Today, I am giving you Part two of Success Magazine editor, Darren Hardy’s article about recruiting great people. I thought that Darren made several good points in this article. While, as a leader, you have several functions, your most critical ability is your ability to recruit people. The quality of the people you bring into the team will define the team and what they are able to accomplish.
Going into the recruiting process, it is critical to make sure you have a clear idea of what type of person you are looking to recruit. This is done through writing a very detail job description along with a list of the key attributes you are looking for someone. This gives you a clear picture of who you are looking for and it also helps to clearly define it so others can help you find who you are looking for. Without doing this, it is like taking a shot in the dark that you will be lucky to stumble along a person who will be what you were wanting.
I think it is interesting that Harry Joiner likened this process to the process of dating. I have a little bit of experience in this area from my time spent on Internet dating sites trying to find a girlfriend. I found that through my experience with Internet dating sites, that I had a much better chance of meeting someone I was compatible with if I wrote a very detailed profile, being totally truthful about the person I am and exactly what I was looking for in a mate. This weeded out a lot of potential girls who would have not been a real good fit. It saved me a lot of wasted time and money from going on dates with people who I had nothing in common with. It is the same theory going on here.
I thought that the critical advantage #2 listed in this article was very profound. It is much easier to recruit the person who has the qualities you are looking for rather than thinking you could train them to do what you are needing. Again, this goes right back into the idea of dating and finding a mate. When you are dating someone, you have to judge that person for the person they are, not the person you would like them to be. If you think you will change a person through “your training”, you are just fooling yourself and you are setting yourself up for failure. It is much easier to find a person who shares the same core ideals that you do. No one is the same and you will always have differences, but if your core values are in line, the smaller differences won’t seem that important in the end.
We should definitely keep these things in mind when we are recruiting people. Tomorrow I will be sharing with you the third and final part of this article. Enjoy!
Recruiting Great People (Part 2) by Darren Hardy
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!