By Lee Keller
Sr. Business Consultant
When Manfred Kets de Vries, one of the world’s foremost authorities on leadership development, said how important it is for companies to hire the best people they can possibly find, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about the quality assurance function per se. But either way, he couldn’t have said it any better.
According to Kets de Vries: “First-class people hire first-class people. Second-class people hire third-class people.”
You don’t get much closer to the point the than that. Without the right people to lead your quality assurance department, the odds of achieving your quality standards and ongoing growth objectives are compromised at best. The mistake, however, is that many companies—not just smaller ones—assume the right technology tools alone can make it happen.
The bottom line is tools don’t run companies, people do. Here are three best practices to help you hire the people you need to assure quality assurance.
First, test applicant profiles. What makes a good accountant, marketer, salesperson or countless other functions doesn’t necessarily qualify someone to oversee quality assurance. A good QA manager must be analytical, detail-oriented, a good communicator and able to adapt and drive organizational change—traits that aren’t always easily combined.
That’s why a personality test can make the difference. For somewhere around $200-to-$300, you can test a candidate or even a current employee’s skills to see if they’re a good fit for the QA function. As part of the price, you can even have a professional psychologist interpret the results. It’s a great way to determine if someone actually has the skills and the motivation you need to drive quality assurance.
Second, know what certifications are important or necessary for your industry.
People who get certified tend to be more committed to their jobs than those who don’t. But more importantly, small- and mid-sized companies often need certifications to assure potential customers that your products are up to par. Know which ones matter for you and your QA team, and then make sure they’re in your court.
Third, invest in the right training programs. Quality assurance not only requires a demonstrable knowledge of what the function entails, it also demands ongoing education to stay on top of new regulations and market trends. You’ll attract and keep more and better talent if your QA team doesn’t have to look elsewhere for training resources.