How do you recruit good people?
It’s one of the biggest challenges that our clients struggle with and why they come to us at Southwestern Consulting.
Recruiting is an important topic and it’s one of my favorite.
My start at Southwestern in college was catapulted because I loved and figured out recruiting early on and happen to break a 150-year-old record in recruiting.
Today, we see lots of different companies and industries that struggle to find top talent and team members.
So, how do you recruit good people? Essentially there are 2 key parts to recruiting that you have to do.
- Build the Magnet – This is that you have to do the work of creating an amazing opportunity for people. This involves strategic work with how the company is set up. And also involves the heavy lifting about how you present and position your opportunity.
- Build the Fishing Boat – This is that you have to do the work of creating a number of amazing systems and methods (ie. Poles in the water) for actually finding good people and then going after them to get them on board.
They both take a tremendous amount of skill, knowledge, discipline and work.
Typically, we spend most of our time training people and organizations how to build the Fishing Boat. In other words, we teach them about all of the different sources of where to find good people and then also the skills of actually how to recruit them.
How you recruit someone is about exactly what to say, what the process looks like, and what behaviors you need to take to convince someone to join your team.[BTW bringing people to your company who currently don’t have jobs is hiring; that is not recruiting. Recruiting typically means you are recruiting someone away from some other opportunity that they are already (typically successful) in over to join your better opportunity.]
The “Building the Magnet” part is also critical though. This is doing the heavy strategic work of creating an attractive place to work. It really helps when you are out “fishing” for good people to have a highly compelling and appealing opportunity to be recruiting them for!
Here are 5 of the most important parts of “Building the Magnet” and making your opportunity a compelling and attractive one for people to join:
- MISSION – Your organization needs to have a crystal clear (less than 1 sentence), inspiring, statement about serving a human purpose that is higher than profit. And it needs to be repeated so often that everyone in the organization needs to be able to recite exactly what it is. Today people don’t just want to work somewhere to earn pay; they want to work somewhere to do good in the world. If you want to attract great people, you need to have a great why.
- CULTURE – Your organization needs to be a fun and enjoyable place to work. People have to look forward to coming there! That means you want a place that is positive, vibrant, innovative, inviting, and energetic. It also means you want a place where people feel recognized, valued, and important. Also, it helps to have a brand that is “cool” and fresh that people want to be a part of. Remember, part of people’s personal reputation and perception in the world is who they work for, so create something they are proud to be associated with and they will flock to you.
- LIFESTYLE – You want to spend a lot of time planning, strategizing, and being intentional about crafting what “a normal day in the life” looks like for one of your team members. You can’t just provide people a job anymore; you have to provide them a meaningful and uplifting way to use their life. Remember, people typically spend about ½ of their waking hours at work! Lifestyle is typically composed of: hours, pay, location, work environment, stress level, type of work, and of course the culture which is made up of the other people they work with.
- RECRUITING PAY – One of the simplest reasons why organizations don’t grow and recruit is because there isn’t any financial incentive to do it! Most people are simple creatures, we do what we’re incentivized to do. So if you’re not seeing the recruiting numbers you want, you might need to look at the incentives that are in place to do so. Also, recruiting (like selling and service) shouldn’t just be a department; it’s something everyone has to do!
- LONG TERM VISION – People want to work for a place that is inspiring and part of what inspires people is working towards a bright future. Your organization needs to talk a lot about what the future of the business is going to look like. What are the pursuits your team is looking to accomplish? What are your goals for who you’re going to help? What career paths are available to your team members? And what does their long term pay plan look like? What is the future of your company literally going to look like?
These are just a few of the elements that help you “Build the Magnet” and make your organization attractive. It’s only part of the battle because even if you have a great magnet, you still have to do the hard work of going out to “fish.” But those skills are longer than this post allows for.
Here’s what is great about recruiting though…
You can recruit your way into a great organization!
If you’re just starting out, you can (quickly) build something great by recruiting great people.
If you’re an experienced but stagnant company, you can grow (dramatically) by simply starting to focus more on recruiting.
And if you’re in any kind of struggling business, organization, or enterprise you can recruit your way out of it! Recruit, recruit, recruit and it will help you turn around!
Good people changes everything.
Which is why a great leader is always a great recruiter.