Always a challenge isn’t it? The right people. What does that mean anyway? And how do you discover the right person? There are many “right people.” There are those candidates that, if put in front of any challenge, can come up with the solution. That’s who I want on my bus, and here’s how I go about doing it.
1. Thirty-minute phone screens for everyone. I want to know if the candidates have great communication skills, and the phone allows me to see if they have a ‘voice for radio.’ If they can communicate well on the phone, I’m confident they can ‘sell’ their ideas to stakeholders internally.
2. Meeting at least six different internal staff over the course of two to three in person interviews. Everyone has his/her own interviewing style, and we consider hiring like bringing in a new member into our family. This ensures they’ll be the right cultural fit. We happen to be a people business, and so many are today. The interpersonal skills are critical.
3. Enthusiasm. I like to make people more comfortable, encourage them and find out what gets them excited. “Tell me about a long-term project that you were most proud to complete,” might be a way to start the conversation. Giving them this opportunity allows them to feel comfortable. Sometimes they let their guard down and start the negative speak…that can be a telling sign. I also expect enthusiasm in the email communication. You can tell much by the emails they send.
4. Are they entrepreneurial? In the phone-screen, I pick one of their previous roles and ask them: “If you had 30 minutes with the CEO, what recommendations would you make to improve sales or processes?” This allows me to see how they think about their responsibilities at a company. This is a key defining factor for me. Their answer to this could be make or break!
5. Continual Recruiting…for our most risky roles, the most technical roles, and the most senior roles. Just look at your team and ask yourself how you would handle each person leaving. That will allow you to build contingency plan connections. Right now, there are people on our teams looking to leave, and while I strongly believe that recruitment begins at retention, having a healthy respect for what we cannot control will keep us smiling!
6. Continual Rewarding. Today’s job environment gets more competitive everyday. With companies like Google and Facebook offering flashy perks from in-house gyms and cafeterias to in-office bars for happy hour, how can we compel our top talent not to jump ship? Find ways to express gratitude for hard work; to reward them for a job well done. Whether it’s an early release on a summer Friday, an impromptu pizza party, or a quick email praising a recent accomplishment – showing your staff how much you value their work will help keep them motivated to keep putting their best foot forward.