People AREN’T your most important asset

We’re recruiters, so naturally, you’d expect us to say that people are your most important asset.

However…we’re reading a book as part of The RedSprout Book Club called Good to Great, by Jim Collins. Jim reckons people aren’t your most important asset; the RIGHT people are.

He talks about how the right people for your company are often those with no relevant industry or business experience. It’s about sharing the same values and hiring based on strengths, or personality traits that would enhance the business.

Take the Marines for example. They get a lot of credit for building people’s values, but in reality, they hire people who already share those values. They then provide those people with the right training needed to accomplish the organisation’s mission. They hire based on human qualities, and the training follows.

We do the same at RedSprout. Our recruiters rarely come from recruitment backgrounds. They’ve been in account management or customer service roles and our interview process is centred around figuring out personality traits. We hire based on our company values of curiosity, tenacity, resilience, boldness and collaboration. The rest can be taught!

Hiring managers are often obsessed with years in industry, or particular areas of experience, which ultimately shouldn’t matter. Naturally, technical experience is important for many roles. But transferrable skills are overlooked far too often and sticking to rigid hiring criteria means missing out on the best people.

Have you read Good to Great? Ever made a bad hiring decision by sticking to the rules too strictly? Or have you made an unconventional hire and they’ve turned out to be your top performer?

We’d love to hear your stories. Let us know in the comments.

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