Finding the right candidate can be a daunting task, no matter the size or capability of a company’s Talent Management infratstructure.  Staff and managers are challenged every day with maintaining a balance between the resources at hand, and the outcomes needed.

And in the midst of checking all of the ‘boxes’ required, it is easy for companies to overlook one of the most critical components necessary to build a world-class organization: Leadership.

Now I know what you may be thinking, that leadership isn’t necessarily needed at all positions.  But with all due respect, I have to disagree.  Leadership takes on many forms.

Some positions require leadership from a traditional viewpoint, having the ability to influence others to follow.  But all positions can benefit from the qualities that define a true leader.

How new employees affect the company

Regardless the size of an organization, introducing a new employee can have a dramatic effect on attitude, performance, and eventually culture.  Even the smallest cog, in the grandest wheel, will eventually become the most critical component in the smooth operation of the larger organization.

Attention to this detail, and in fact attention to the significance to how each and every new employee will affect company performance and culture, is often the key differentiator between companies that continually rise and outperform the competition, and those who become stagnant and eventually suffer, or even fail.

Building a team of leaders

But even with a dedicated focus on the affect that new employees can have on an organization, there is often a quality that get overlooked for sake of believing that it is not necessary for all team members: Leadership.

Leadership is not a trait that is only well served to those in management positions. Rather, it is a quality that can, and should, be desired (if not required) at every level in the organizational structure.

Building a team of leaders means building a team of individuals that share a common, innate belief in personal responsibility.  Leaders do not need to influence others to follow, but they must believe in taking responsibility for their own actions, and they must be aware of how those actions affect the greater good of the organization.

By looking for leadership qualities in candidates and employees at every level, a company will build up a cultural reserve of personal accountability that will drive integrity, and performance.

Attracting the right talent

Even when a company buys into the concept of building a team of leaders, there is always one question the follows: How?

Make your intentions known

The first step in building a team of leaders is to make sure everyone connected with the hiring process understands the goal.  And here’s the thing: Everyone is connected to the hiring process.

Current staff, current management, Talent Management leadership and external recruitment agencies.  Make sure that everyone connected to the organization understands that the people you intend on bringing into the culture, must reflect the leadership principles that make for a world-class organization at every level.

Construct the proper qualifiers

The second step in building a team of leaders is to construct clear and concise job descriptions for any new position that needs filled.  Job descriptions are the first impression that a company can make on any prospect candidate.

Job descriptions that clearly explain the qualities a company is looking for, along with the long-term vision and career opportunities related, provide a welcoming threshold for top flight candidates to cross.

Measure twice, Cut once

Once a company has made the decision to bring in a new employee, the process has just begun for those organizations dedicated to building a team of leaders.  New team members must be routinely monitored and assessed according to the technical and soft skill requirements necessary to perform at a high level.

It is through this process of measurement and assessment that a company can evaluate whether their pre-employment communication and processes have set the stage for attracting the right candidates.  And based on that evaluation, the process can be continually improved…increasing the odds that the company is bringing in the right candidates the first time.

Or perhaps better said…increasing the odds that the company is building a team of leaders.