Employing the stepson of your cousin’s half-brother because you bumped into him at the bar during a family wedding and he ‘seemed like a nice chap’ is not really the way to build a winning team. However this recruitment strategy appears to be reasonably common in my experience.
Your staff are your business hence it is absolutely essential you are placing ‘the right bums on the right seats’. Here are a number of tips for attracting good people to work in your organisation:
1. Have a solid vision or goal for the company
Great people are attracted when they get to join a company that is going somewhere. You need to have a group of people shooting for a goal, rather than just coming to work just to get paid.
2. Be a strong leader
Great employees are also looking for a mentor. Someone who leads from the front and someone they can learn from. Someone who will help them grow and succeed in their work and their life. Every great team at one point had a great leader to build the team.
3. Build a winning culture
Call it a culture or your rules of the game, either way you need to put in writing just how you expect people will behave when they are a part of your team. Think of it like this: it doesn’t matter where the eggs are in the bowl, as long as they’re in the bowl, because if they’re not they’re going to roll away and smash! This is commonly known as a ‘Loose-Tight’ culture. Great people want to know what the boundaries are, but they also want the freedom to perform inside those boundaries.
4. Start with the end in mind
You’ve got to get clear on who it is you are after and what you want them to do. Making a list of their job requirements or complete position description is just the start. It’s just as important to decide what personality profile or behavioural style would fit the position and your team.
5. Deselect rather than select new recruits
It’s important to have a robust and consistent recruitment process in place. The system I would typically use will start with a phone interview followed by an information session for the top candidates where you’ll tell them about the position and you’ll explain the company’s history, its future and your culture. This makes people choose to leave or choose to stay and if you ensure candidates actually have to put some work into getting the job you’ll soon weed out the freeloaders ensuring you’re left with motivated people who are likely to make better employees and save you time, effort, money and stress later down the line. Let them deselect themselves.
6. Use behavioural profiling
This is a massively underutilised resource but is absolutely essential. Knowing how potential employees ‘tick’, what motivates them, how they’ll interact with the team and whether they’re actually suited to the job is critical. It is not an expensive exercise and you’ll see your investment repaid many, many times over.
7. Rewards and recognition outweigh remuneration
Great people will work for money, but they perform for recognition and rewards. It could be as simple as a thank you, or as complex as a team reward structure. Either way, yes, you have to pay a little more (generally on bonuses) to great people, but personal recognition goes even further.
8. The domino effect
Hire one great person and they attract another. It’s a culture that you build. A great team attracts more great team members; look at any sport: people want to join winners. So, whether your company has one person or 100, remember a great team starts with YOU as the leader.