by Learning Department

March 01, 2022

Navigating People on the Employee Development Journey

This is a short version sample of the book Talent GPS written by Lou Russell, Michelle Baker and Brittney Helt.

If you are a manager, hiring new employees is a critical component of leading others to develop an effective, engaged team. Unfortunately, it is all too common for new employees in organizations in all industries ending up on a confusing path through the hiring process. Let’s look at the four important criteria:

  • The managers role in the hiring process
  • How managers can build partnerships with other hiring stakeholders
  • Tips for conducting successful, informative interviews
  • Key accountabilities and other deliverables for matching the ideal candidate for the job

The managers first step in hiring must craft a clear, concise job description for the role. Many managers start with the resume of the hire rather than starting with the job description the business is looking for. The job description must include the job title, essential skills, job duties for the role, responsibilities and qualities and will clarify the new role not only during the interview and onboarding, but throughout the hired employee’s tenure in the role hopefully.

It's also useful for managers to work with their peers so that together the hiring stakeholders can share tips, knowledge and confidence. Together they can carefully review new job descriptions and ask these questions together:


  • What purpose does this role fill on my team and within the organization?
  • How will this role impact our customers, organizations or industry?
  • What are the must have skills for this role?
  • What are the important, but less critical skills experiences and competencies?


Developing Key Accountabilities can be an excellent way to build solid roles. Create 3 – 5 statements explaining what the job must deliver for this organization. These statements are reflections of job actions, not competencies. Think ‘what will the person DO?’. Experts who perform the job or interact closely with that role can involve up to 10 people working together to define a new role. Once the Key Accountabilities are built and agreed to, they are ranked by order of importance and the time needed on the job. This data drives a strong interview and candidate selection process.

The next step is to establish a Job Benchmark, based on these Key Accountabilities. The Job Benchmark tool drives interview questions based on the ideal role required.

Successful interviewers are vetted using the Key Accountabilities and the Job Benchmark including:

  • Which candidate possess the necessary skills?
  • Where are the gaps?
  • What can be coached and trained?
  • What qualities cannot be coached or trained?


Bad hiring decisions drive expensive negative results. A CareerBuilder survey asked ‘Why do bad hiring decisions continue to happen?’

38% said the company need to fill the position quickly

34% said ‘it just didn’t work out’

21% said the company didn’t test or research the employee’s skills well enough.

11% said the company didn’t perform adequate reference checks


As a manager, you may be neglecting your career journey. Look carefully at the path through the steps of your own career before counseling others.


Hiring is a two-way street – the candidate is interviewing the manager, too. Be transparent about the company, culture, role expectations, duties and other requirements. 

– Michelle Baker

Learning Department

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