I have been fortunate to have had great mentors throughout my life.
Mentors that come in all shapes and sizes. My parents, my brother, various teachers, lecturers and professors, a string of great managers, and a small contingent of caring gurus, all provide me with the advice and encouragement needed to navigate both my professional and personal life.
In the early 1990’s, I was one of five branch managers reporting to a divisional manager. Each branch manager had to build his or her team of sales consultants, from the ground up. Our divisional manager was a mentor to me, and to others, I’m sure.
He taught us to build a successful team of sales people, your primary function should be in recruiting, developing and retaining, great people. I’m not suggesting that he coined the mantra: Recruit, Develop and Retain, rather, his insight is in how each step creates an opportunity to grow people.
Recruit. Recruiting a quality employee, one that fits the company culture, has a great attitude, is skilled and talented enough, with an eagerness and ability to learn, is thought to be The Holy Grail of recruiting. It doesn’t need to be true. Building a profile of the best match for the position, and scoping the job specifications around the profile, helps focus on the right candidates early. The focus tightens, leaving only the candidates that fit the profile.
Develop. For the duration of an employee’s stay with you, it is your responsibility to ensure there is an environment and culture of continuous learning.
Retain. The retention of good people has to rank high on any HR director’s agenda. Yet, retention is only achievable if the other two elements – recruitment and development – are in place.
The recruiting and development of people is arguably on of the most satisfying things you will ever do, use it as an opportunity to be a mentor yourself.