You can pretty easily find people who will work with you or for you or advise you if you tell them what you want to do. They are compliant, look to please and do things the way things have always been done. They are very good at following the rules, obeying instructions along with waiting for permission to act, think or do.
Our recruitment processes and systems for large organisations cater and reinforce this type of recruit. Those potential recruits that fit in the psychometric testing in terms of not rocking the boat, answer well the behavioural based questions and have glowing references because of the attributes we have designed our recruitment process around. That is, they fitted very nicely in the box, and played the game.
You then tick off the box and recruitment justification process to proceed with an appointment and offer a role to the successful applicant. Everyone is happy and we look forward to the new person starting. The challenge is we have often recruited another obedient employee rather than bringing someone in to our organisation who is going to challenge, improve, disrupt and take our approach to our work to another level. We never designed the recruitment process to do this so it is of no surprise that we do not achieve the desired outcome of a self-led employee who delivers outcomes and results.
It turns out that finding the employee that is proactive, can do and outcome focussed is rare and precious. More valuable than just about anything that’s printed on a resume or spoken of in an interview. More valuable not only for what they bring to your organisation but what the possibilities of where they may take you and your team.
It may be worth thinking about your recruitment processes and how you seek out proactive applicants. What questions should you ask? What scenarios or examples should you tease out to explore their proactiveness? How do you find this out through their track record, examples and outcomes achieved?
Proactiveness is indeed a priceless attribute to look for. Harder even to find. Challenge your approach, think differently in terms of focus on the outcomes you are looking to achieve and perhaps the outcome driven applicant can rise to the surface through us not being pedantic about ticking every box of what is normally a process that is designed to fail you.