Recruit Right, Build a Team That Works—No ‘Unicorn’ Hires

You Need A Team That Works

Let’s face it–hiring staff is hard.

You never know what you’re going to get. You might like what’s on paper and even enjoy their energy during the interview, but until they start to actually work, you can’t tell if they’re going to be a good match for your business. This is especially true when you’re trying desperately to fill a gap in your team and don’t have the time to iron out your onboarding process.

Employing hardworking staff that are willing to learn is crucial for your business. It’s a two-way street–it’s not just for you and your business, but for them as well. So, they should feel as if they’re growing and learning too. You need to remember that your staff are human beings and they aren’t going to come into your business perfectly ready, you need to equip them with the right skills and mindset so that they can learn and grow.

I hate to break it to you but “unicorn” hires or perfect hires don’t exist. If anything, expecting someone to perform perfectly for you keeps you from being accountable for your own actions. Instead of admitting that you hired someone who wasn’t right for your business, you skirt around the issue and blame it on them instead, saying something along the lines of, “this person wasn’t an ‘A’ player like I expected.”

You need to remember that putting together a hardworking team–not necessarily the perfect team–is key to success and that you can only do that by being a good leader that pays attention. It’s important for a good leader to see the potential in hires and make sure that their staff feels valued and treasured.

Why do you need the best staff for your business?

A hardworking, productive and motivated staff will help you and your business succeed, however, a business owner isn’t always trained to hire employees that will make up their dream team. Think about it: Did anyone teach you how to go about it? Did anyone show you the ropes of making a job description and conducting interviews? It may not be your strength, as your main role is to lead, manage and delegate.

Onboarding is something that you’re not always taught to do, either. Some business owners will dump all the work on a new employee without easing them into it and then wonder why those employees resign. They don’t realise that these employees aren’t just looking for paychecks or to be treated like robots trying to mindlessly complete work, every staff member also wants to feel valued and important in the team.

One other aspect of empathising and valuing your employees is making sure they’re taken care of. Ensuring employee health and wellbeing is crucial to keep them from joining “The Great Resignation.”

This phenomenon originated from the increasing number of employees leaving their companies in the U.S. because of COVID-19 and how their health wasn’t being prioritised. Despite the pandemic easing up, The Great Resignation is still ongoing as more employees realise that they aren’t valued as people and are seen as disposable in the face of a global pandemic–what more when we reach a post-COVID world?

Transitioning to a post-Covid world can be challenging, which is why you need the right people to support you and your business–people who are willing to learn and feel valued. The best staff is composed of people who are as passionate as you, allowing you to get staff buy-in and  achieve your business goals with your team.

Once you show your staff you care about them as more than just employees who will do the work for you, you will be able to propel yourself towards success.

5 steps to employ the best staff possible

Hiring staff doesn’t have to be a tedious process if you prepare accordingly. Here are five steps you need to take to put together the best possible team for your business.

1. Nail your job description

A job description is a potential hire’s first encounter with your business and what’s expected of them. You need to make a good impression–and being clear, comprehensive and thorough about what the position entails is how you snag a great employee.

Outlining the specifics of the job helps your potential hire understand what their day-to-day responsibilities will look like and what they can expect from your business, the workplace culture and how they can integrate themselves into the team.

You need to specify the following:

  • Daily responsibilities they need to carry out
  • Personal qualities you’re looking for
  • Company culture
  • Your management style
  • Compensation
  • Hours required

Think of it as a give and take: What can you get from them, and what can they get from you?

You also need to learn about important details regarding your candidates, including:

  • Their educational attainment
  • Their flexibility and adaptability at work
  • Their industry experience

Discussing these key areas will help both of you understand whether that candidate is a good fit for your business and if the workload meets their expectations.

2. Remember that employees don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses

“Employees don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses,” is a popular saying for a reason. According to Gallup’s comprehensive study in 2015, 75% of people resign from work because they want to get away from their managers. With the pandemic and The Great Resignation, I imagine that number has ballooned because of how badly some employers have treated their employees.

Most of the time, hires leave because they’re unhappy with their employer or manager, not because of the work or expectations they’re supposed to live up to. It’s not necessarily because they had bad jobs, but because they had bad bosses.

3. Focus on training and upskilling

Like I mentioned earlier, “the total package” doesn’t exist. Stop chasing unicorns–they won’t get you anywhere. You need people willing to be trained as that’s more important than exhausting yourself finding a star player or “A” hire.

Finding people who are willing to learn is even better than finding someone who’s able to meet all your expectations because people who have potential can grow and help you innovate your business as they improve in a professional (even personal) capacity. Compared to the fabled dream hire who will probably just plateau, a “B” hire who has a lot of passion and willingness to learn is going to develop as they get to know your business, your dreams and why you’re so passionate about them.

Upskilling your staff can also encourage them to be more efficient and motivated as they learn new skills and apply them to their work.

4. Systematise your onboarding process with a hiring checklist

Preparing a hiring checklist is a great way to streamline the onboarding process. You’re able to break down each step so you don’t miss a beat and forget to inform a potential hire about certain things or skip over something important on your end.

A good hiring checklist has to be linked to what you and your business stand for, and the information that you provide needs to be anchored in your vision, values and goals.

Here are some non-negotiables in a hiring checklist:

  1. Pre-hiring
  • Job information (job title, department)
  • Work schedule
  • Length of employment
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Employee responsibilities
  • Time-off policy
  • Department/team they’ll be joining
  1. Hiring
  • Review resumes
  • Conduct interviews
  • Check references
  • Discuss their professional and academic background
  1. Post-hiring
  • Non-disclosure agreement
  • New hire’s official name and job title
  • Welcome events you may have organised (like team building sessions)
  • Worker’s compensation and health insurance (if applicable)
  • Payroll information

You will also need an onboarding kit, which may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • A training manual
  • An overview of your business (i.e. your values, goals, mission and vision)
  • A set schedule for their daily tasks
  • Their contract

5. Picture how this person would replace you, if they had to

When picturing the best staff for them, one thing I love doing with my clients is asking them to picture what the business would be like if they weren’t involved or had to be replaced by one of the staff members. Would they be satisfied with the work they would produce, how they’d delegate tasks and take care of the rest of the team?

In short, if you replace “the captain” (i.e. you), would they be able to do the same thing that you do? Or would they go above and beyond?

Doing this exercise will help you stop doing everything in your business, especially once you realise you can trust your staff to work independently even without you supervising them. As long as you’ve established the proper processes and you feel like your staff is competent and motivated, then you’ve done right by them and did an excellent job hiring them.

Hiring new staff to expand your team and grow your business doesn’t have to be difficult, it’s as simple as being prepared, having the right mindset and looking for people who have the personality and energy as well as the drive to learn. Finding people that are motivated will help you build the best staff and push your business forward.

If you want to learn more about how to build your best staff in order to get the best results possible, give us a call. We can equip you with the tools you need to grow your business and your people.