Don’t trust your luck when you are building a team of employees. Adopt these habits to ensure the right mix of skills—and a topnotch team:
- Plan for staffing. Think strategically about the skills your team needs now and in the future. Talking regularly with staff members about their career plans will give you an early alert if someone is planning to retire or leave to return to school. Know what your department will need to fulfill its future role in your organization’s long-term plans.
- Constantly recruit. Always maintain a list of several potential job candidates, even when you foresee no immediate openings. Actively seek talent and maintain connections with promising candidates.
- Complement and cross-train. Look at the range of skills that your team members have and how they relate to each other. For example, you ensure knockout presentations when you pair an employee who excels at research with one who is great at public speaking. But don’t rely on any single star. Arrange for co-workers to train one another in key elements of their jobs so that work will continue smoothly even if someone must suddenly take an unexpected leave of absence.
When you have planned for potential staffing needs, you will never be tempted to fill an empty position with just anyone, and you can ensure that every new hire will improve your team.
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