Are You Hiring for Talent and Culture?

Last week, I attended the annual MBA convention and not surprisingly, many of my conversations with executives were about why the hiring strategy of pirating veteran originators from other companies no longer works. One executive even lamented how she was tired of pacifying originators who made $750,000 in the past and now were earning only $150,000. The executive raised the point that the system is out of kilter. I couldn’t agree more.

The typical hiring strategy by many management teams consists of reviewing W-2s and bringing experienced originators on board as quickly as possible. The problem with this approach is it doesn’t take into account whether originators are a long-term match with the company’s culture and sales process.

So what works? Similar to the sports world, successful teams are a result of joining the right talent with the right culture. Winning teams don’t happen by chance but are developed through managers making correct hiring decisions.

The Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly said it best recently when he observed, “Culture wins football games. Culture will beat scheme every day.”

This was a shocking statement from Kelly because he is considered a genius at offensive strategy. Kelly’s belief is that if you can get 53 players working toward the same goal, willing to sacrifice self-reward for the common good, then you can execute the scheme to its fullest. Malcolm Jenkins, one of Kelly’s players, commented, “You got to have 100 percent buy-in. And it’s not that we want 100 percent buy-in because we are making you do it — it’s not something that you can force on people.” In other words, Kelly doesn’t want to baby-sit his players.

Are you baby-sitting your originators or tolerating underperformers? It is time to make changes for 2015 on what really makes a difference in sales results — hiring the right people and matching to your culture.