Talent profiles

Jul 10, 2017

There’s no silver bullet for hiring the right people, but that shouldn’t stop you from at least building a baseline for your talent expectation.

I’ve been back at Zweig Group for a little over two and a half years now. This is my second stint with the company, and one thing that I’ve realized is that we have a very distinct culture that, seen through the eyes of the employee, can be viewed as feast or famine depending on your personality. We are not the kind of operation where you have to ask permission to do everything. We are the exact opposite. The expectation is that you will try to understand what’s working, maybe break some things in the process and hopefully end up with a bigger and better mousetrap.

From firm founder and chairman Mark Zweig, to president and CEO Chad Clinehens, and on down the organization chart, we are driven by a desire to be successful and break new ground in the design industry’s consulting and publication arena.

As an executive search consultant, I’m constantly trying to help firms identify and describe their culture and what makes them unique. In addition to having a better understanding of what makes a firm tick is the knowledge of the type of people that thrive in that environment.

Whenever I start a new search for a firm, I always ask the hiring manager for an example of the type of employee that they would like to hire. I want to know the age range, skill level, experience, background, and why that person works so well in their current environment. It sounds like a lot of moving parts, I know, but it’s necessary to make sure that you are identifying the right people for the right roles within your organization.

I know what you’re thinking – if only there was a program that took care of this for me!

There is no single program where you can enter in all the talents and attributes of your current top employees and have it spit out the profiles of future prospective hires. But, you can create a baseline of your talent expectation by using available personality tests, currently on the market, to figure out what the standard for your organization is. I know that personally I cringe at the idea of personality tests, but there are some perfectly good applications available to help you be successful with the hiring process.

Several programs that come to mind include, but are not limited to, Strengthsfinder 2.0, the Disc Profile, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Each of these tests can be used with current employees to determine the profile of your best people and help you to make solid future hires.

If you take the time now to build out the profile of the type or types of people that will work well in your company, you will be ahead of your competition. I can guarantee that a lot of people talk about culture in their firm, but they don’t always follow it up with action when it comes to ensuring that they get the right people for the right jobs.

At Zweig Group, we can usually figure out pretty quickly who will work out and who won’t. Our cultural standards, while shifting some due to generational change, are firmly embedded. I would love to know what is working for your firm when it comes to your employees and the underlying culture of your organization, and how you use that information to hire the next generation of great talent. Email me!

Randy Wilburn is director of executive search at Zweig Group. Contact him at rwilburn@zweiggroup.com.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.