Scouting for Talent the Md7 Way
by Michael Moskowitz
Director of Human Resources
Emphasizing the three T’s – talent, training and technology – differentiates Md7. Talent, in the organizational sense of the word, is the sum of a person’s skills, knowledge, attitude and behavior that fill a company need. People with special abilities, aptitudes, and capacity for achievement and growth are at the core of every successful organization. Successful organizations start with talented people who continually surround themselves with other talented people with the willingness and ability to help each other achieve the organization’s vision, mission and goals.
Continuously finding, hiring, retaining and integrating talented people are essential to organizational success, but how are these extraordinarily challenging processes accomplished? The answer to this question requires much more than this 800 word blog! But for now, let’s start with the initial piece of one of the processes – how does Md7 find talented people?
A 22 year old waitress (let’s call her Estelle) works for a high end restaurant in a small European city where she lives and where Md7 has an office. When our managers ate a celebratory dinner there one evening, she provided exceptional customer service. After establishing rapport and engaging in friendly conversation with Estelle, the managers discovered that she is in the second year of a four year college program majoring in International Business. She spoke flawless English but revealed she is also fluent in four languages in which Md7 conducts business. Estelle has arranged for an internship for her third year and is looking to do a fourth year internship with a company that does business internationally. Her goal is to graduate and work in the small European city where she and her parents now live. Could Estelle be a future Md7 employee?
Talents desired by an organization are defined by its products and services. A trucking firm, for example, requires different talents than Md7. We’ve identified the “core” talents of our most successful employees and seek them in new hires. Md7 products and services focus on industry-specific lease negotiation and processing. We look for talented people with work experience in law, real estate and telecommunications. As a sales organization with a significant commission compensation component for our lease negotiators, we seek talented people with the ability to influence others, an entrepreneurial spirit and a matching risk/reward motivational attitude. As a customer service organization that relies on delivering exceptional products and services on time every time, we search for talented people who are critical thinkers, customer and process-oriented, and detail-minded who work effectively both independently and as team members. As an international company, we seek people who are fluent in English and other languages in which we conduct business.
On a business flight to a European city where an Md7 office is located, an Md7 manager engages in friendly conversation with a personable 35 year old attorney for a large multinational accounting firm with headquarters in Texas. Let’s call him Carlos. He is their Credit Manager and manages the Budapest office where he lives with his wife. She works in Budapest for the foreign embassy of the Central American country in which she was born. Each speaks flawless English and five languages in which Md7 conducts business. Carlos’ territory spans several European countries so he travels 2-3 weeks every month. He has worked for the company eight years. His frustration, in addition to spending too much time away from his wife, is that headquarters continually sends him associates who don’t have sensitivity to cultural differences. Not handled properly, Carlos knows all about the significant negative impact on customer satisfaction and new business cultivation. Carlos is in constant training and orientation mode with these new associates and headquarters ignores his pleas to either educate them prior to being sent overseas or to hire people with compatible cultural backgrounds. He longs for the day when he and his wife live and work in the same city so they can start a family. Could Carlos and his wife be future Md7 employees?
At Md7, we understand that no one comes to us with all talents to perform exceptionally from day one. We recognize that certain talents are nice to have while certain talents are must-haves; some talents can be acquired and honed by training, others cannot. Everyone needs extensive training to learn the Md7 way.
Md7, like most companies, cover standard bases to find talented people – classified ads, social media, colleges and trade schools, referrals from current and past employees, etc. But unorthodox methods, like talking with strangers (something my mother taught me to never do!) augment those standard efforts and sometimes produce results.
Will Estelle, Carlos and his wife become Md7 employees? Only time and circumstances will tell. Traditional thinking and standard practice would have never put them on our radar for consideration. Employing non-traditional methods as well and emphasizing the 3 T’s differentiates Md7.
Michael Moskowitz is Director of Human Resources with Md7. He has more than 30 years of experience in human resource management, training and organizational development. Michael has taught the Training and Development course at the University of California San Diego Extension campus for 25 years. Michael’s book, A Practical Guide to Training and Development: Assess, Design, Deliver and Evaluate, was published by John Wiley and Sons in 2008.