personby
How do you navigate the minefield of new hires? Read this piece from Marie Faulkner to start with.
“L&D leaders are under pressure to respond with a modernised learning and development strategy” - Towards Maturity.
For any organisation to achieve its business objectives, it is, of course, essential to have in place a strategy that will deliver excellent results. This also includes developing a strategically-minded team. However, as we all know this is not always as easy to put together as it appears on paper. Just ask Roy Hodgson.
When seeking to recruit a senior level candidate, do you reflect upon your current learning strategy and the wider business? Do you ask that the candidate deliver immediate results or long term results? Do your current practices dictate how you weigh interpersonal traits against say a technical skillset or creativity?
Of course, everyone would prefer goals to be met as soon as possible but there are certain dangers within this expectation, especially for L&D professionals. We are essentially people managing people, we are connectors, influencers, motivators, and all these words carry an undertone of infinity, meaning these are actions we carry out eternally, not just for six months or even a year.
How does motivation fit into strategy?
Did you know that, 100% of learning leaders agree that their learning initiatives support the skills the business needs? (Taken from the Towards Maturity 2014 Benchmark Report).
It’s a no-brainer that learning initiatives to support business objectives need to be put in place and delivered by motivated, credible and visionary learning professionals. Just imagine where we end up without motivated and encouraging teams to put these initiatives into place? A team of motivated, engaged learning professionals who have a clear picture of their company’s journey, will be far more responsive, having a direct impact upon their learning strategy. They will look for opportunities for advancement; both personally and for the business, they will find value in their work, which leads to result-orientated business outcomes.
Asking the right questions to find the right candidate
To ensure you recruit the right people, a certain degree of information needs to be communicated to potential candidates. As an L&D leader, you know best what kind of skills your team holds and what skills you would like to complement the existing ones.
Do you work with your HR teams in writing out the job spec? Is it from an HR point of view or from an L&D perspective? Will this person gain an understanding of what the businesses and learning objectives are? Does it convey the kind of interpersonal skills you would like the candidate to possess? Do you know what kind of benefits the candidate seeks and are you providing them?
These are all questions that elevate your search in helping to recruit the most fitting person for your department, certainly within this industry where competition for top talent is high.
Looking to the future
Once you have found the person for the role, how do you ensure longevity? First impressions count so much during the first few weeks, so it’s vital to spend time getting to know your new employee and provide them with a positive memorable experience, it all helps to develop their sense of belonging.
Spend time getting to know the strengths of this person as well their skill-related weaknesses, and provide them with the training they require for this area, especially if they are in a senior management position. The 70:20:10 framework states that training and benchmarking manager performance is as important as any other standard. When we take into account that the most effective form of learning is through informal chats with colleagues and managers, around 60–80% more effective, we can see how much of a focus it is too hire good leaders for your team.
Marie Faulkner is director of Bright Matter Resourcing. If you are interesting in benchmarking your current L&D practices to see how they can be better aligned with business objectives do visit the Towards Maturity 2015 Benchmark page