Business problems are largely people problems. And, in the same vein, business is people.
Yes, you can automate. That’s easier than dealing with people. Machines, software and automation follows rules, logic and functionality.
But people don’t fit what the job usually requires. They are almost fits at best. They don’t come in the specific shape, size, function and consistency your jobs require.
This is why it is critical to gauge a person’s preferences and strengths. At least you will start with an understanding of the likely behaviors and bents that you can come to expect to see.
If your business has critical roles to fill and a lot of risk for non-performance, then evaluating a person’s inclinations is a small investment. It’s costly to discover the nature in a person further down the road and realize the almost fit you were hoping for is not even a fit at all.
I am not sure people change much. Most people are characteristic. When you talk about your friends, you don’t see them becoming a 180 of themselves. They behave consistently. So it is with the talent you recruit and manage. There’s a latitude to their growth and change, but not something dramatic altogether.
When it comes to getting work done – sales made, projects out the door, ideas that stick, etc. – you can lose a lot of money and time if your team members don’t fit what’s required.
It’s painful. And it’s real. I’ve heard the story repeatedly from business owners.
Expect most people are almost fits at best. But test to see how misaligned they are for the requirements you objectively have for your business. Hope is a poor strategy. A little foresight, process and quantitative evaluation can go a long way towards seeing if you have a close enough fit vs. someone far off the mark.
Can you be a better hirer of talent?