By Andy Bailey

 As the founder of Petra Coach, Andy Bailey can cut through organizational BS faster than a hot knife through butter, showing organizations the logjams thwarting their success and coaching them past the excuses we all use to avoid doing what needs to be done. Andy learned how to build great organizations by building a great business, which he started in college. It then grew into an Inc. 500 multimillion-dollar national company that he successfully sold and exited.

Executives are always looking to inject “fresh blood” into their teams. They’re on the hunt for shiny new talent to be that secret ingredient their organizations are missing. But in my numerous coaching sessions with entrepreneurs and leaders across the country, I found that an external search should usually not be the first step. Instead, I suggest that businesses look internally for hidden, untapped assets within the company. Here are four steps to start uncovering your diamonds in the rough.

  1. Don’t hire to fit a title.

It may be the way business has been done for half a century, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. You need to look at the individual strengths of each candidate and determine if he or she is right for your company and culture.

Make sure that you have a process in place to make hiring efficient. And as a part of that process, take time to identify those creative and out-of-the-box individuals you already have on your team. Ask pointed questions of everyone you consider for a given role, because this allows you to get a sense of how they think.

  1. Mine for the gems.

As you refine your hiring methods, you’ll likely discover that the talent you’re looking for might be right under your nose. Dig into your roster of existing team members. Create a company-wide survey for those interested in taking on creative or challenging initiatives, and give them the opportunity to be considered. The true innovators know what they can bring to the table, even if they’re currently not in a role that’s a perfect fit. If you give them the opportunity to shine, they’ll come forward.

  1. Refine and polish.

Once you’ve identified your gems, spend some additional time with them. Find out what inspires and motivates them. You may decide to modify your team member’s role or transfer some responsibilities to others in order to better utilize your talented individual’s strengths and unleash their creative prowess. Just make sure to set clear expectations with each person, explain why you’re making the change and empower them to do what they
do best.

  1. Formalize your process to find more gems.

This isn’t a one-and-done process. It’s important to meet regularly with people to find these hidden assets. Consider handing out surveys and holding brainstorming sessions regularly as part of your company culture. That way, new team members will come on board knowing there’s an opportunity to shine in new ways, even if it’s not what they were originally hired to do.

Focus on embracing and developing internal individuals with relevant skill sets before hiring. I guarantee there is a huge number of underutilized assets within your organization. Give them the space to shine brightly.