Always be recruiting
Posted on 7th July 2022 at 12:31
How does a small business punch above its weight to find excellent people they need to scale?
Answer: Have a People Bank in place!
What does this mean?
Think & act differently
Make the job appealing
Always be recruiting
1. Think & act differently.
As small business owners we can so often feel overwhelmed as the business grows, so we end up hiring in a hurry to take on someone to help us out. This can be a success but also often a disaster. We end up with the wrong person, known as a bad hire, and then we regret the hiring when we have to let them go. The bad hire, say for a middle manager with a salary of £42k, can cost the business £132k, with the hidden cost of training losses & productivity. 39% of employers admit that their own and those of their staff interviewing skills should be improved.
So we need to act differently if we are going to be more successful. We have to spend some time to get it right now, so we can be more successful in the future. The key is to have a forward view of what kind of roles and people you will need for the next stage of your scale up journey.
Design your future business.
Firstly, take time to map the future structure of the business. cWhat will it look like in 3 or 5 years time? What will the roles be? How many? Which roles will you be doing at that time? Who will be doing the others?
Every business has five primary functions, regardless of whether you are one person or have several employees.
Bring It - Marketing & sales
Do It - Operations / delivery
Count IT - Business administration
Enable It - Mange the process & people
Lead It - Improve now and design the future
Always build your structure upwards, like a growing tree, with the Customer focused functions at the top. The aim of the business management & leadership team is to support everyone to delight the customer and make them our raving fans.
So in 3 years time, how many of each type of role will you need? Will some areas need to be split into more than one role? What will the responsibilities be for each role?
Which roles will you delegate to people you recruit? Which roles for now will you outsource? Time to think & plan alongside your sales growth plans.
Job roles & job score cards.
Now is the time to design the roles. Use a job score card structure that defines for each role: its Mission; its measured outcomes; its key behaviours (including links back to your core values).
The bottom of a job score card has a sign - off box for the person who takes on that role. This demonstrates their commitment to achieving the requirements listed. For now one person, like yourself, may sign off on multiple roles until you grow into the structure you have planned for 3 years time.
2. Make the job appealing
You now know what roles you need for the business, now it’s time to think about the person in the future role.
What is in it for them? Why is working in your small business going to be preferable than working in a large one? How might this step fit into their career plans? How long will they be with you? How will you develop them? How will they fit into your business values? What will your retention plans be for key members of the growing business team?
It is important to put yourself in their shoes as you design the package, to focus on what will make it appealing to them. Try not to simply focus on the skills/experience that you are looking for. Candidates will have different motivations to you.
3. Always be recruiting.
You have spent time planning your business structure for the scale up journey, designing the packages to make the roles appealing, it now time to always be recruiting.
This means with your eye on the future, keep an eye out for the people that will fit your future needs. Maybe have a “we are hiring" page on your web site, LinkedIn & social media. As promising candidates come across your path, invite them for a coffee and chat, even if the timing is not right, to explore their fit for your future roles. You should approach it along the lines of "we're always on the lookout for great people. I know you may not be looking right now and that we're not recruiting at this moment, but if things change would it be worth coffee to find out more about each other?”
Build a people bank!
As you find these promising candidates, add them to your people bank. This is such an easy thing to do, but so few businesses do it well. Yes it will take time to develop, but just image having a decent starting list of people you already know when you are ready to recruit.
Keep a record / list - this is your people bank. Maybe consider a tool - for example ‘Smart Recruiters’ to keep your people bank accessible and live. Make sure you have their permission to do this , remember GDPR rules.
Rank them and keep key details such as:
Number & address
Current Job title
How you met them?
You must keep you People bank warm by staying in touch and keeping your records up to date. If you have a Customer Relationship Management system, set up a task process to message them or call them periodically. Watch out for their social media posts etc and maybe tag them into yours now and then.
Putting it all together.
One of our clients has used a people bank for over 3 years now and it has over 4,000 people who have expressed an interest in various roles. The client has been growing rapidly with very little staff turnover and attribute this to the ‘always be recruiting’ people bank.
Another example of thinking differently, was a client who realised the software system they used was specialised and it was hard to find engineers. So the MD, with the local University created a training program, which the MD actively takes part in delivering. Through this they find the talent needed going forward and feed their people bank for the future.
Finally, a great example from The E-Myth Revisited by Micheal E Gerber is the trash collection company, who’s growth was stunted by finding and keeping bin collection people. One day the MD saw an interview with a successful kick boxer who spoke of his training taking place while at work as a bin collector. They solved their problem by advertising their positions in gyms. The job advert described the benefits of the job as an early morning workout while being paid. They also offered a free gym membership with the role. The business took off.
Think & act different
Make the job appealing
Always be recruiting
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