Getting the Best People – and Getting the Best from Them (Part 1)

Getting good people seems to be one of the biggest small business.

While good people are hard to find, there are some things you can do to make sure that you are targeting the right people for your business and, when you have them on board, turn them into valuable assets for you.

Let’s look at finding and getting the people first and then we’ll deal with keeping and developing them.  Here’s your action plan for getting them.

1. Firstly – employing a team member is a $40,000.00 (or more!) decision.  Treat it that way.  You wouldn’t invest in a piece of equipment or technology worth that amount without a considerable amount of research and comparison so there’s no reason to do otherwise with people.

2. Take some time to write a very detailed job specification.  Clearly define the role and the core activities that you need this person to undertake.  Describe in detail the personality traits and the attitude you expect this person to have.  Be very clear, too, about the skills you need them to have and how you will establish that they have them.  Get your team involved in this process – especially the ones who will be working with them.

3. Then write your ad or agency brief.  Make sure that you include the personality attributes.  If you are briefing an agency, ask them how they identify the skill set and personality of the applicants they recommend to you.  If they can’t accurately articulate their methods to you, find another agency that can.

If you’re advertising for the position, make sure you include everything you are looking for in the ad.  Don’t leave out anything just to save $50 or $100 on the cost!  The more specific you are, the less time you’ll take sorting through unsuitable applicants.

If the role you’re looking to fill requires someone who is prepared to work longer hours, say so.  If you need them to be a team player, say so.  If you need to find a real go-getter, ask that the applicant to sell themselves to you.  If you receive applications from people who don’t, discard them.

4. After you have received all of the applications, send out an Applicant Questionnaire.  Ask them questions like –

  •  What are your strengths?
  • What are your goals?
  • What are you looking for from this position?

As well, include questions that will give you some indication of their personalities.  Things like:-

  • What’s the funniest thing that has every happened to you?
  • What’s your favourite movie – and why?
  • Who do you admire, who are your mentors – and why?
  • What 5 things are most important to you in life?

It’s amazing how much insight questions like these give you into a person’s personality.  Expect that some people will be daunted by this questionnaire and won’t return it.  That’s fine  – they wouldn’t have been the right people anyway.

5. After you’ve studied the answers to the questionnaires – get the best applicants in for an interview.  Depending on the type of position, you may even want to ask them in for a group interview.

Stay tuned for further parts where we’ll deal with the interview process and how to turn people, once you have them, into star team members.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: