Every once in a while I run into someone who “gets it”. Who understands recruiting, talent acquisition, and this whole big HR world at another level. They make it easy, or at least for them, it’s easy. It’s easy because they have a crystal clear vision of what they want and how they are going to go about getting it.
I read an article this week in some obscure publication that probably twenty people read, but the author just got it! Carmen Di Rito is co-founder and chief development officer of LifeCo UnLtd in South Africa (I’ll be speaking at HR Tech Fest in September in Johannesburg! I’m going to invite her over for sure!). Here are her guiding principles when it comes to talent:
- Look for attitude alignment: When recruiting for a new position, look for alignment in thinking first, then competency and expertise.
- Be fanatical: Fixate on building a cohesive, robust team that believes in and lives your values so that you have a culture you are proud of—and enjoy being a part of.
- Be brutally honest: Share the frustrations, challenges, and demands of the job upfront, as well as the mandate of the organization. No sugar coating. Share who and what the organization is—authentically.
- Develop a compelling, audacious vision: A strong vision will attract people who are courageous, tenacious, and hardworking.
- Disrupt: The social sector is challenging, rewarding, but above all, disruptive. Build disruptive strategies to recruit, develop, and retain talent.
- Experiment: Constantly improve processes and policies to unleash talent at all levels.
- Expect excellence and reward high performance. Obsess over quality. High-performing teams and winning cultures aren’t born out of mediocrity. An organization’s leaders must be exemplars of excellence and high performance.
It’s really good, right!?
“High-performing teams and winning cultures aren’t born out of mediocrity.” This is something I would expect to hear from me, or older dudes my age, not someone who graduated college in 2010! Carmen is a pusher! Working for a non-profit!
If you can do these seven things consistently, you’ll be a great leader and you’ll run a great organization. Simple. Yet extremely hard to maintain. Why? It takes extreme perseverance and fortitude as a leader to maintain this high standard of yourself and your team.
The best organizations and leaders in the world do this. From giants to start-ups. In HR and TA we tend not to think at this level, at least average performers don’t! We tend to think about a lot of other details that might help get us to this point, but also most likely won’t.
I don’t feel like this is aspirational for Carmen. I believe this is her true north. This guides her daily decision making. She can lead a small non-profit or a major Fortune 500 company and she’ll be the same leader. That should be aspirational for all us!