’Development can help great people be even better - but if you have a pound to spend, spend 70p getting the right person in the door.’
In a recent blog I recommended having your ‘aces in their places’ when it comes to peopling your customer journey. And conversely there will be times when you need to part company with someone who, despite yours and perhaps their best efforts, isn’t improving. In these cases the sooner you realise they’re not the right fit and have an honest conversation with them, the better for both of you.
I’m sure we all know people who’ve had a career change who said, ‘Blimey, wish I’d done this years ago’.
The truth is though, that while effective performance management is easier if you’re giving informal feedback throughout the year, it’s much, much easier if you’ve recruited the right person for you and your business in the first place.
So what do I mean by the right person for you?
I mean the person whose values match your own; who has all of the personal attributes that will see them easily fit into the way you and your team work; their work ethic, their energy, their positive view of life - that sort of thing. Their CV will only tell you what they have experience of, not how they did it, or whether they were any good at it.
Of course, if you’re going to hire to your values, then you have to be really clear about what they are, and that brings me back to two of the most important questions for any business owner to be able to answer:
1. Where are you going?
2. What do you stand for?
If you picked up a pen and paper now to jot down your values, what would you write? Integrity? A passion for Customer service? Continuous learning? Consistency? Having fun…?
And how do those values show up in your business? How do you demonstrate through your every day actions that these are your values? How obvious are they to your team, and what about to your customers?
Once you’re really clear about what you stand for, your values, then you can use them to recruit the right people; the people who stand for the same things.
So, if your core value is integrity and passion for Customers, you won’t want to hire a salesperson who focuses on getting a sale at all costs. If you’re all about making business fun, then you’re not going to take on someone who struggles to find their personality every morning. You get my drift.
A great way to get the right people to interview is to put together a job description that shares the following three pieces of information:
You want this person to fit into your team and hit the ground running, so it’s vital that they know in advance what that means, whether they can see themselves in the portrait you’ve given them. It’s not about hiring Mini Me – you may be an ideas person needing to hire a detail person, for example – it’s about being a good match. Hiring and training cost a lot of money, and you want to get it right first time.
Yes, of course, you’ll have a probation period, but you really don’t want to have to let someone go because you didn’t suss out up front that they didn’t share your values, or that they don’t have the right skills, and then pay to go through the whole process again.
The world is full of businesses who have the ‘wrong’ employees – people with the wrong skills, the wrong values, the wrong attitude, for the business they are in.
I don’t know much about Paul Russell, but he was right on the mark when he said,
‘Development can help great people be even better - but if I had a dollar to spend, I'd spend 70 cents getting the right person in the door.’
Do one thing: Review your hiring system and ask, ‘Am I hiring to my values?
One of the questions I always ask my clients is ‘How many of your current team would you re-hire tomorrow if you were given the chance?’
So…how many would you re-hire?
If you say all of them, congratulations! I’m delighted for you, because I know from experience how rare that is. In fact it’s only happened to me once since I started asking the question.
Most people have at least one person in their business who was never right; they may be the rotten apple in the barrel or just a round peg in a square hole. Someone who you’ve trained, developed, probed, and coached to no avail. You've put up with them for years rather than removing them from the team; knowing they should never have been hired in the first place - they were never a good fit for you, your team or the business. And on the other hand you’re probably not a good fit for them and perhaps they could blossom elsewhere. But both parties are just playing safe avoiding the pain of parting.
So how does hiring the right person for you, first time, every time sound?
By the time you’ve read this blog, I want to have convinced you that it’s possible. Not only possible but pleasurable; that it’s an exciting opportunity to build your high-performing team and grow your business.
I’ll go through the three steps to a great job advert and there’s a template too which you can download. I’m going to share with you my 2 Golden Rules for hiring and show how, if you embrace these, you will be well on the path to hiring a ‘keeper’.
So how to get it right first time?
Golden Rule No. 1
Never, hire in a hurry.
Why? Because anything you do in a hurry tends to be botched. You’re rushing to plug a gap; hiring somebody to make up the numbers. They may not be a great fit but you settle for the best of the bunch.
You hire in a hurry, you make mistakes.
Golden Rule No. 2
Always hire to your values.
Think about why you’re hiring. You're not just hiring a body. You're not looking for someone who's going to clock on, park their brain at the door, and then clock off at the end of the day. You want somebody who is engaged. You want somebody who cares about what you care about - who buys into that goose bump-giving inspiring vision of yours; who has the same values as you.
You’re hiring a mind and a heart, not just a body.
Things go wrong when you ignore the golden rules and only look at skills and experience; when you hire in a hurry cos it’s all just too much hassle; when you abdicate responsibility to a third party.
Change your mindset around hiring
Create Inspiring Job ads
So many people put out the job description as a job ad. ‘You will be responsible for, you will have so and so reporting to you, you must be able to do this, that and the other.’
