Today’s leaders are looking to develop the teams of the future. At the 2021 Annual Leadership Conference, Ginny Clarke, author, business owner and former Google executive, identified how children’s hospitals can build more diverse and inclusive workforces through their hiring infrastructure and assessment of leadership competencies.
How can organizations find talent?
Hiring managers should start by aligning talent needs and business needs. If you’re not getting the outcome and talent you want, start over. Build an ecosystem and infrastructure that supports the trajectory of your employees in the evaluation, learning and development and succession planning processes. Look at the algorithms of your applicant tracking system to make sure you’re not bumping people out who could do the work.
A recent Harvard Business Review article talked about “hidden workers”—caregivers, veterans, the formerly incarcerated, and people with disabilities. Assess candidates on the basis of competencies, not just pedigree (schools, grades, companies). Competencies express “how” someone achieved success and they level the playing field without lowering the bar.
How does an organization build opportunities for existing employees?
In light of the Great Resignation, we know employees want to be optimized and challenged. Coach employees to identify their own competencies so they can make conscious choices about what they want to do, not just what is open. It’s a shared effort; employees put in the time and commitment to know what they want and build it, and the organization needs to demonstrate a commitment to offering opportunities.
However, internal mobility and diversity are at odds. Hiring internally is fine, but you might not be getting new individuals from underrepresented backgrounds into the organization. Interview internal and external candidates and decide based on competencies, not just familiarity.
What is an important leadership competency?
Decision-making is an essential competency, but I’ve seen a lot of conflict aversion and people pleasing tendencies that undermine effective decision-making. You can’t make a thoughtful decision if you’re trying to make everyone happy. Having a level of self-awareness allows people to reflect on their own biases, fears and preferences that might be inhibiting decision-making and other leadership competencies.