Most challenges in business are people challenges.
I remember the first time I read Verne Harnish’s, “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.” The most painful part of the book was when he asked the question:
“If you had the chance to hire your key people again knowing what you know about them now, would you do it enthusiastically?”
Unfortunately, my answer was no. I loved my people, for the people they were, but their skills were not propelling the business forward. I would not enthusiastically rehire them.
Was he really suggesting I fire or reposition these people who were so important to me? The short, painful answer was yes. I did need better talent if I wanted the company to succeed.
The next question was: How would I go about finding “A” players who I would want on my team years after their initial hiring.
- Advertise your opening the 21st century way. The old way of hiring was through help ads. If you’re still using general help wanted ads as your primary source for finding people, your chances of finding saavy “A” employees are drastically reduced.
- Seek referrals. One of the best ways to find top talent is through referrals. People who know you have a better understanding of how you operate and who you will jive with. Let your network know who you’re looking for. Post your job description to social media, write a blog about it, attend a networking event—do what you need to do to make sure “A” players know you’re looking for them.
- Recruit from your competitors. The fact is, most “A” players in your industry already have a job, and it’s probably a good one. With that in mind, you have to offer more than what he or she already has. You’ll need to pay more and have a better company culture. To win this “A” player who already has experience in your industry, find out what his or her dreams and drivers are and customize a plan that delivers that.
- Merge with a great competitor. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. In my business, the barrier to entry is so low that if you’re good, you start your own business. Consequently, it is impossible to hire good managers because if they’re good, they likely have their own company. After years of struggle I realized that if I wanted to work with an “A” manager, I’d have to merge my business with another entrepreneur. I did just that and it’s worked out wonderfully. Two “A” players are nearly impossible to take on.
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