How do I get the right people?

Getting the right people is one of the most important things you can do to support the long-term success of your business.  Yet, so many business owners approach recruiting the right people as an afterthought.  They put a bland advert in the local newspaper and hope they get lucky or use an expensive recruitment agency.

This is not the best way to ensure you get the absolute right people.

When it comes to growing your business, you can either, have a top A-Team helping you to run your business efficiently and effectively and allowing you time to focus on achieving your big-picture goals…OR you can have a B-Team that sucks your energy, time, and focus so that you never quite get ahead.

A solution to this problem is called A Key People Acquisition Plan. I suggest you implement this if you want to reduce staff headaches and find high quality people to take your business forward without your day-to-day involvement.

As your first step, rate your current key people and decide whether they are indeed A-Players and whether they deserve to be in your top team.

Here’s a simple formula that can help you do it…

Rate each key person on a scale of 1-10 in two categories; Attitude and Ability, where 10 is brilliant and 1 is terrible.

Add the total together, then divide by 2 to get each person’s overall score.

For example…

Let’s say that someone gets a 6 for attitude and 9 for ability.

So 6+9=15, and 15/2 = Overall score 7.5

A good rule of thumb is; if someone gets 8 or less, there needs to be a good reason for them to be on your top teamsuch as their potential for the future.   Do this for all your key people and you’ll be surprised at the kind of results you get.  This may sound harsh, but it’s important that you weigh the energy losses you experience on a daily basis due to having the wrong people in your team, against the gains you’ll receive from a team that operates at a consistently high level.

Next, you have to recruit quality people to fill current openings and over time to replace those who aren’t a good fit with your business so they can find a situation better suited to them.  Recruiting is like fishing; the more fish you land, the choosier you can be!

Here are four simple steps you can do to make it happen…

1. Write a Brilliant Job Description.

The best way to catch a lot of fish (especially the right kind of fish!) is by using the best bait possible.

Many job descriptions in adverts are weak and uninspiring.  It’s important to make yours stand out.  Write your job descriptions in “what’s in it for the applicant” language; be specific about the personality characteristics and qualifications needed; include the hours and earnings potential.

2. Generate Leads.

When recruiting, you’ve got to be proactive!  It’s not just about writing a great job description.  It’s about getting that description in the hands of the right people.  Here are seven excellent ways to find quality candidates:

  1. Look within your organisation first; who can be promoted?
  2. Create a Recruitment Incentive Programme, announce it to your team. Give them a bonus or commission if they introduce high-quality candidates.
  3. Put a sign on the outside of your business premises.
  4. Use online adverts and LinkedIn.
  5. Advertise in your trade magazines and publications.
  6. Call former high-quality team members and ask them, “Is there anything I can do to get you back?”
  7. Go to networking events and remember that every conversation can be a potential opportunity to recruit the right people.

The point is to recognize how important recruiting is to your business and to be completely engaged in the process of finding the right fit.

3. Implement a Pre-Interview Screening Process.

Too many business owners waste unnecessary time interviewing candidates who are not truly qualified. Fortunately, you can eliminate a lot of the less effective candidates quickly, just by implementing a simple screening process.

Here’s another excellent strategy I recommend before you get to actual, face to face interviews…

Voicemail Screening.

Set up a special telephone number with a voicemail. This is normally easy if you have a number of extensions on your switchboard. In your job description advertisements, like the ones before, ask candidates to call that number and leave a message BEFORE they submit a CV.  Listen to their responses.  Ask the applicants whose messages most impress you to send a CV and complete a suitability or psychometric questionnaire.

Why is this so effective?

Because first and foremost, you want someone with the right personality.  Even if you recruit someone who is technically qualified for the job, if they’re not a good fit personally, it’s going to be hard work for everyone.  By listening to the way a person speaks and responds to your initial voicemail questions, you’ll learn a lot about them and begin to narrow down the field of applicants to those who are best suited to your company.

Depending on the number of applicants and the nature of the job, you might even add another layer of screening:  a live telephone interview before you get to the final step, an in-person interview.

4. Invite them in for group and personal interviews

Now that you’ve narrowed the field of applicants down substantially, you’re ready to invest some quality time in them.

Bring them in for a 4-8 hour on-site group interview. Get a feel for their personalities.  Have them complete an on-the-job task or two.  Introduce them to the rest of your team. Compare their completed suitability/psychometric profiles to the characteristics needed for the job. Many people are sceptical about psychometric profiles but I’ve found them tremendously useful and will be happy to direct you to the best ones.

Create a series of interview questions that you use uniformly for all the applicants who reach this stage. If it’s for a sales position have them telephone real prospects and listen to how they handle the conversations. Then make an offer to the candidate who impressed you the most.

If you haven’t tried this approach before it may seem a little strange and awkward―but try it and you’ll be delighted with the results.  We’ve used it ourselves with fantastic success and it works for almost every type of business.   You will save an enormous amount of time and energy when you have the right team in place.  Also, your stress level will reduce and your profits will increase.

If you are still struggling to put together your ideal team, call me on 020 8429 8800 or email me at to schedule a complimentary telephone consultation.

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