I have the good fortune to talk to business owners every single day of the week and one of the biggest challenges they all experience is finding and keeping great people. You can’t grow a great business without growing a great team. The mistake I see so many business owners make (and I have done this too!) is waiting until you really need someone to start hiring.
Waiting until the eleventh hour will result in a reactive hire – that inevitably doesn’t work out. It will cause you unnecessary stress and ultimately cost you time and money – and if you’re like most of us you can’t afford to lose either!
The key to ensuring you aren’t forced to make reactive hires is to build your army. This is a strategy that I learned while I was in the fitness industry and have applied it to many of the 65 industries I have worked with. Ultimately you need to be scouting for great talent all the time – just like a scout for a professional sporting team does. Great talent is all around us – you just need to know what you are looking for. Remember you are looking for people with the right attitude and cultural fit – you can always teach them the necessary skills to perform the role at an outstanding level. The person with the right attitude and cultural fit will always trump the person who only possesses the skills.
So how do you build your army?
- Get clear on the key roles you need to be always on the lookout for
- Ensure you always have an advertisement for the role on multiple job boards – even if you don’t need someone now – this will enable you to have a constant stream of new people to interview. Remember just because you interview someone doesn’t mean you have to offer a job – you may withdraw the role for the time being – but here’s the thing, when you do need someone you have a list of qualified people you can reach out to.
- A/B Test your advertisements – don’t just run the same advertisements all the time. I recommend you treat your job advertisements like marketing pieces – split test different headlines, descriptions, remuneration levels, etc.
- Interview regularly – most business owners have poor interview skills – largely due to not flexing this muscle very often. By having interviews regularly (remembering you don’t have to offer a role) you can test different questioning techniques, activities you get your applicants to do, etc.
This strategy, well implemented, will ultimately turn the balance of power back to the business owner as you will always have a steady stream of people to choose from. Happy scouting!