- Find new customers
- Hold onto the ones you have, and stop them buying from your competitors
- Get them to buy more of your products or services
You obviously can’t do all this on your own so it’s vital to have the best people working for you.
However, many business people seem to believe that they can employ almost anyone and train them or control them to do the job.
Can you imagine a manager or coach of a sports team employing almost anyone for their team – of course not! They’ll always pick the best person to score the points, work well with the team and help win the championship.
Only when you have the best people, can you train and motivate them to achieve the three outcomes at the top of this page.
Know what you’re looking for
The time will come when you need to interview someone to join your business or your existing team. If you work in a large organisation then this could be someone from inside the company. You might even be the owner of a small business and about to start your first employee. Whatever the situation, you’re going to have to make a decision about whether this person is suitable for the job or not.
1. Can they deliver?
This is the number 1 factor of successful recruiting. It is absolutely vital that anyone you employ can deliver the outcomes you need.
These could be more orders, or more happy customers, or fast maintenance turnaround; it’s what you and your team are judged on. You need to be clear in your own mind as to the outcomes you need.
2. Will they fit the culture?
You need to think about whether the person you interview will be happy in your company and your culture. Some people who move from a large company to a much smaller one often find it hard to adjust.
Some years ago I moved from a large international organisation to a small local company. I went into the job with my eyes open and had three successful years. However I often felt frustrated in the smaller company mainly by their culture and the way they went about their business; I was glad when I moved back to a bigger organisation. I just wasn’t a “small company” person.
3. Will they fit with the team?
Will the job applicant fit well with the existing team? Maybe your team are a group of loners who don’t communicate with each other but it’s unlikely. You can’t pick people who are all the same; you don’t want a set of clones in your team. However you need to pick someone who is on the same wave-length as the rest of the team.
Perhaps you could involve a team member at a second interview, they might have a better feel for whether the person would fit or not.
4. Can they fit with your style?
How will the person respond to you, will they be able to work with your style of management.
I’ve had applicants complain about their existing boss – ‘Do you know that he expects me to do such and such.’ And I’ve thought to myself, ‘That’s exactly what I’d be expecting as well.’
You’ve got to have a good connection with this person that you bring into your team. That doesn’t mean to say that you’re going to be best buddies but you’ll need to be able to work together.
Consider if you’re the kind of manager who likes to work closely with your team and regularly check their progress. If so, you’ll need an individual who wants structure and detail and is comfortable with close monitoring.
If on the other hand, you’re the kind of manager who sets outcomes and leaves the team to get on with it without much help from you. Then you’re going to need someone who’s happy to work with minimum supervision.
5. Will they be happy?
Job applicants don’t know what they’re getting into when they start a new job. They might think they know, but how can they when they’ve never worked in your team or your company before. Just as it’s a risk for you when you start someone new, it’s also a risk for them. You’ll never totally eliminate the risk but it’s your job minimise the risk for both you and the applicant.
I’ve seen too many people start a new job and then find that it doesn’t suit them, they don’t like it and they want out. It causes problems for you as the manager; so I suggest you do every thing you can to avoid it.
It’s not easy
Picking people for your team is one of the most challenging and important jobs you’ll ever do. Use every bit of information you can get your hands on, read their resume and study any psychometric test that’s been done. However be as good an interviewer as you can be.