Hiring Right with an Employee Acquisition Plan

Hiring the right people is arguably one of the most important things you can do to support the long-term success of your business.  And yet so many entrepreneurs approach hiring as an afterthought.  They put a half-hearted placement ad and hope to get lucky and find the right employee.

This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make if you want your business to scale and succeed.

The Solution to this problem is called an Employee Acquisition Plan — and you simply must implement this if you want to reduce staff-related headaches, shrink, and waste…not to mention find real, high-quality candidates to take over your business once you decide it’s time to move on. This is one of the key areas I address during our Scaling Up Strategy Session.

Hiring is a little bit like fishing. The firms that get the best people are the ones that get a lot of fish on the deck so they can be choosy. Our proven Employee Acquisition Plan is based on the following universally accepted principles in the field of recruiting, selection, and hiring of employee:

  1. If you attract a large pool of applicants to choose from, you’re more likely to get the right person for the position you’re trying to fill…
  2. If you implement multiple, leveraged interview stages, you’ll waste less time in lengthy interviews with under-qualified candidates…
  3. If you require your short list of applicants to perform a small set of tasks essential to successful completion of their position as part of the interview process, so that you can observe their behavior, you’ll be far less likely to be surprised by their performance after they’ve taken the position…
  4. If you complete a psychometric profile on your short list of applicants, you’ll be even more likely to make an appropriate match.

Here are four simple steps to making it happen…

  1. Prepare the Bait (Create Your Ad).  The best way to catch a lot of fish (especially the right kind of fish!) is by using the best bait possible.  Most job descriptions are anemic and weak.  Make yours stand out!  Write your job descriptions in “what’s in it for the applicant” language; be specific about the personality characteristics and qualifications needed; include the hours and earnings potential.  Below is an example of the headline and introduction we’ve used with great results to hire sales super stars — feel free to borrow it the next time you have an opening:

Sales Superstars Only
You can earn as much as $150K if you’re a star.  Don’t even call unless you’re an overachiever and can prove it.  Call between 12:00 and 2:00. NUMBER.

< Company Profile>

< Job Description >

I can provide more sample recruitment ads during our Scaling Up Strategy Session.

  1. Cast the Net (Generate Leads). When hiring, you’ve got to be proactive!  It’s not JUST about writing a great job description.  It’s about getting that description in the hands of the right people.  Here are seven great ways to find quality candidates…
  • Look within your organization first; who can be promoted?
  • Call past high-quality team members and ask them, “Is there anything I can do to get you back?”
  • Post in multiple job-search sites efficiently with tools such as ziprecruiter.com.
  • Advertise in trade magazines and publications — this is a wonderful way to get highly targeted applications.
  • Create a recruiting incentive program and announce it to their team.  Give staff members a bonus if they bring in a high-quality candidate.
  • Go to networking events and remember that every conversation is a potential interview.

The point is to recognize how important hiring is to your organization, and to be completely engaged in the process of finding the right fit.

  1. Fill the Deck (Virtual Interview).  Too many entrepreneurs waste unnecessary time interviewing candidates who are not truly qualified.  Fortunately, you can eliminate a lot of “dead weight” quickly, just by implementing a simple screening process.
  • E-Screening.  Ask candidates to reply via email or web-form and include some specific questions that they should answer, in addition to submitting their resume.  You’ll find that a surprising percentage of applicants won’t even follow this simple instruction — which is a fast way to weed them out.
  • Phone interview.Depending on the number of applicants and the nature of the job, you might even add another layer of screening: a live phone interview before you get to the final step, an in-person interview.
  • Psychometric profile.Make a shortlist of promising applicants and ask them to complete a psychometric profile.
  1. Reel them In (Test Drive).  Now that you’ve narrowed the field of applicants down substantially, you’re ready to invest some quality time in them.  Bring them in for a 4-8 hour on-site interview.  Get a feel for their personalities.  Have them complete an on-the-job task or two.  Introduce them to the rest of your staff.  Compare their completed psychometric profiles to the characteristics needed for the job.  Create a series of interview questions that you use uniformly for all the applicants who reach this stage, and have them focus on actual past experience as opposed to theoretical future possibilities.  Then make an offer to the candidate who impressed you most.

Imagine the time, energy, and money you will save when you have a team in place that performs well.   Put in the effort required to make this happen.  Your stress level and your bottom line will thank you.

If you need additional help putting together the dream team you need to scale up your business, schedule a Complimentary Scaling Up Strategy Session.  I have dozens of other strategies to help you find, and manage, high-quality employees.  Don’t neglect this critical aspect of your business for another moment!

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