Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Last year, Netflix reported a 55% share increase, with a further 7% rise in January this year. It is part of the group collectively referred to as FANG (Facebook, Alphabet, Netflix, Google) on Wall Street, and analysts predict a further rise for the US entertainment company this year.

Due to its continued success, Netflix’s definitive way of attracting, retaining and managing talent has become a compelling case study.

In a Harvard Business Review interview clip, former Netflix chief talent officer Patty McCord says organisations should be hiring for the problem that needs to be solved rather than looking for someone who is the perfect cultural fit. She says companies typically put together a job description of the position that needs to be filled, but this isn’t necessarily the best way to go about it.

The problem, she says, is that the description is often more about the person who left – and that the company wishes hadn’t – or of a fantasy person that doesn’t exist. Sometimes it is too quickly written to get it approved.

McCord has shared some of the key questions organisations need to ask when hiring for increased productivity and a high-functioning workforce:

  • If you had to create a winning team that produced at a high level, what would be occurring then that’s not occurring within the existing team? In other words, what’s missing or different?
  • Look at the company’s figures that, for example, show increased revenue and more customers – and make a movie out of it. Does an average working week involve more meetings or fewer? Are people working more productively collaboratively or with their heads down at their desks? Is communication better?
  • What would people need to know how to do? Do they need to be more assertive or able to see scale, for example? What kinds of skills would they need to have or learn to do what’s required?

When you can clearly define what that problem is, your company and recruiting and staffing partners can effectively find those people who know how to perform the tasks your company needs to thrive. This tactic not only drives what you ask in interviews, but also what you look for when you interview people. Most importantly, you will end up hiring a person who “loves that problem” and can’t wait to solve it rather than someone who can just do the job.

Watch the full webinar with Harvard Business Review, where McCord discusses why spending time on hiring high-performance people will affect the bottom line, how to rally teams around common goals, and what it takes to create a culture of responsibility.

Workday offers a highly effective cloud enterprise resource planning alternative for HR and financial management to businesses, providing real-time visibility into data.

This article was paid for by Workday.