Who's inspired by that sort of job ad?
No-one. So when it comes to your job ad I want you to lead with three things.
Think about the person you're looking for, the sort of role that you've got for them, and write your pen portrait as if you are them and this is their ideal.
You want them to be reading going, ‘That's me, that’s me, that’s so me!’
If you want to know what this looks like click here to get your hands on a template which explains what you need in each section and gives you an example of what the ad might look like.
So let’s recap.
Of course, there’s more to it than just that and I’ll be exploring the next stage in a future blog!
Do one thing: Download the job ad template here (or below) and use it for your next hire.
Thanks for reading. Have a great week.
I’ve seen a number of posts recently about parents proudly and perhaps anxiously getting their kids to school for their first day. It’s that time again; new beginnings. For some their first day at a new school or college. For others their first day in a new role or a new job; maybe their first ever job?
Can you remember back to one of your first days? We’ve all had at least one.
So what was it like?
Were you over-awed, bored or just completely bewildered?
Did you take in every word that was said, or did you go home on a caffeine-high with a numb bum?
I’d love to think you had a great day and came away buzzing with drive and energy dying to tell your other half, mum or dad what a great day you had and how excited you were about the future.
That’s what you want for the individuals joining YOUR team, but is that what happens?
A new recruit’s First Day is your opportunity to make a great first impression. It’s your chance to get a new team member excited about their future with you, to understand what’s expected of them, and get a feel for what’s possible.
First impressions count, and that applies to your team members too. Usually the focus is on giving lots of information; we’ve all been there suffering the slow death by power-point. When what’s really important is to give heaps of inspiration.
Yes, there are some very basic things you have to get across to them - where the toilets are, the fire procedure, where everyone goes for lunch maybe, but keep these as brief and to the point as possible.
The things that are going to inspire them are:
Think about splitting your day into 3 short sections:
If you look at your content and think it’s way too much to take in, then cut it. You want to avoid overload and get most value from their time, and your own, and besides, you don’t have to tell them everything about your business on day one.
Your aim should be for that first day to reflect what you and your business are all about. I’m not talking a song and dance routine, but you want it to be full of high energy, passion and creativity, and as interactive as you can make it.
We’ve got a great little worksheet to help structure your new recruit’s first day, and to make it memorable for all the right reasons.
Do one thing: Download our free worksheet below
Thanks for reading. Have a great week!
I saw a tweet the other day by a business owner saying that we should all be teachers - his mate was off for his third trip to the Northern hemisphere this year!
Just imagine those six weeks+, how switched off, how re-energised you could be…? I’m not saying that teachers don’t have a shed-load of work to catch up on and prepare for the next year, but to have that space away from work, and to be able to travel…
It’s a sad stat that 52% of all small business owners in the UK say they only took five days holiday or less last year, with 21% per cent not taking any days off at all!
I hear business owners all the time, saying that they’re working hard for their children, to give them a better life, a better future. But if they asked their kids which they’d prefer, you can bet they’d rather spend time, having their fun with mum and dad right now…not at some distant point in the future.
When I ask clients what their ideal future looks like, one of the first things they say is they want ‘a great relationship with my kids’. What many don’t get is that it’s hard to pick things up when you’ve made your millions and your kids are turning eighteen. You need to build those blocks from a young age, by being there for school sports days, reading stories, teaching them stuff.
Of course it’s not just relationships that suffer; working without breaks can break you. Your health can suffer both physically and mentally. And how can you do your best work if you’re constantly tired? Holidays re-energise you, re-invigorate you, and re-focus you, and if you’re anything like me, you always come back refreshed and bursting with ideas and inspiration for the business.
The more holiday the better - for you and your business.
So how can you holiday like a teacher?
How can you go away for weeks at a time, and completely switch off, no phone calls, no e-mails, no stress?
Well, you need systems in your business…of course; that ‘one, right way’ to do everything.
And then you need someone to be you when you’re away. Someone who is your voice with the team, who shares your vision and values.
Someone you know will use their initiative if things don’t go to plan.
Someone who takes the day to day in their stride, and has the respect of the team. Someone who you trust.
When business owners realise that they need this person in their business, they often throw money at the problem - offering a big salary, thinking that money, and a great CV will guarantee them a great manager.
They throw out everything they’ve learned about hiring to your values, and go for the best CV, which as you know, doesn’t always work out. Sometimes they get lucky, and their new (very expensive) manager works out well. But sometimes it doesn’t, and they’ve not only wasted time and money, but also often upset and unsettled their team.
The other route that many business owners take is to promote someone from their team - very often the person who is the best performer, great at what they do. But of course, the best workers don’t always make the best managers. Not everyone wants to be yanked away from a job that they are really good at, and that they love, to manage a team.
