Episode #238 – Why the Team (Organization) With the Best Players (Employees) Usually Wins

Julea: Welcome to “The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Animal Health executive recruiter and Veterinary recruiter Stacy Pursell of The VET Recruiter provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health and Veterinary industries. The VET Recruiter’s focus is to solve talent-centric problems for the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. In fact, The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary companies hire top talent, while helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

Today, we’ll be talking about why the team—or organization—with the best players—or employees—usually wins. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Julea. As always, I’m glad to be here with you.

Julea: Stacy, we’ve talked about this before on the podcast, have we not? Or at the very least, we’ve touched upon it?

Stacy: Yes, we’ve touched upon it, but I want to revisit the topic because it’s been a while since we’ve discussed it at length. Another reason I’d like to address it is because talent is more important than ever in the marketplace, and that’s especially the case in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. Not only that, but football season has also started across the country, so I thought this would be an opportune time to use that sport as an analogy to our topic today.

Julea: Because, as today’s title suggests, the team with the best players usually wins. I notice that the title doesn’t say “always wins.” Why is that?

Stacy: Well, in the world of football and sports in general, there are many things that can influence the outcome of a game, including injuries, conditioning, coaching, and how prepared each team is. There have been countless instances of a team with the better players not winning a game against a team that had inferior players. Or they were considered to be inferior by everyone watching the game. But in the majority of cases, the team with the better players is the one that usually wins.

Julea: How does that correlate to the world of business and the employment marketplace?

Stacy: Believe it or not, there’s less of a chance that a team with inferior players will beat a team with better players in the world of business. That’s because there are less factors involved that influence the outcome, such as injuries, although training and preparation are still important. But believe it or not, talent is even more critical in the world of business and the employment marketplace than it is in football and the sports world.

To put it another way, in football or other sports, one team falls behind another team in terms of the score. Sometimes, the team gets far ahead, but the one that’s trailing manages to catch up and sometimes win the game. In the world of business, though, once you fall behind, it’s not as easy to catch up. It’s even more difficult to catch up and win, or in other words, to beat the competition.

Julea: Wow, that underscores how important talent is, especially in terms of the job market!

Stacy: Absolutely! Personnel represents the biggest and most important investment that an organization can make, namely because that investment can provide a substantial return on multiple levels.

Julea: What kind of return on investment do employers receive when they’re able to hire top talent?

Stacy: They receive a considerable return on their investment, namely because top talent can accomplish a lot as new employees. As we’ve mentioned before, there is a significant difference between an A-level employee and a B-level one. There’s an even bigger difference between an A-level employee and a C-level one. Specifically, there are three things that a newly hired top candidate can do for their new employer.

First, they can get up to speed more quickly. The more quickly they get up to speed, the more quickly they can start contributing value and the organization can benefit from that value.

Second, they can complete more work in a shorter amount of time, which translates into more personal productivity.

Third, they can collaborate with co-workers and colleagues more effectively, thus increasing team productivity and positioning themselves for a leadership role in the future.

Julea: Stacy, you mentioned productivity multiple times. It seems as though having the best players or the best employees is tied closely to productivity. Is that the case?

Stacy: Yes, it is. More productivity, of course, leads to more profitability, which is one of the top goals of any organization. However, achieving greater levels of productivity is just one way to attain more profitability. Another way is to reduce the costs associated with hiring and personnel management, and hiring the right players or the right candidates can help an organization accomplish this goal, as well.

Julea: How specifically does hiring top candidates help an organization reduce its costs? It seems to me that hiring would be adding to costs instead.

Stacy: There are multiple criteria that organizations use when they hire. Among these criteria are skills and experience, including soft skills and technical skills. However, organizations also look for top candidates who are the right fit in terms of the company culture and its core values. There are three main ways that focusing on company culture, core values, and overall fit helps an employer reduce costs, which increases profitability.

The first way is the reduced risk of a bad hire. Hiring the wrong person is worse than leaving a position open, because hiring the wrong person costs an organization more in terms of lost time, energy, and effort. That’s because you’ll have to part ways with your new employee and start all over again. Not only do you want to hire someone with the right skills and experience for the position, but you also want to hire someone with the right mindset and attitude.

Julea: So when an organization hires the right candidate and not the wrong one, especially a top candidate, it reduces costs and increases profitability?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. And the second way that focusing on overall fit reduces costs is a greater level of camaraderie and an enhanced employer brand. When you hire a candidate who is a good cultural fit within your organization, they will assimilate themselves more quickly into that culture. Not only that, but they will also create and contribute positive energy to the workplace. This will make it a better atmosphere for everyone, which will also contribute to more productivity and help the organization build a better employer brand.

Julea: Stacy, if you don’t mind, I’d like to take a guess at the third way that hiring top talent by focusing on overall fit can help an organization reduce costs.

Stacy: Certainly. What do you think it is?

Julea: My guess would be reduced rates of turnover and increased rates of retention.

Stacy: That is correct! And this follows right in line with what we’ve already been discussing. If you hire a candidate who is a good cultural fit, then that candidate will be less likely to leave once they become an employee. And if they bring with them more positive energy and contribute to a better atmosphere for everyone, then they will theoretically make it more difficult for other employees to want to leave, too.

Julea: It seems as though when you hire the right people, there is almost a compounding effect of good things that happen to and with the organization.

