Business strategy is often described in terms of warfare. We talk about the “war on talent”. One battle term that should perhaps be used more often in executive recruiting is “securing the objective.”
Replacing a senior manager executive is a costly and critical process, so you don’t want to do it twice. The problem is, it is difficult to know your talent selection was right until further down the road. If it doesn’t turn out well, you assume you picked the wrong candidate.
But did you?
There are many complexities in getting a new executive, however skilled, up to operating speed. And too many firms forget an important battle strategy: “secure the objective”
Securing the objective means guarding against losing the advantage you’ve gained. In talent development terms, it means backing up your decision with specific coaching and training. A manager is not going to be effective until he or she fully understands the role. If this takes long, the halo starts to lose its shine.
Everyone knows it will take a new hire time to settle in, but what does “time” mean? When it means “longer than you thought”, concern sets in and judgement can become clouded. The best counter is to help the new hire learn faster.
“Onboarding” is a specific type of training designed to familiarize a new hire with important details of the job and company. The objective is to cut down the learning time and get him or her contributing to the bottom line as quickly as possible.
The ROI on onboarding has been thoroughly demonstrated to the point where many firms include it automatically. This is especially true in exceptional situations such as placing a new executive in a foreign country, where there are cultural issues as well as work issues to be learned.
One-on-one coaching is probably the most important step after the hiring decision. After all the effort to find the right people, don’t forget to give them the tools they need to be at their best.