In hiring new team members, one of the things you need to look for is: can they be coached?
Coaching will bring out the best in your team. Your investment in this time will bring you rewards you cannot imagine.
Some of the first lessons I coach are about time and focus.
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. (If you are not spending time with people that want to be successful, you will be carrying an anchor.)
15 minutes early is on time, on time is late and late is unacceptable. (This reminds team members that time is valuable: yours and mine. Additionally, it always take a few minutes to get your head in the game and transition from what you were last doing.)
First seek to understand then be understood. (Ask questions. If you are the only one talking you are not learning or gaining clarity.)
Carry a journal with you at all times. You never know when someone is going to say something that is valuable. Write it down. Take notes.
Give more than expected and someday you will receive more than you deserve. (People recognized when you are doing more than required, even when no one says anything.)
This is a start. While it might seem like most of these should already be understood, you will be surprised how many people need to hear this.
Set up a coaching schedule in your office. Concentrate on the strengths that your team member already has and work to maximize them. The rewards will be astonishing.
The next step in the process is the team interview. We totally dispensed with the phone interview, as someone had seen the person in action. They had reached out for the opportunity, not because they had to but because they wanted to.
Using Patrick Lencioni’s book “The Ideal Team Member,” we developed questions to identify the three characteristics he described: Hungry, Humble and Smart.
After each interview, the team would debrief to see if the candidate met the criteria. If there was a category that we felt unsure of, the next interview would really focus on those questions that would help us determine the fit. If they were not a fit, we would send an email thanking them for their time.
The next interview would be held in an offsite location. I chose a busy restaurant, early in the morning to see how the person handled the pressure of an interview in a chaotic location. We would again ask questions using the three topics but really focused on an area that the team was not clear on.
As part of this offsite interview, I would also share my job description. It is the only job description I have, even though I have 4 different positions in my office. (See My Job Description)
Going through this process significantly reduced the amount of time we spent to find our next candidate. It also helped us with clarity around what we were really looking for.
Referrals> interview questions with specific focus on traits> on and off site interviews> References.
Continuing in my series of how my systems changed and how my process developed, the next step seemed a bit more daunting. Where would I find candidates? How would I let them know of my opportunity? I just could not take that much time away from my business to interview people that weren’t really interested in the opportunity. They were only talking to me because unemployment said they had to….
In sales, our best clients come from referrals. That made me think about using referrals for finding candidates.
I put together a business card and gave them to my team and said if you ever come across someone that you think would be a great team member, please give them this card and ask them to contact me. I described the person I would be looking for. I told them that a great team member would be someone that you had a business contact with and the service was exceptional. Think of places you go and people that provide service to you. When was the last time you were blown away.
This did two things:
Defined the candidate with clarity
Gave the team the opportunity to have control over the next team member.
I was sure that they would want someone as extraordinary as they were.
I was also reminded of what a fellow business woman had told me: “Never hire someone that isn’t already working.” That seemed like good advice. The candidate that we needed would take a job and do their best, even if it was not the career they wanted. We would have the opportunity to see them in action!
This could lead to a great team member.
(The business card would have the standard info on one side, but on the back it would say “Thank You for the extraordinary service you provided me today. I am always looking for team members like you in my office. I look forward to discussing the exciting opportunities that working with my team could offer.)
How do you find the best team members in a sea of mediocrity?
Over the last few years, I have tried to develop a system to find new team members. Originally, I used a resume aggregator to pull resumes fitting my job posting. I would then either contact them or they would contact me. I would look at the resume again and determine if a phone interview should be done – then group interviews, testing and final interview and job offer.
This was a very cost-prohibited process. Being a small business, this took a large commitment of time from both me and my team. Many times, I would schedule the interview and the person would not answer the phone or show up. BIG TIME WASTER, especially when my team was scheduled to do group interviews.
Then, even after going through the process of reviewing many resumes, scheduling phone interviews and group interviews, and finally making an offer to only have the person be fired in about five days, leave after four days or last eight months and then just not show up. I was baffled how this could happen. I offered a competitive wage, benefits, friendly and positive place to work and team members that were helpful and motivated. What was going wrong????
I needed inspiration! I needed to understand Millennials. I needed a new process.
I will tell you in the next few blog posts what I did, how my system changed and how the process developed.