Most people in the rugby world will probably continue to talk about the shock result of Japan beating South Africa at the Rugby World Cup 2015. The scale of this upset will be remembered for many years.
However, are there any lessons we can learn from this incident and apply it to our own management style and leadership repertoire?
What can we learn from this upset? Hire for attitude, train skills later. In previous articles we have written about this very important concept in the area of recruitment and selection of staff. The challenge is always to find the right people for your organisation. Every so often it happens that someone has an excellent track record and credentials, but they just don’t seem to fit into the company culture. This causes confusion and upsets the whole dynamic of the team. One of two things can happen after this. The team performance decreases or the new hire quits and joins a different company.
In the final minutes of the game against South Africa, the Japanese captain decided to attempt to score a try and win the game as opposed to kicking the penalty and achieving a draw. In the aftermath of the game it could be said that even a draw would have been a huge upset, but the attitude of the captain created this big result at the Rugby World Cup.
What Eddy Jones has created in this Japanese team is a team full of self belief and with clear goals and guidelines they aimed to win rather than to draw. With virtually no one around the world giving the Japanese any chance to win the game. (In fact the game was not even broadcast live in Japan) The Japanese players are physically less imposing than the Springboks, but with their never say die attitude they managed to get the win.
Southwest Airlines are the subject of many management training stories. According to the Harvard Business Review, their top executive in People Development, Sherry Phelps, explained their philosophy of hiring people as trying to identify the right attitude of applicants as the “warrior spirit”. Southwest Airlines are one of the first low-cost/budget airlines and spent much of their initial years fighting big corporates and trying to establish themselves in the market. Without this “warrior spirit” people would struggle to work at Southwest.
4 Rules for hiring smart
Continuing with the theme of hiring for attitude and training for skills, Fast Company provides 4 rules for hiring smart.
1.) What you know changes, what you are doesn’t
The is such a true statement. With time and experience knowledge grows and develops. However when you are under stress you tend to default back to certain behaviours. Therefore the use of psychometric tests such as PDA and the 15FQ+ will allow you to identify what these default behaviours are fr individuals prior to hiring them.
2.) You can’t find what you’re not looking for
Bill Byham, CEO of DDI pioneered a hiring strategy that aims to identify character traits and habits of top performers and hire people who have similar characteristics. At Capacity Trust we distribute the ShadowMatch tool that is based on the same underlying theory. We identify the behavioural pattern of the most successful people in the team you are looking to recruit for and match applicants’ behaviours to that pattern.
3.) The best way to evaluate people is to watch them work
In this article by Fast Company they discuss the merits of what is essentially an assessment centre. Practical work tasks are given to applicants and they are evaluated on the results. Further discussion is unwarranted, however we can add that in the Meta-Analysis by Schmidt and Hunter (1998) they found that the best predictor of future job success was assessment centres, but the financial investment in such exercises may inhibit the use of assessment centres. Their research also points to using assessment of General Mental Ability (GMA) such as the Adapt-g test as the single assessment with the greatest impact in predicting success (0.5).
4.) You can’t hire people who don’t apply
In recent years the concept of a “Best Company to Work For” has grown around the world. Workplaces such as Google have created modern folklore with employee cafeterias that have ping-pong tables and the like. At Capacity Trust we have often lauded the impact of having an emotionally healthy workforce and have attempted to create this through our various EQ trainings. The concept remains valuable. Companies where you are allowed to thrive and express yourself will receive more applications from job seekers. If your company has a bad reputation, people won’t apply and your pool of potential talent will be limited.
At Capacity Trust we offer services in each of the 4 hiring strategies proposed by Fast Company. Please feel free to contact us to assist you with this need.