Yesterday, Aaron Dodd our Managing Partner attended an event in Melbourne put on by the Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce. It was titled Leading in a New Era, and focused how leaders must facilitate inclusion and diversity initiatives if their teams are to operate at peak performance. The Keynote Speech was made by the Honourable Carla Qualtrough - Former Paralympian and Canada's Minister for Sport, followed by an excellent discussion panel composed of Charmaine Crooks - President of Soccer Canada, Kate Roffey - the CEO of the Melbourne Football Club, and Kieren Perkins - former Australian Olympian and now CEO of the Australian Sports Commission.
All three panelists offered valuable insights into the way they each operate - a key that they all agreed on was the need for recruiters, both internal and external, to confidently present diverse candidates for roles, and that hiring managers must demand and/or accept diverse candidate pools. They must also consider how roles can be adapted to be more inclusive. Selection is key to inclusion.
For Aaron, Kieren Perkins' comments resonated the loudest. Following his swimming career, Perkins found his way into Senior Leadership roles within National Australia Bank and Australian Unity before becoming CEO of the Australian Sports Commission (and the Australian Institute of Sport). Perkins commented that he shouldn't have been in the roles he had had at NAB, as he didn't have the requisite qualifications - he had no MBA, he hadn't studied finance or economics etc. But what he did have was the ability and empathy to understand the needs of others, and the ability to use that understanding to motivate, facilitate and support his team members to be successful. That was his role as a leader - to facilitate and support others to deliver their goals.
Perkins' success has been and continues to be a result of his intelligence and personality - excellent people skills, empathy and EQ. He does not claim to be the smartest person in the room, but rather he recruits and selects smarter people and then supports them to be successful. This is true leadership.
The other point Perkins made was when he is interviewing candidates, he does not focus on their technical skills. He takes them as a given. Rather, he focuses on their personality and what makes them tick, how they interact with others, their EQ, what motivates them, ability and willingness to learn, their drive for success and their individuality vs team-orientation. In other words, their personality is the key selection criteria, not so much their technical skills. Perkins also said he used personality assessments (particularly around EQ) to gain added insight into candidates.
The focus on personality for key selection decisions has always been Locum People's key strength, which is why Perkins' comments resonated with Aaron. It is why Prevue Assessments are such an important part of our service offerings and are integral to our search and selection programs.
Contact us if you would like more information on how Prevue can augment your selection decisions and facilitate inclusive recruitment practices.