In Part 1 of Recruiting Great People, we talked about key philosophies when it comes to recruiting. Now we’ll discuss the finding the ideal match.
custom essay writing services
As a leader I believe you have three main functions:
1) Think. Set the vision. Architect the strategy. Make decisions.
2) Recruit and retain (culture development) the BEST talent you can.
3) Inspect what you expect – keep your eye on the vital signs of the organization.
And really, if you only master No. 2, the rest will probably get done too. That makes recruiting and retaining talent your most important job as a business owner, entrepreneur and leader; thus, worthy for us to spend some quality time on it here.
Finding Your “Ideal Match”
I interviewed one of the most successful professional executive recruiters in the country today, Harry Joiner, to pick his brain and take a look into his grab bag of tricks on the topic. Harry used the analogy that we should approach recruiting like dating. First, ask yourself the questions to determine what your “ideal match” would look like. He also said to know the key initiatives for your new team member needs BEFORE
you look for them so you know how to qualify your “ideal match.”
Four key questions to identify the criteria of your “ideal match”
1. What’s the role?
2. How will success be measured?
3. What attributes are needed to succeed?
4. What attributes are needed to gel with rest of team and culture?
Here is what I have always done.
When I am looking to recruit someone, the first thing I do is write a detailed job description. This is a fabulous exercise because it not only gets you really clear about specifically what you need and how success in that position will be defined, but it also becomes a manifesto or roadmap for the person once they are brought on board.
With the mission clearly outlined, then I write down the key attributes needed to achieve the mission, but also more important is to list the attributes, attitudes and mindsets needed to fit culturally on the team as well.
There are a few critical advantages to the process I just gave you:
1. If you don’t know exactly what and who you are looking for you will never find the “right” person, because you don’t even know what they look like and will invariably end up with whoever just happens to show up and compliments your shoes.
2. It is supremely more efficient to recruit people who already possess the key attributes you are looking for than believe you can train people to be how they need to be to be successful.
I learned this from the head of Marriott International one time during our lunch when I was complimenting him on how friendly his staff was and asked his secret. He said, “We don’t train our people to be friendly, we just hire friendly people.”
I thought, wow, that’s really profound, really. It’s much easier to go recruit positive-minded, hard-working, caring servant leaders than it is to train someone to be so. At least you have a MUCH better chance they will be in your organization if they are already elsewhere.
3. If you know exactly what type of a person you are looking for then you can enlist others to help you find them. I call these “bird dogs” and they are enormously helpful in your recruiting efforts.
I remember one time I was looking to recruit someone to open a new marketplace in a distant state. So I wrote the job description and then the half-dozen key attributes were: independent self-starter, professionally polished and presented as they would be the spokesperson for that whole region, a servant leader as they would need to build and support a team and someone who was a good presenter as the business was built around group presentations.
With this narrow description, now I could call my accountant, suppliers, alumni, friends, associates and peers and ask who they know is the most professionally polished, self-starting leader who is a good public speaker they know in this specific city.
Without this detailed description people usually can’t think of anyone when asked ambiguously. And when I call their leads I could also use that as an opening line, “When I asked Bob who the most professionally polished, persuasive speaker and leader he knew was, he gave your name. First of all, congratulations on having built such a reputation to have people talking like this behind your back.” A genuine and authentic compliment is always the best way to break the ice with a new contact.
In the next installment I will show you how to get someone to actually tell you what to tell them in order to recruit them—it’s a dangerously potent strategy! Don’t miss an installment, sign up for email updates.
How do you qualify your recruits? What is your best recruiting tip? Share them with the community in the comments below.