The person you’re looking for is already respected by the rest of the team - they listen to him or her. The person is solid and dependable, but also motivates the rest of the team when the pressure is on. They have high standards, and they love training new people, and picking up on any sloppiness with the old hands. They’re not necessarily the most technically gifted, but you love working with them
Identify that person in your team, and then develop them as a manager. Skills can be learned if there’s a sound base, so invest in their development - either teach them yourself if you have the skills and the time, and if not, get someone like me to do it for you.
The investment you make will pay dividends in a happy and engaged team, and not just great for your business but for your life.
You want to holiday like a teacher?
Build your systems | Develop your managers | Free yourself
Do one thing: Send an email requesting to join our mailing list at: email@example.com for free tips, advice and information about how we can help you to holiday like a teacher.
Have you ever had someone leave your business after ten minutes?
Let’s take a look a few of the perils and pitfalls of people selection, and how to prevent them.
In the last few weeks, three new clients have had issues while recruiting that might have put other business owners off recruiting for life!
So, could any of these have been avoided? Maybe, maybe not, and if not, how do you overcome this sort of challenge?
The girl wanting more money
How to avoid
Be upfront. I’m a big believer in being upfront in interviews. As far as you possibly can, tell people what it’s like to work in your business, what the salary is going to be, perhaps why it’s set at that level. Maybe you’re a very small business just starting out. Maybe you have a set pay structure, just be clear and open about it, and manage their expectation.
Talk about the other benefits of working with you beyond their salary
If you take great pride in the training that you give every employee, and the development that you give them as people, that’s a great selling point. Your performance management system is too – people want to know what their job is, they want to get feedback on it, and they want to know that they’ll be rewarded when they do a good job.
Involve team members in your recruitment, and give them the opportunity to talk to your potential new recruits about how they’ve benefited from these systems.
Put yourself in their shoes. Think about what you would want if you were them. What would you want to hear that would make you feel more comfortable about the fact that, okay, maybe the salary isn’t quite at the level you wanted, or the level you’re coming from. Get them to feel the excitement of getting on board with your business, with somebody whose going somewhere, somebody who has got a big vision.
How to deal with it
You’ve heard the expression, ‘Don’t negotiate with terrorists.’ For me, this sort of person is an employment terrorist.
Because you’re hiring to your values, you’ll be saying, ‘Whoa! I’m not actually sure that you’re right for us. I’m not sure that our values are aligned. If our values aren’t aligned before you start, what’s it going to look like further down the line?’
If somebody’s prepared to hold you to ransom before they start working with you, what is going to happen in the future?
Keep that in mind.
Is it a massive short term pain finding someone else.absolutely! But better that, than the long term pain of having somebody on your team who believes that they have you over a barrel.
If somebody does this to you before you hire them, they’re doing you a favour because they’re saying, ‘I’m not right for your team.’ So thank them, and let them go.
The two day guy
How to avoid
The best way to avoid this happening, is to offer on job experience. It gives people the opportunity to see what they’re walking into; to experience the culture, what it feels like to be in your environment; the buzz, the good and bad, just the whole sensory blast of what it’s going to be like.
It also gives you and your potential employee a chance to check each other out and decide if you’re the right fit.
How to deal with it
In this example it was great that the guy said, ‘You know what? I’m really sorry. This just isn’t right for me,’ and to leave after two days, instead of three months. Again a case of short term pain, but much better for everyone long term.
The ten minute runner
How to avoid
Who really knows what happened in this case, maybe the girl realised before she walked in, that it wasn’t really what she wanted. Maybe the thoughts of flying solo were just too scary.
How to deal with it
This one possibly could have been avoided through really clear communication upfront. I recommend you do this with every new starter – be really clear about what’s going to happen on day one, in their first week; what their probation period looks like. Think about what you would want to know if it were you. There should be no surprises, or in this case, shocks; you’ve managed their expectations.
I am a big believer in hiring great people, and then helping them to fulfil their potential. It’s the foundation for building a high performing team, and when you have the right mindset around hiring, it will be a joyful experience.
Of course you’ll make mistakes, and there will be incidents like the above; don’t worry about them. They’re just part of building an A plus, high performing team. Remember though, never settle. If you’re building high performing team, never make do with anybody who isn’t A plus.
Good luck with your recruitment. Enjoy it, see it as a wonderful challenge, and start building that high performing team.
Do one thing: talk to your most recent recruits and ask what they found good and bad about their experience and their ideas for improvement.
Date For your diary: Tuesday 28th November 12.30 pm join Marianne to learn how to ‘Move your team from Chaos to Consistency’. It’s for you if you want to become a more effective people manager. If you want to build a high performing team that doesn’t need you around to work well.
E mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.
Marianne is the author of three books, and is currently working on her fourth, whilst regularly writing her blog, we hope you enjoy it :-)