The changes in the macro-economic environment have had trickle down effects across all departments within an organisation. Recruitment itself has undergone a seismic shift, moving away from the primary focus on speed of hire as the determining metric for the success of the Talent Acquisition function. With these changes, the emphasis placed upon building high quality teams has never been higher; as organisations now look at ways of achieving their objectives, without the abundance of resources that were previously available.
During our recent webinar, Anton Boner, Screenloop’s Co-Founder and Commercial Director, sat down with Tom Blomfield, the Founder and Former CEO of Monzo Bank, who themselves have seen a meteoric rise to become one of the most successful organisations in recent memory. During this session, Tom shares his experience and tips on how to build a high-performing team, without compromising on quality and efficiency by following the principles outlined in this blog.
This blog will touch on organisational-wide principles such as Culture, Mission Statements, and Transparency; through to Recruitment specific topics such as Mining networks, Expectation Management and the importance of Firing as well as Hiring.
Mining your own network
The early hires you make are critical during the initial building stages of an organisation, and we know that finding great people is tough - but finding great people as you continue to scale becomes even harder. Tom shared his experience of mining his own network to find an excellent hire at the earlier stages of the organisations inception, but crucially how he then mined that employees network to then generate a further 8 hires, which allowed him to fill the open roles with individuals that have come from the network of one of his A-players.
Being able to tap into the network of your best employees can pay dividends in the long run, as Tom explains that whilst the network may not be ready for a move today, probability dictates that many of those in that network will inevitably open to roles within the next 1-2 years.
Trust & Empowerment when hiring
When it comes to hiring, trust and empowerment play a vital role in building high-performing teams. By empowering a small group of individuals with excellent judgment, you can ensure that the recruitment process focuses on quality candidates.
As Tom states, 'If you hire someone mediocre, they will then hire other mediocre people.'"This highlights the importance of selecting exceptional team members who can contribute to the growth and success of your organisation by playing an integral role during the Talent Acquisition. It’s important to note however, that empowering these individuals to select new employees must come with the freedom to veto candidates who may not be a good fit.
Getting your C-Level hires right
The hiring of C-Level executives holds immense importance in shaping the trajectory of a company. Executive recruiters should be engaged to secure top talent, as they possess unique expertise in the field. Additionally, offering competitive compensation packages is crucial to attract and retain the best candidates.
Tom goes onto say that, "we lost many good candidates as a result of compensation being way below market." Whilst ensuring that your compensation packages are comparable to the current market, employing rigorous interview techniques that involve solving business problems can also help ensure the right fit; as most C-Level executives spend a significant amount of their care conducting interviews, the application of their knowledge to business problems is much more insightful than standard interviewing questions.
Lastly, Tom assets that leveraging your existing investors and backdoor references has played an integral part of his framework for hiring C-Level executives; supporting his previous point raised regarding C-Level executives typically being seasoned interviewers who will be able to identify the type of answer they “should” give.
Culture & Work Ethic
Creating a positive and productive work culture is essential for building high-performing teams. It is crucial to define and agree internally on the desired culture of your organisation.
Tom suggests using the following exercise: "Try and describe your company with words you couldn't use to describe another company."
This unique cultural identity will guide your hiring process, as you seek candidates whose values and behaviours align with your vision.
Work ethic is another critical component of a high-performing team. Clearly define the work ethic required within your organisation and assess candidates accordingly. During the interview process, evaluate whether their way of thinking and behaving resonates with your defined work ethic. This alignment ensures that each team member contributes to the overall productivity and success of the team.
Hiring & Firing
Building high-performing teams also requires being effective in both hiring and firing. Hiring individuals who are the right fit for their roles is crucial, but it is equally important to be prepared to let go of those who are not meeting expectations.
As Tom says, "Being great at hiring is being great at firing." Instituting a probation period for all new hires allows you to assess their performance and determine whether they are suitable for the team.
Additionally, periodically evaluate each team member's contributions and performance. “If you cannot articulate why someone is good at their job in a single paragraph, it may be an indication that they are not the right fit for the team”.
Building high-performing teams is a continuous process that requires deliberate effort and attention from leaders. By fostering trust and empowerment, getting C-Level hires right, nurturing a positive work culture, and being effective in hiring and firing, you can unlock the collective potential of your team. Remember, building high-performing teams is not just about individual achievements but about creating a collaborative environment that allows every team member to thrive and contribute to the organisation's success.
Watch the webinar on-demand