Building a Winning Team by recruiting great people quickly and effectively

How much more could you achieve, if you had the right people in your business to manage certain tasks or roles? And what if you could assemble a dream team to allow you to work on your business AND have a life outside it?

As coaches, we often hear that one of the hardest things in business is finding competent, reliable help. Typically, employees are hired based on a piece of paper and fifteen minutes together 1-on-1. If this process is not working for you, stop using it today and continue reading…

What many business owners don’t realise is; if you want to employ an excellent team, you need to be ‘qualified’ to employ an excellent team. It’s a harsh reality for most business owners, but you really do get what you deserve when it comes to the people working in your business.

So how do you get qualified in building a winning team? Before starting the recruitment process, give attention to your organisation’s structure and the business basics. As yourself, “is my business ready to add more staff?” and “is it clear why great people would want to come and work here?”.  Once you can answer “YES!” to both of these questions, your business is more likely to ‘organically’ attract the right talent, and the recruitment process will become an easier one for you. Read our recent blogs to get up to speed with business organisation and developing leadership skills to build your dream team.

Let’s start by gaining an appreciation of the TEAM itself. Business author and entrepreneur Brad Sugars uses an acronym to sum up the value of TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More. Remember why you started your business. Was it to control and be responsible for every minutia of detail and daily task – or was it to manage or oversee a talented and cohesive bunch of people from a sunny verandah somewhere? Ok, glad we got that one straightened out! Now let’s build your team.

Building a winning team is an easy (and enjoyable) process, when you follow ActionCOACH’s ‘Five Hour Recruitment Process’. It’s founded on two core principles:

  1. Recruit for Attitude; Train for Skill. It is easier to fix a skill gap than an attitude gap!
  2. Time Efficiency. Non value-adding activities are removed so as to ensure that the process requires minimum time. The entire process should utilize only 5 hours of the manager’s time.

The Five Hour Recruitment Process

  1. Establish and define a compelling Employer Value Proposition. Make yourself attractive!
  2. Make the decision to employ someone – based on need & affordability.
  3. Write a Job Description / Position Commitment
  4. Include clear responsibilities, accountabilities and KPI’s.
  5. List key requirements/attributes/skills/qualifications that will be required.
  6. Be clear now on what the job is worth and will be paid.
  7. Write an Advertisement.
  8. Headline must grab attention and attract the right candidates. In places like Seek, it is hard to stand out!
  9. The Ad must sell the job and the company. You are trying to attract the best people! Typically, we like to see at least two thirds of the Ad selling the job and company, with only one third explaining the requirements of the job.
  10. Candidates can be sourced from online job sites, local papers, LinkedIn or personal recommendations. Under no circumstances should any candidate bypass the remainder of the process.
  11. The advertisement should request that candidates apply by calling you. Email applications should not be accepted.
  12. An online advertisement should be open for one week, including one full weekend.
  13. Receive Applications.
  14. This is by phone, by you or, better still, by Office Administrator. Reading CV’s at this point is a waste of time.
  15. If someone still submits an application by email and does not call, respond with an automatic email explaining that they must apply by calling.
  16. This initial call must take a maximum of TWO minutes and will end one of two ways:
  17. The candidate will clearly disqualify themselves – communication, tone of voice, attitude, energy, etc. – in which case, advise them “no”; or
  18. If they don’t disqualify themselves, invite them to attend a face-to-face interview. Unless asked by the candidate, do not promote the fact that it is a group interview. Only one time is available so they will need to come in then if they wish to pursue this opportunity. NB. You don’t mind how many people are in the Group Interview so, if they haven’t disqualified themselves in the first minute or so, invite them to attend.
  19. Examples questions that may assist in disqualifying (NB. At this stage, voice, energy, communication, etc. is more important than the content of the answer. However, if the content is sufficiently ridiculous, irrelevant, or stupid, it can disqualify them!):
  20. Why are you so excited by this opportunity?
  21. Why would you be great at this role?
  22. What is your greatest strength?
  23. What is your most relevant experience to this role?
  24. If they are invited to interview, then request that they now send a CV, although don’t yet waste time reading it!
  25. Group Interview. Order of events:
  26. First 20-30 minutes – you present the business and opportunity. You are trying to attract the best candidate to join you so this is a sales pitch you’re making to them!
  27. Explain that, after a quick comfort stop, they will each stand up in front of the group and explain why they’re excited about the role and why they’d be great at it.
  28. They each present – max. 3 minutes each. Ask for volunteers – test enthusiasm!
  29. Provide a final opportunity to ask questions, then close the interview.
  30. Your team should attend (and clients can too) and should be interacting with and assessing candidates throughout. NB. Candidates are still not being assessed on their skills. They are being assessed on attitude and cultural fit. Each of your team should have a 1-page score sheet which will list on the left the candidates and across the top the 6-8 personal attributes you’re looking for (e.g. Communication, first impression, energy, attentiveness). Marks/10 should be awarded for good things noticed in those categories (8/10 or above) or bad things (3/10 or below). I.e. not every candidate will receive a score for every attribute – just the things that stand out.
  31. After the interview, your team can meet to discuss their scores and observations, from which you will choose the 1-3 candidates to invite to 1:1 short-list interview.
  32. Call ALL candidates the next day; advising that they have not been chosen to proceed or that you would like to invite them to return to 1:1 interview – book it.
  33. 1:1 Interview. Order of events:
  34. They talk through their CV from beginning to most recent; you observe trends, patterns and reasons for changes.
  35. Have them perform a skills test relevant to the job. NB. Don’t just believe it. Test it.
  36. Have them complete a DISC profile (created by American psychologist Dr William Marsden in the 1920s, assessing individuals and assigning one behavioural styles; i.e. Outgoing, Task Oriented, Reserved or People Oriented).
  37. If you have an area of concern, ask: “When I call your last manager [insert last manager’s name], what score will he give you out of 10 for [insert skill or attribute about which you’re concerned]? Any answer below 8 should be a red flag.
  38. Next day or two, call to make offer, subject to reference check.
  39. Undertake reference checks, asking specific questions to validate facts and to explore any key areas or possible gaps in skill or other required attribute.

Example Rejection Statement (applicable to rejection at any stage in process):

Thank you very much, but I’m sorry to advise that we won’t be proceeding further with your application.  I appreciate your time and effort but, although we do not provide detailed feedback to all candidates, I do feel that we have candidates who are a closer match to our specific requirements. I wish you all the best in your search and for the future.

This Five Hour Recruitment Process, along with establishing your company values, organising your business structure and gaining an appreciation for the value of TEAM – qualifies you to employ and build a winning team for your business.

If you need some more skills or practice in building winning teams or recruiting, jump online and book a quick session with one of our expert coaches. Or download your free copy of The 6 Keys to creating a winning team here.