Look Inside. Deep Inside.

For all the wonderful warm fuzzy recruiting articles I have been writing lately, the best strategy for building a stellar team is not external recruiting at all. Companies can spend a lot of time assuming the panacea of their problems lies in some exciting new resume in a different company across the street, and then ignore the most important solution to the issue — its own people.

In the early days of my career, a street smart, pragmatic mentor had explained to me the concept of a rotating ladder. His point was it is harder to climb up the corporate ladder than to just leave the company, join a competitor, get promoted, and then come back a few rungs up. Ugh. If this happens to my organization, I would be so depressed for being such an awful leader.

But for all the disregard I have accrued over the years to such methods, they actually do work in most companies. People want to grow and they will find any way possible for them to achieve their goals. So the issue isn’t with them, its with the company’s ability to grow the talent at its disposal.

I fervently believe that this game needs to be fixed from both ends. The onus should be on you to focus on scope, mandate, potential more than titles, labels etc. But an even bigger onus should be on the company to focus on its people and grow them. Fast. And in an atmosphere of meritocracy.

So please spend a lot of time deep diving into your organization, identify key leaders, and then work hard to mentor and grow them. Give them a huge scope and see if they can stretch and flourish. If they do, give them big jumps in their careers.

And the next time you decide you need to hire that flashy new leader, instead of paying that recruiter, go look inside your org. Deep inside. More often that not, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find.