Thursday, April 14, 2016

Do you look for this trait while hiring?

Zig Zigler once very aptly said… “You don’t build a business, you build people and then people build the business”. It quite succinctly puts into perspective just how important people are to an organization and therefore just how important it is to hire the right people. I truly believe that it provides a disproportionate amount of support to the growth and DNA-building of organizations !!

At Genpact, we have always pushed for depth in domain. In addition to building a culture of learning where enhancing one’s skills – at every level – is actively encouraged, we also drive this in our recruitment by going for people who ‘really know their stuff’. 

But ‘really knowing your stuff’ comes packaged in a multitude of ways.

It’s not just about years of experience or how impressive a resume looks. There are a number of unique and dynamic traits that one needs to be on the lookout for, and know how to recognize, when one is going after new talent. This is what keeps a company agile and nimble to stay contemporary and navigate the changing landscape.

Award-winning author Maite Baron captures this shift in mindset in his book ‘The Rise of the New Entrepreneur’, where he describes the ‘SUPER+Generation’ as people “who are driven to succeed”. They are “energetic and passionate about making a difference, which frequently comes through in their innately entrepreneurial approach to life”. He is talking about people with drive and that ‘extra something’. Baron goes on to say that these are people “who don’t wait for things to happen, but who make them happen, which tends to make them more successful. They aren’t frightened to stand out and be different, which means they are independent thinkers, often with an unconventional outlook and approach”. Finally, he says that they “believe in making things happen through a collaborative approach, which is why they are relational, global thinkers who are able to see beyond “me” and “you” to “us”.

These are exactly the kind of people organizations should be looking to hire.  And often we find them in the most unexpected of places. We find them in resumes and profiles that don’t necessarily adhere to protocol… or check the traditional boxes on years of experience and skill set. 

Some of the best startups around the world are run by people with a fraction of the work experience we would typically look for in senior folks. Or else they come from very different backgrounds than the areas they are now excelling in. 

At Genpact, we really don’t need to look beyond our own corridors for proof that this thinking works. We have tons of examples of successful people taking on jobs where they didn’t have prior experience or enough years behind them and yet they have been terrific success stories. I can guarantee it that if we were weighed down by a person’s age or working background or a very narrow and specific skill set we would never have found these talented leaders.

So here’s what I truly believe about hiring – when you are interviewing, don’t focus merely on years put in or a pretty resume. Look also for someone with ‘boundless energy’! I know my leadership team at Genpact is fully aligned to this way of thinking – and is actively involved in passing it down, up, sideways, throughout the organization. Change has to happen in all directions and at all levels – in order to build up a juggernaut of people who are really going to make a difference.