Any time that we discuss the concept of building or developing a loss prevention team, we refer to the need for investing in talent. In fact, we often take the idea of hiring talented people as a “given.” We recognize the need to identify the special aptitudes and/or superior abilities that an individual holds, securing those individuals as members of our team, and then developing those talents in a way to best serve the loss prevention team, the individual and the organization.
But the idea of hiring “talent” isn’t enough. Despite the importance that our hiring skills can have on the overall success of our programs, it is often a skill that is underdeveloped in many of our loss prevention professionals. Enhancing these skills can have a profound effect on the overall effectiveness of your department in general and your success as a whole.
First of all, we must determine how we are going to approach the interview process.
• What type of talent are you looking for?
• What skill sets are important for the position that you are filling?
• What are the core competencies that are critical for effective performance?
• How important is this position when considering your ultimate goals?
• How does this position impact the dynamics of your existing team?
• What outside influences might impact the candidate’s success?
• What makes someone a superior candidate? Investigative abilities? Interviewing abilities? Auditing abilities? Years of experience? Something else?
These and other easily measured tangibles may be some of the primary factors that will be considered when evaluating candidacy. Naturally, we look at the type of position that we are filling, and look for the core competencies necessary to be effective in the job. But if we limit our interview processes to this perspective alone, we may miss out on talents that can be just as critical—and often more important to long-term success. Our entire approach to the interview should be global and far-reaching.
Understand What You’re Looking For
Everyone is a product of their environment. We learn to respond based on what we’ve been taught. Loss prevention programs are diverse operations with different approaches, different strategies and different emphasis. We need to make an effort to understand the candidate’s skill level in context with the type of LP department that they are coming from.
There are many other factors that can be important when making quality hiring decisions. There are other ways of measuring talent, and other types of talent that are extremely important when determining long-term success in the loss prevention profession. Leadership requires the ability to find vision beyond the tangibles as we measure an individual’s abilities—and potential.
The best are capable of more than demonstrating a basic understanding and application of fundamental skill sets, and are able to apply their talents in a much broader sense. Learn to ask the right questions as well as determining the best responses.
Every individual has their limitations, and not every candidate will possess all of these desirable traits. But by the same respect, a leader understands that while that may be our goal, the dynamic of a strong loss prevention team allows us to mix and match skills and abilities—so long as the fundamentals are embodied by the team as a whole.
Making decisions on who to hire might be a complicated process, but it’s still a simple concept: Hire talent. Just make sure that you understand what that talent is and how to use it. Our team is our most important asset. Making sound decisions will ultimately determine your influence, your goals, your credibility and your success.
By capitalizing on opportunities to enhance our knowledge and education, we are making an investment in our own future. To learn more about building a successful career, investing in talent and the certification process, visit losspreventionfoundation.org.