In any organization, company, team, group, etc., the difference between being just good and being GREAT always boils down to people. In support of this, a CEO of a major company once said when asked to name the top five factors that led to his company’s success, replied with the following (as told in Jim Collins’ book Good to Great):
- “One would be people.
- Two would be people.
- Three would be people.
- Four would be people.
- And five would be people.”
As you know, our school is growing. As a result, we are going through the process of looking for the best and the brightest teachers to grow with us.
And it is not an easy task!
Because our standards and expectations are so high and our program is so unique, it takes a very talented and unique teacher for our students and our school. In the past month, we have received hundreds of resumes to review from all over the country. We are honored to have so much interest from folks wanting to be a part of our school. While that is a blessing, it is also a curse. It does take a lot of our time, both Sarah (our Education Manager) and I, to review the incoming resumes and decide who should go forward in the selection process.
I would estimate that about 20% of the applicants move forward to the next phase which is a screening interview. While I was doing my doctoral research at the University of Georgia, one of the professors I worked with published a study on hiring the right people. Unfortunately, he found that even the best predictor of whether an employee would be a good fit for your organization was only correct about 21% of the time. Starting with 100 applicants and by merging those two numbers, the 20% of applicants that move forward and the best predictor of a good fit being about 21%, that brings us to about 4 applicants out of 100 that are likely to be a good fit.
We cannot and will not settle for mediocre or average. We must have exceptional talent. For that reason, we have adopted the approach that Collins outlines in his book: “When in doubt, don’t hire and keep looking.” As we rapidly grow and the pressure to hire staff to meet the demands of our incoming families increases, this approach can be quite scary!
The corollary to that is that we may need to limit our growth based upon our ability to find enough of the right people. In a business sense, this corollary is equally scary. No business would ever want to turn away customers, especially in today’s economy. Naturally, we want every customer possible.
I am thrilled to report that our efforts and patience are paying off. We have a lot of talent in our pipeline and are getting ready to bring on board a few more wonderfully talented teachers. We anticipate our hiring to continue through the fall with our commensurate growth.
The pressure will continue to be on our leadership team to continually attract, hire and retain the right people. After all, people make all the difference…the right people that is!