Finding the Right Talent for your Culture [Part 2]

The following is part two to a transcription from a webinar we put on with Greenleaf Trust. Read Part 1 here, or watch the full video here.

Why do we care so much about our culture? As a service industry, we understand that client satisfaction is directly related to employee satisfaction. I heard Joel Manby speak one time and he made this statement that really resonated with me and hit home. He said, “The Enthusiasm of a client is never higher than that of your most enthusiastic employee.” Why is that important? If you think about the service that you receive from different stores or restaurants or banks or anywhere, how does that impact your desire to return to that company. Even more so, how does that impact that company in the long run? Understanding that the enthusiasm of those employees is related to the enthusiasm that they share with your client goes all the way back to the beginning of defining your culture and what you want to be portraying to your community and your clients.

How do we find the best talent for our culture? I’m going to walk you through the process that we have at Greenleaf Trust, but first I want to cover some terminology. We partner with Human eX Ventures in our selection process. Our selection process constantly syncs with a triangle - Select, Grow and Multiply. 

It all starts with Selecting the right talent. It’s important to define what’s needed for your culture, for the team, and for the individual role. That’s important to understand because you want to be able to source your candidates and recruit them from an area that fits the need of your company, culture, and team. You want to make sure that you’re fishing in the right pond all the time. Once you have the ability to either draw a candidate into the position you’re looking for, whether that’s through social media, through posting the position on different websites or using a recruiter, it’s important to understand what you’re looking for when you start that screening process. Then you go on to selecting and placing that individual. 

Once we have those people on board at Greenleaf, we take a lot of time and energy and put that into the onboarding of those members onto our team. Then, with the coaching of our employees, which we do on a quarterly basis, we engage and grow them.  

In that multiplying phases is our succession and progression process in developing our employees. It’s also having quarterly discussions about each team member that we have. I, as the HR leader, sit down with every division leader and our president on a quarterly basis to talk about the goals and development plans for every individual at Greenleaf Trust. 

Consider the following four qualifications: Experience, Education, Fit, and Talent. When you’re looking for a candidate, which of these is the most important thing that you’re looking for? What about the second, third and fourth? Out of 100%, here is what we consider make up the perfect candidate:

Talent - 50%
Fit - 25%
Educations - 12.5%
Experience - 12.5%

As we look at those qualifications, we’re looking at talent being the consistent pattern of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors demonstrated through innate natural ability, aptitude, and attributes. What does that mean? That’s something that people just do automatically. They don’t even have to think about it. If we consider that the bottom of a three-tier pyramid, the next level up would be skill or your experience, and above that would be knowledge, or education. As you consider this pyramid, you can see that the talent is what you’re trying to discover, and the skill and knowledge are what we’re training. These are advantages that people have in learning.

Michael Jordan is always who comes to mind for me when considering this pyramid. He was cut from his high school basketball team because he didn’t have the skills necessary. Later, however, someone saw something special in him and took the time to discover what that talent was and taught him and helped him learn the necessary skills to be the best basketball player of all time. Searching for that talent and understanding what this is in individuals is critical in being able to match them up with roles that are good for them and teams that have talent in other areas to help complement and grow that specific division. 

Understanding talent can be tricky. Consider the following four concepts and whether or not you think they are a talent or an advantage. 

  • 4.0 GPA - We view this as an advantage. It takes a lot of talent to achieve a 4.0 and graduate with a diploma, but the diploma and the GPA score themselves are advantages that stem from the talent of several different things such as self-responsibility, innovation, focus, dedication, organization, etc. These all go into play. 
  • Caring - This is a talent; this is not something that you can simply teach someone. I’m sure in your organization you see the person that always has people coming up to talk about something that happened because they are so empathetic. You’ll also see other people in your company where if somebody comes in crying, they don’t really care or want to talk about it because they’re busy and have other things going on. And that’s okay, we all have different talents that we share.
  • Friends - Friends are an advantage because they’re built out of the talents that other people have, such as empathy and caring. 
  • Wealth - Being wealthy is also an advantage because wealth is built on different talents.

The achiever is something that’s an innate talent. You see those people who are really able to multitask and get several things done at once. That positive personality, those people who help you when you’re having a bad day, is another talent. Ethics is something that is non-negotiable here at Greenleaf, which is another talent that can’t be taught later on in life.

As we look at hiring those right talents, for most companies the typical applicant flow process works like this:

Applicants come in, they apply for a position, you look at a resume, you have an interview, you sometimes have them interview with a team or department, and then you make that final selection. That process can be very short or sometimes a little lengthy,  but there’s usually a quick process when making a decision. When you’re wanting to bring people in for the long hall, you really want to make sure you’re finding the right culture and you’re getting them in through the right process for your organization. 

Our applicant flow process is slightly different. First, there is an expression of interest and submit a resume. We will call all of those candidates that meet the needs that we’re looking for, that we’re interested, and talk to them about the position that they’re applying for to make sure we’re on the same page. We send them a full job description and we talk through what the rest of our selection process is going to be like. They then complete an online screener that allows us to see where their talents are to see how that matches up with the role that we’re hiring for. At that point, one of two things happens. Either I or another member of our HR team spends time on the phone with them, or we have our division leader speak with them first if we’re just not quite sure about their technical ability. Then they go through a structured interview with our behavioral science partners, Human eX Venturs. 

They then provide us with what they call a “profile”  that shows us where their talents come through. This gives us an opportunity to take a look at what is below the surface with them. We don’t get the responses or the answers or the questions, all we know is that they’re able to pull some different experiences out of those individuals to show where those talents come through. Those people then, if they do well on that, will come into Greenleaf trust and we have several different interviews that occur over a half-day process. They’ll do interviews with not just the team, but the division, sometimes our president or HR, and there’s a skill demonstration that goes along with that. That could be a presentation or a test or skill testing based on the role that they might be in. Then we finally sit down as a group and make our final selection and bring those people on board. Our onboarding process then starts from that point. That’s the process that we go through, and it all goes back to the beginning when we were talking about culture and what kinds of things are important not just for the role but for the organization as a whole.