Building and sustaining a competitive team or organization is the mark of a great leader. This does not happen by accident or luck. One must put much thought into the makeup of their team. The overarching question should be how much value do potential candidates bring to the team?

  • Prior to making any changes, it is important to have certain preliminary things in place to accommodate updates to your team. I would strongly suggest having your key drivers (Mission, Vision, Goals) in place; establishing the organization’s culture and values; have processes defined and well designed so that you can have smooth transitions for hiring and developing team members. These are just a few but important items to have in place.
  • When looking for new team members, I strongly suggest hiring employees who are a strong cultural fit for your organization. It is said that an organization can train skills but not values. Break the concept of cultural fit into three phases. First, seek candidates who fit the overall organization. Second, consider if the candidates will fit the team they will be working with; and third, ensure potential employees fit your personal culture requirements. I am not suggesting that you look for team members that match your personality but keep in mind they will be working for you. You are not looking for clones of yourself but employees that fit your larger organization, team, and yourself.
  • What are the ideal skills for the position? We use an established mold called knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA). The KSA resembles a job description. Our method places more emphasis on experience in specific areas. In order to run a championship organization, it helps to have KSA established for each position in your organization. This I usually kept by human resources and yourself, the operational leader. You will rarely find someone that has met all prerequisites for a position. Evaluate how you can mitigate the KSA gap for candidates and their unique situation.
  • If the position is in leadership, what notable traits and skills does the individual possess and lack. This will require more scrutiny in the evaluation process because of the impact that a leader will make for a team. But again, you are looking at KSAs required, the mitigation, and how you develop the candidate to be the ideal person for the position.

Continually look for potential candidates for your company. I have had great success by keeping a mental checklist about individuals I would bring on board. You may not get what you want if you wait for applications to come in and only get what you need. I understand compliance requirements, but that does not keep you from recruiting candidates that add value to your team. What is your plan for finding your next qualified staff member?

Major General (Retired) Mike Diamond is CEO and founder of Diamond Strategy Group. Diamond Strategy Group is a leadership development and consulting company. We focus on improving the quality of leadership within organizations by utilizing the same methods Mike and his consultants have used in both military and civilian sectors. We invite you to stay connected! Visit us online at and connect with Mike Diamond Strategy Group on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail us at!
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