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Find Your Next Great Employee

The clock is ticking. Team members are overworked. The pressure increases by the day. You've got to fill the open role on your team quickly.

The temptation is to hire the first decent person to come along. They seem like they might work out. There are no huge red flags. You hire them. They aren't great, but they'll be okay.

Still, is that what you want? A team that will "be okay?" Do you want your business to "be okay" or do you want it to be remarkable, outstanding, and exceptional? "Okay" team members will never produce exceptional results.

Five people in business attire sit nervously in chairs, waiting to be interviewed.

You can find your next great employee. You just have to look for them in the right places.

Most companies take two steps to find new employees. They post the job opening on one or more job boards, and they ask their other employees if they know anyone who might fit the bill.

But think about everything that needs to go right for you to find an all-star team member in this way.

Possibility 1: A candidate responds to your job post.

  • The ideal candidate needs to be currently looking for a job.

  • They need to be looking at the sites where you have posted your position.

  • The job title or your company name needs to catch their eye.

  • The job description has to be attractive enough to cause them to apply.

  • The computerized algorithm or an HR recruiter needs to flag their resume.

Possibility 2: A candidate responds to an employee referral.

  • The employee has to have a good understanding of the role you're looking to fill.

  • They must know someone who will be great at it.

  • They have to connect the dots between people they know (many people they don't know professionally) and the role.

  • They need to be able to explain why someone would want to do this job, for your company, and work for you, specifically.

  • The potential candidate has to apply.

And then ...

  • The candidate needs to look good enough on paper to merit calling them in for an interview.

  • Your evaluation process needs to expertly weed out the candidates that aren't exceptional for this role or aren't a fit for your team.

  • You must be able to accumulate objective evidence that they are a near-perfect match for the role you’re trying to fill.

  • You must have at least some level of personal connection with them.

  • They must be willing to work for what you're willing to pay them.

And on, and on, and on. In some ways it's remarkable that we ever manage to find great employees.

Instead of assuming that your ideal candidate is currently looking for a job, try this instead. I call it The Ripple Model, because it functions like throwing a pebble in a pond, creating outward ripples that are most likely to connect with your future employee.

First, identify three types of people who will know your ideal candidate: stakeholders, networkers, and contacts. Stakeholders are people who have a stake in the person's success. Coworkers, employees, professional peers, financial advisors, insurance agents, friends, and family members are all examples of stakeholders. Then identify the types of networkers who might know your ideal candidate. Salespeople, vendors, consultants, attorneys, accountants and others who must network for a living and might come into contact with your candidate. Finally, identify contacts. Contacts are one step removed from your ideal candidate. They are people you know who might know a stakeholder or networker. Your own friends, family, students, professors, neighbors, and so on are contacts.

Second, ask as many of these people as possible to help you find your ideal candidate.

Third, educate them about the role, how to recognize an ideal candidate when they see one, and why someone would want the job.

Finally, follow-up with them on a regular basis.

Does this seem like a lot of work? Well, it's more work than simply posting a job description and encouraging your current employees to make a referral. On the other hand, is it worth a bit of extra work to hire a truly exceptional team member? Absolutely.

If you'd like some personal help with this and other tactics you can use to hire great people, click here to set up a free call. I'd love to talk with you.

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