Stacy: That is exactly right! Hiring the right people can kick off a positive cycle, where each activity feeds off the one before it, helping the organization create more and more success.

There is another crucial factor involved here, though.

Julea: Which factor is that?

Stacy: The main factor, as we’ve been discussing, is hiring top talent and hiring the right candidates. However, the second factor is also critical, and that’s the speed with which you hire the right people. It is important to hire the right person and not the wrong one, but it can also hurt an organization if it takes too long to do so. Time is definitely of the essence when it comes to hiring top talent, and that is especially the case in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. Hiring the right candidates quickly can also help to reduce costs and improve profitability.

Julea: How does it help accomplish that?

Stacy: We’ve touched upon the first way, which is less time that the position is left open. The longer that a position is left open, the longer that someone is not carrying out the duties and responsibilities associated with that position.

Julea: An organization could have other employees “chip in” until the right person is found, though, right?

Stacy: Yes, but there’s a downside to that solution, namely that the duties are not being completed to the high level required and the other employees’ responsibilities are probably suffering in the process. Productivity is as much about quality as it is about quantity.

Julea: What’s the second way that hiring the right candidates quickly can help reduce costs?

Stacy: The second way is less time and energy expended during the hiring process.

Julea: How does that help, specifically?

Stacy: Hiring is an intensive process that requires a considerable amount of effort in the pursuit of the right candidates. The drawback for employers is that whoever is involved in the hiring process is taking time away from their other duties and responsibilities, and those duties theoretically contribute to the productivity and bottom line of the organization. If you hire the right candidates quickly, then not only have you hired the right candidates, but everyone involved with the process can also resume their normal responsibilities.

Julea: So once again, more productivity through less cost.

Stacy: That’s right. Hiring the top talent available in the marketplace is just the first step. How you go about hiring that talent is equally important, if not more so. After all, what’s the point of hiring someone with the right skills and experience, only to have them turn out to be the wrong hire for cultural fit reasons? Or they leave the organization after only six months or 12 months on the job?

Julea: There would be no point in that. It would be costly to the organization.

Stacy: That’s right. So as we near the end of today’s podcast episode, I’d like to recap the major steps involved in hiring success, which revolve around hiring the right players (or employees) for your team.

First, identify the top candidates in the marketplace for your open position, not just those professionals who are actively looking for a new job.

Second, hire not only for skills and experience, but also for the potential cultural fit within the organization.

And third, fill your open positions with the best candidates available—based upon all criteria—in the shortest amount of time possible.

By following this blueprint, employers can increase profitability in two ways. First, by increasing productivity by hiring the right candidates from a technical standpoint, and second, by reducing costs by hiring the right candidates from a cultural standpoint.

Julea: Stacy, we’re just about out of time for today. Do you have anything else that you’d like to add?

Stacy: Yes. We used the football and sports analogy at the beginning of today’s podcast episode, and I’d like to finish with it.

Professional sports teams sometimes do what is called “tanking,” and this includes football. This happens when a team has no chance of making the playoffs, much less qualifying for the championship game. They do this because losing actually improves their standing in the draft for the following year. The more games they lose, the better their draft position becomes.

However, there is no draft in the employment marketplace. You don’t get the number-one overall selection in the employment draft. So the very last thing you want to be doing as an organization is “tanking” when it comes to recruiting and hiring talent. The professional sports teams that are good year in and year out are those that are good at talent acquisition—and that includes through the draft and also through free agency.

This just further illustrates the importance of recruiting and hiring top talent for your organization. If you want to win—truly win—in the marketplace and beat your competition, then you must invest in hiring the best professionals in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. If you don’t have the right employees filling the right roles and doing the right things, then it’s going to be difficult for you to excel and grow like you want to grow.

Julea: It sounds as though there is no getting around the fact that organizations can NOT ignore the importance of hiring top talent and the best candidates.

Stacy: That’s right. There is no way around it. Organizations that do not make a proactive effort to hire the best candidates increase the chances that they will fall behind in the marketplace and not reach their goals for production, profitability, and everything else.

Julea: Stacy, thank you for all of this great information. I know that we talk about the information that is on The VET Recruiter website for professionals in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession, but there are plenty of resources for employers, too, that I would like to remind our listening audience of.

Stacy: Yes, there are many resources for employers, starting with a complete description of our executive recruiting services and what we offer. You can even download an e-brochure that contains more information about what we can do for organizations. In addition, we have a breakdown of the 20 steps that are involved in our recruiting process, so you know exactly what to expect when you partner with us on a search.

Julea: Is it true that you also have a list of the many positions that The VET Recruiter has filled on the website?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. We’ve placed candidates in a wide variety of roles within both the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. And if you’re an employer, you can also get a quote on our website, request a free consultation, or even submit a job order. Of course, as we’ve mentioned before, we have an extensive library of articles and blog posts for both professionals and employers. Many of the articles for employers touch upon the topic that we discussed today, which is the importance of identifying and hiring the top talent and the best candidates available in the marketplace. When you get right down to it, the success of Animal Health and Veterinary employers depends largely upon how well they can do that.

Julea: For more information about The VET Recruiter and the executive search services that it provides to both Animal Health and Veterinary employers and professionals, we invite everyone listening to visit www.thevetrecruiter.com. Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: It’s been my pleasure, Julea, and I look forward to our next episode of the “Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider”!