“Play favorites.”

By Dennis McCafferty

Define success early.

Create measurable standards to meet customer and stakeholder expectations: work output achieved, market share gained, etc.

Ask for specifics.

What people have done will always trump what they say they can do.

Look for “segmented competencies.”

Candidates typically need 3 to 6 distinct competencies for an assignment, and 15 to 30 for a full-time job with multiple assignments.

Consider “optimized” staffing alternatives.

If a contractor can get a specific job done better, it will free up full-timers for what they do best.

Encourage bottom-up input on optimized staffing.

Those in the trenches should know what kind of hired-gun skillset will get the job done.

Scrutinize validity of certifications.

Ask: What knowledge was gained? How it was obtained? What kind of assessments were done?

“Play favorites.”

If you're constantly hiring skilled, agile employees from certain sources, continue to use them to recruit.

Use past experience to align your teams.

Use your employees' demonstrated strengths and weaknesses to guide future assignments.

Ban “below average/average/above average.”

Stress "seldom/sometimes/always" to evaluate assignment-driven goals.

“Open up the tent” for evaluations.

Encourage internal/external customers and team members to provide input on reviews.

This article was originally published on 01-27-2012