The Coach's Corner

Archive for January, 2015

Building Your Own Dream Team, Part 2: Finding a Good Fit (Establish a rigorous process to assure the candidate is a good fit.)

January 19th, 2015 // Tom Doescher //


Years ago, I received some sage advice from a guy who hired a lot of great people. One day, he said to me, “If someone is smart enough, they can probably perform well in most jobs. The trick is to find the perfect fit for the company and for the candidate.” Below are some methods to use when you want to increase the likelihood that your candidates are, indeed, great fits for your company.

  1. Be able to clearly articulate the vision/mission/dream of the company. For example, I joined a small local firm because I didn’t want to travel excessively. If the vision of the company had been to serve clients throughout the world, I wouldn’t have been a good fit.
  2. Make sure you have a good job description.
  3. Engage a fellow company executive who can help you determine what you’re really looking for.
  4. Define what success will look like as concretely and clearly as you can, and share these ideas with the candidates.
  5. As you interview candidates, be open-minded and reflective. Maybe you’ll find an outstanding person you can use somewhere else, if not in the job you’re looking to fill at the moment. This happened to me once, and I almost missed it. We hired a great person to solve another problem we had, rather than what I went into the interview looking for. Remember: The team with the best players usually wins.
  6. Consider using personnel assessments.
  7. Think about enlisting retained search consultants when you want to fill senior executive positions. They’re usually able to find talent that you cannot. Plus, they’re very objective and focused on achieving a good fit for the company and candidate.

If you do it right, the process is a lot of work. But on the other hand, what is the cost of bad hiring decisions and their impact on your customers/clients and your team? As the old television commercial said, “You can pay me now, or pay me later.”

Building Your Own Dream Team Part 1: The Perfect Candidate (How to clearly define the perfect candidate) and determine the best place to find them

January 5th, 2015 // Tom Doescher //


You may think it’s obvious, but take a minute to ponder exactly who you’re looking for at all levels of your company. What background, skills, education and experience do you desire in new hires? You already have team members, and that’s good, but think about finding and developing your own long-term dream team. Over the years, I’ve observed that most successful and profitable companies develop their own players.

As an example, you may be looking for high school students who have shown an interest in making things, and maybe have participated in school-to-work or co-op programs, for your shop floor team. If that’s the case, have you developed relationships with your local high schools?

Several years ago, I heard the owner of a very successful auto supplier, presenting on this subject. He said something I will never forget. He said, “If we can convince a high school student to join our company instead of going directly to college, we have a chance of developing a great team member. As they progress at the company and show promise, we send them to college. However, if they go directly to college, we don’t even get a shot at them or they with us.” He went on to say, “As they continue to take on more responsibilities and grow, they make pretty good money, too.”

We have a technology client who has had some nice success at Kettering University (formerly known as GMI). They’re looking for smart, hard-working developers and have found that Kettering attracts those types of students.

Are you thinking about developing your own future team members? Do you know what you’re looking for? Do you know where to find them?

The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.