Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF Mentor, tesh@shaw.ca

Managing Corporate Culture article series

The most critical responsibility of a CEOs and managers is to make sure the right people are in the right jobs. Nothing else matters if this function is not performed better than any other in an organization. Without the right people in the right jobs everything else – vision, communication, strategic plans, execution of plans, etc. – is seriously compromised. Unfortunately, many CEOs and managers do not spend enough time and resources performing this responsibility and are not fully aware of the right policies and procedures to follow.  Further, many HR specialists lack experience in this area.

There are three main components to ensuring that the “right people are in the right positions”.

  1. Have a three-year plan which includes your personnel needs (particularly managers and supervisors)
  2. Properly assess on an ongoing basis the current people in your organization and determine which positions they should be in today and in the future
  3. Have effective programs in place to recruit, screen and hire the people you need for positions that cannot be filled from within

An earlier article titled Avoid the common mistake in a three-year plan discusses the CEO/manager’s role in a three-year plan.

A CEO or manager’s role in points 2 and 3 depends on the size of the organization and internal resources available to fulfill responsibilities. As a minimum, where there are substantial internal resources, the CEO or manager must have at least a good working knowledge about what is necessary to be successful in these areas and how he/she will know if they are successful (i.e. relevant reporting tools that monitor the key metrics in these areas).  At the maximum, for smaller organizations, the CEO or manager should be skilled in performing some or all of the required functions. This may require help from an outside human resources expert. If this is the case (and it is the norm for smaller to mid-size organizations) the CEO or manager should:

  1. Perform proper due diligence to find the right outside expert(s)
  2. Observe how the outside expert goes about their activities to learn the procedures and skills needed to be effective in these areas – i.e. do not totally delegate the function to the outside expert – instead “learn how to fish”.

With respect to the screening and hiring of people there are three key activities required to screen candidates.

  1. Personality profiling
  2. Interviews of the candidate
  3. Reference checking

A CEO or manager should use either the recruiting firm or internal recruiting resources to create a short list of candidates. The CEO or manager should then personally be involved in the above three activities for any short-listed candidate who will report directly to them. Accordingly, they should have a good working comfort with each of these activities.

My next articles will discuss each of the above three activities in more detail.

Should have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article please email me (Terry Thompson) at tesh@shaw.ca.


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