As you scale up, sourcing talent in a full-employment economy is undoubtedly your #1 challenge. So how do you find and attract ‘A’ player talent who can scale up with you?
Talent is the number one constraint for almost every service company. You need to hire people who know what they’re doing and will hit the ground running, rather than sinking more time and money into onboarding or finding out later that the individual isn’t a cultural fit.
Hiring the right people
Become a destination for workers
Talented employees can work pretty much anywhere they choose. You have to give them reasons to want to work with you by becoming a destination company to work for. It’s about more than money.
You’ve probably heard about companies in your area that everyone wants to work for because they treat their employees well and have a winning, inclusive culture. Well, it’s your job to create that culture within your business.
Start by coming up with four or five things that you can do better than anyone else in your industry. Maybe you can let employees work from home on select days, provide better project management, or implement software that makes your workers’ jobs easier. Figure out what you can do to stand out and run with it.
You also need to create strong core values to guide how your company operates. These values will define the type of employees you want to hire, and those who match these values will be glad to work for you.
This process is essentially marketing from the inside out, and it’s highly effective when trying to attract new talent.
Where to find professional employees
Of course, you might work in an industry that doesn’t have enough talent to go around, making it more challenging to attract the right people. You don’t want to end up saddled with weaker employees, though, because poor hires will hinder your bottom line and make it more difficult to scale.
I once had a client in the landscaping industry who was looking for a Maintenance Account Manager. Filling this position in that industry is incredibly challenging, and my client had exhausted ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn, and Indeed without finding a worthy candidate.
So I suggested that he use a recruiter who specializes in the landscape industry. Sure enough, just three months later, the company was introduced to two experienced candidates, and they ended up making a hire. Going through this recruiter helped them save time and, at the end of the day, they got the right person for the job.
In another situation, a different landscaping company was looking for a new Accounting Manager. This hire was challenging because the business had poor financial reporting and didn’t really have a proper accounting system in place. The owner was on his way out but didn’t seek the opinion of his successors, who happened to be his sons.
The owner ended up making a poor hire, going against my advice, because he didn’t know how to find the right person for this role. He ended up having to fire this Accounting Manager only four months later, and the entire misstep left the company in even worse shape financially.
Luckily, he took my advice the second time around when I told him to use a local Robert Half office. Robert Half is a financial staffing agency that handles both temporary and permanent needs, and they found a permanent hire who showed up, ready to work, from day one.
When you’re in doubt on who to hire, look to the professionals in your industry for assistance.
Identifying the right fit
We mentioned culture earlier, and anyone you hire must fit with your core values. If a candidate isn’t going to get along with anyone else in the organization, you’re better off continuing your search.
We can figure out if a candidate is a good fit through core values testing and by using a job scorecard.
To test the core values of a potential employee, develop a set of interview questions specifically to reveal if candidates will fit in with the rest of your organization. These questions should be very specific, and if a candidate isn’t able to answer them to your liking, it probably disqualifies that individual from consideration.
You should integrate how the candidate treats others into the equation. Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, interviews its corporate candidates in Las Vegas so it sends a shuttle to pick them up. To test for their core value “Be Humble”, the interviewer asks the shuttle driver how the candidate treated him. Those who were rude to the driver are deemed to be a poor culture fit and are immediately disqualified.
It’s up to you to determine how a candidate will match up with your core values, and whether the worker’s potential performance scores high enough on the job scorecard to be worth the significant investment you’ll be making in them. (For information about preparing a Job Scorecard, contact us).
Scaling up with premium talent
Finding the right talent gets easier once you’ve established a culture within your organization that can become a destination for employees. But until you’re the company that everyone just wants to work for, be ready to invest in a search for the right people. After all, your people are your company, and you won’t reach your goals with pieces that don’t fit.
Are you ready to find the people who’ll help you reach 10X growth? Contact us to set up a free strategy session that will take your company to the next level.