We all want staff who are self-motivated and driven…but how do we determine these key attributes? As part of Carroll Consulting’s regular breakfast forum series, later this month we will have a speaking panel featuring a psychologist, a performance management coach and a business leader. We have set them the challenge of sharing their views on what really creates drive in people. It can make a significant difference to business success. Yet, in putting the event together, I was reminded of how important it is to have the right person in the first place.

Focused, culturally-aligned drive is an asset. Ill-focused, culturally-out-of-step drive is a risk.

Your recruitment process needs to set you up correctly so you can have the ‘right’ kind of self-motivated, driven people in your business. While the greatest predictor of future behaviour is still past behaviour, what is equally important, and often gets little attention in the recruitment process, is the definition of the actual job and the behaviours necessary for success in that business and that role. There are a lot of other questions we ask that give important information about culture, environment and interactions in the business. However, what you want done, and what success looks like, are two of the most vital areas to explore.

What you want done
Understanding what needs to be done is often shrouded in a list of tasks, typically under categories or sub-sections of the job. My key recommendation is that you distil this into information that is easy to use by deciding on the four to six most important responsibilities of that role. These are generally areas of accountability that no one else in the business has carriage of. They must be unique to the role. If you cannot define these as unique, the role, in fact, does not exist.

What success looks like
Equally important is stepping back from the role and imagining someone operating successfully in that role. Watch, in your mind, as they go about their daily, weekly and monthly tasks. Consider the success they are delivering. Now, map in your mind the behaviours you see this person displaying that are critical to their success. If you don’t know the role well enough, get someone who has performed successfully in the role to go through this exercise (they can even assist in defining the previous four to six key responsibilities).

There are several other factors relevant to understanding culture to empower successful recruitment. These may include satisfiers and dissatisfiers, performance expectations and KPIs, internal and external relationships, challenges, manager profiles, skills and experience of direct reports, travel requirements, priorities and projects in first six months. These all add value, but the two critical points of what you want done and what success looks like, will go a long way to giving you the DNA of what you need to get the match right.

In short, the likelihood of successfully gaining cultural alignment through your recruitment will be significantly enhanced by:
1.Understanding the purpose of the role by defining the four to six objectives the role is uniquely responsible for
2.Defining the behaviours necessary for success in your company and that role

Happy recruiting.