Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 226).
In property design and construction there really is a shortage of great ________? Please feel free to fill in the gap.
Many people advertise as “exceptional” or “expert” and consequently, market salaries are not high due to perceived over supply and low consequences for bad work. However, in reality 20% of people add 80% of the value.
High performers are hard to recruit. In property design and construction we all operate in an environment of competence scarcity where average performance is paid well and great performance is under paid.
Most firms, particularly SME’s, hire based on three criteria:
1. I like you or you know someone I like.
2. Urgency, i.e. no planning leading to an urgent need to hire anyone who might work out.
3. Low cost i.e. who can I get to accept the lowest salary.
Solving your hiring issues based on these three criteria is a mistake.
In property development with large sums of money at stake, hiring is a “high risk” activity. A poor hire can lose money or blow up a client relationship.
To be an exceptional firm you have to recruit high performance people. Recruitment means identifying people who share the firms core values and can add real value in a high performance team context.
High performance firms are clear they are in the high performance team business. This means recruiting based on:
1. Skills fit. A diverse skill stack is required.
2. Personality fit. Interpersonal plus soft skills are crucial.
3. High value outcomes. Social proof of past performance is vital.
The key to recruitment is finding someone who will be “more than” if they join your team and the firm will be “more than” if they join the team. The end result has to be mutually beneficial for excellence to emerge.
My strategy would be to treat recruitment as the highest risk activity your firm undertakes and manage your teams like a Manchester United team manager i.e. promote excellence and cut poor performers.
Related posts & links:
Edifice Complex Podcast
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