Our team spend hours a day talking about talent:
- How to recruit talent
- How to hire talent
- How to develop talent
There's no doubt that talent is the foundation for success in any path we choose! But talent alone is not enough; the fit has to be right, too.
We encourage hiring managers to consider fit as carefully as they consider talent because talent is a strength only when the fit is right.
If your job involves growing a department or organization, the only way you can do that is to grow each person on board. How do you do that? Follow this Growth Formula.
Developing Your Team Members
A tool that helps us understand how to grow — how to grow as an organization and how to grow individually — is the Growth Formula:
(Talent + Fit) x Investment = Growth
Talent is the natural ability that we have, even before we add training, skill development, and experience. Talent is who we are; it’s how we are naturally wired. Our talents do not change over time, but we can certainly continue to develop the talents that we do have in order to reach a level of excellence.
Fit refers to our suitability for the specific responsibilities of a particular job, the company culture, and even the style of the manager. Hiring even the most talented linebacker for your all-star basketball team… now, that wouldn’t be the right fit, would it?
Investment is the coach. If you hire people who have the innate talent to be successful and are the right fit for the job, your time spent coaching and developing them will pay off in a big way. Look at the formula again: You will see that your coaching is the great multiplier.
The more talent they have, the greater the growth potential. To get this part of the formula right, use a reliable talent assessment that is a valid predictor of talent. Only hire those that have the talents for success in that particular job.
The better the fit, the higher the person can soar in that role, so it’s important to get the fit right.
Consider These Seven “Fit Factors”
1. The Manager
The manager is probably the most important variable in considering fit.
Managers have unique needs, expectations, strengths, hot buttons, and styles– and these differences can have a considerable impact on productivity and growth. If you don't feel enthused about investing in that relationship and growing that person, it’s not likely to be a good hire.
2. The Skills
Does the candidate have the skills necessary to succeed in the job?
If not, are you willing to provide the training necessary and wait for those skills to develop? Look back at the job description to decide.
3. The Experience
Do the candidate’s experiences (in life or other jobs) in any way suggest that this will be a strong or a weak fit?
It’s nearly always a mistake to hire experience over talent, but where the talent is strong, the manager may then consider experience. Think about your degree of tolerance for the “learning curve” in a candidate whose experience is less than ideal.
4. Their Goals
Does this job place the candidate on a track aimed directly at their professed career focus? If not, expect less job satisfaction and a shorter tenure.
5. Their Accounts
Is there a good fit between the candidate’s style and talents and the accounts you expect the candidate to develop and grow?
6. The Product
Is there any incompatibility between the candidate’s talents, values, and temperament and the product the candidate will represent? Some enthusiasm and interest in the product will be helpful.
7. Your Bullpen
In some sales departments, there is a culture of camaraderie, mutual assistance, and problem solving. In such work groups, social and professional compatibility with other sellers may be a legitimate fit factor.
The next time you have a job opening, consider it a golden opportunity to follow this growth formula! Take your time and work the equation.
(Talent + Fit) x Investment = Growth
When you ensure that both the talent and fit are right, then you can invest with confidence, knowing you will be able achieve the growth for which you strive—both for each individual you hire and for the sales performance of your organization.
*Editor's Note - This post was originally published in 2017 and has since been updated.