Recruiting good people is a key responsibility for any leader. It’s not, however, an easy task and more often than not it’s an area I’m asked to consult on.
A critical part of effective recruitment is attraction. It’s important to ensure that a business and its culture is genuinely appealing to potential candidates. The reputation of a business in the local community and the broader industry is commonly well known and/or well researched by any potential candidate. People quickly discover who is good to work for and who is not.
I recall a discussion with a business owner one day, who is described as being a great leader and well known for operating a fantastic business, a classic example of “a business of attraction”, so much so that potential new recruits are regularly knocking on his door saying “I want to be part of your business, I want to work for you”.
Why would someone want to work for this business? Is it about remuneration or incentives? The answer is No. It’s about the culture. The business has successfully created a strong, united culture through great leadership. The culture is one of teamwork, focused through leadership and support. Openness, honesty, a defined and structured professional development program and career paths are features the business is well known for. It’s something everyone wants to be part of and that’s an attractive package to any future employee.
A key component of the recruitment plan for this business is never to recruit by crisis. As the principal says, that’s a common trap that can lead you into a deeper hole.
Engaging the candidate right from the start is another important component. Anyone looking to join the business is not just pushed through the traditional interview process, but rather engages in discussions that leave the candidate feeling like they are already part of the business. At the very least, they should feel they had just met people that they could trust with their future career.
Breaking this down, candidates are not just presented with the role description, they’re given a clear insight into the vision for the business and the critical role that they would play in the future of the company.
It’s not often that someone in the interview stage of recruitment will come away with such a clear and definitive understanding of the key expectations for both themselves and the business. If the candidate can’t see or share in this vision and doesn’t want accountability and transparency, then it’s clearly evident early on and the business owner knows that they’re not right for the business.
What benefits does this strategy bring? If you look at the example business today, it continues to grow, there are more opportunities opening up as a result of this growth, and the business owner has a great team that embraces the culture.
In today’s environment, it’s critical to ensure that you recruit not only competent people, but people that share your vision and can help achieve business goals.
Get this first step right and you’re more than half of the way towards success.