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Archive for April, 2014

Recruiting remarkable people – part 4

After you have created a short list of ideal candidates it is time for the in-depth interview which can be split into three parts:

Part 1 – planning

Part 2 – interview

Part 3 – follow up

Each part needs thought so that you maximise the chance of recruiting the best people possible.

Consider creating a panel of two or more people. The benefit of this is that you come to a joint agreement on the same experience.

Decide on the tone of the meeting and understand that the experience you create is your brand. You may have brand guidelines with values and culture statements but you need to live them in your recruitment process.

Start the interview by helping the candidate relax. You need to find out who they are and you need to help them open up to you.  Consider a tour of the office or a coffee with some small talk.

Before you start asking questions explain that there are no right or wrong answers. Recommend they be totally authentic.

At this stage the candidate will want the job or at least the opportunity to turn it down. So, expect them to try to say what you want to hear. With that in mind focus on their past experiences as indicator of what they will do for you in the future.

For example, if they got a poor grade in Religious Education at school, ask why. If they say they didn’t like the subject, probe and ask if they always don’t put maximum effort into things they don’t like.

Ask candidates to tell you about situations in previous jobs. As them to share experiences with current and/or previous managers.

In addition, ask questions like:

What personal development have you done in the last 12 months?

What suggestions did  you put forward in your last company to improve the business?

How do you ensure you participate well in a team?

What would you do if someone wasn’t being a team player?

You could also ask off the wall questions to see how flexible the candidate is and to get an insight into them. Questions like:

  • Tell me a funny story about yourself
  • Justify this statement…David Beckham should be Prime Minister.
  • If you could have a super power what would it be and what would you do first?
  • Any question can work and perhaps ask these questions at the beginning.


Keep in mind that it is not just the words the candidate uses but how they say them. So, be aware of the candidates state.

For example, if you are recruiting for a telemarketer, you could ask them to describe the best day of their life or their perfect day outside work. Track their voice tone, body language and energy levels. Then ask them what they like about speaking to people on the phone. If their energy levels fall this tells you more than their words.

Listening skills are key and writing down questions before the interview can help because you can focus 100% on the candidate rather than what you are going to say next.

When you think you have found the right person make the offer but follow up with everyone. Consider making the offer by phone with a letter to confirm the offer. You may also want to call of the other candidates if you think they could join you later.

You never know, the person you offer the position to may turn you down.

Recruiting remarkable people – part 3

The recruitment process can be broken down into seven steps.

Step 1 – clarify your brand

Step 2 – create a position agreement

Step 3 – develop a broadcast strategy

Step 4 – create the advert

Step 5 – review and evaluate the responses

Step 6 – meet candidates

Step 7 – follow up

Meeting the candidates can be the hardest and most worrying part of the recruitment process, especially for young businesses who do not have much or any recruitment experience.

A common mistake can be trying to sell the company and/or the position, especially to someone with a strong CV who looks the part. To avoid this, consider having two meetings.

The first meeting would be a group meeting, where you invite 20 of the best candidates based on a review of CVs.

You prepare and presentation and ask people who are interested to stay for a 10-minute one-to-one interview. In the interview you can ask three questions which will help you identify who to spend more time with.

Questions could be:

  • What did you hear in the presentation that resonated with you?
  • How would our company help you move forward in life?
  • How could you help our company achieve its goals?


If you didn’t want to host an event/presentation at a hotel you could host an online meeting or conference call. You could have 10-minute one-to-one calls with candidates on the phone.

As with marketing, an important part of recruitment is filtering. You will invest heavily in a new employee and they will either enhance your brand or diminish it.

You are looking for people to emotionally connect with your message. These candidates will stand out a mile. If you don’t find people get emotional about then perhaps you need to revisit your brand message and culture.

Recruiting remarkable people – part 2

It can be useful to look at recruitment in the same way as marketing.

You have a product (a job at your company) and you need leads (applications). You only want applications from the best candidates which is why you need to think how and where to advertise.

Here are five questions that can help:

Question 1 – what am I offering?

Think in terms of the brand and the culture as well as the specific position. And, think about non-financial benefits.

 Question 2 – who is my ideal applicant?

What does the person look like? What experience have they had? What skills do they need? Better to have a few ideal candidates than too many enquiries because you may miss the right person.

 Question 3 – where are my potential employees?

Where will you find people who fit the ideal profile? Consider direct marketing, like a head-hunter because the best people will already be in a job. But, also consider Social Media and getting people to come to you.

 Question 4 – what will attract prospects to make an enquiry?

What messages will they respond to? What is important to them? Consider creating a YouTube video.

 Question 5 – how can I reach out and make contact?

What channels can I use to make contact. Perhaps LinkedIn or a trade magazine?

These questions are similar to marketing questions because they get you to think externally as well as internally.

And, like marketing it is often best to be patient. If you rush you are more likely to make expensive mistakes. Make sure you challenge yourself – ask yourself if you could eliminate the work with a system, outsource the work or collaborate with a strategic partner.

Recruiting remarkable people – part 1

I believe the best football manager’s create and nurture a culture at their club and then bring in great players that fit the culture. You can approach your business in the same way because selecting the right people to represent your brand is one of the most important decisions you will make.

Culture is a key part of your brand. If you are in touch with who and what you are as a brand then it’s much easier to recruit the right people. The best footballers want to play for the best teams…you want to be top of your league so you attract the best employees and build a winning team.

Business owners who have not explored their brand in depth may need to do some work so they can describe their culture clearer. But, when you have this, you will find it much easier to take on the right people.

It is so important to have the right people because they become your brand promoters to the world.

If you really want to touch your customers with a remarkable experience then you must have a remarkable culture. This is where your people feel the same feeling you want your customers to receive.

So, if you want your customers to feel that your employees truly care, then your employees must feel you really care about them. Like most things, the business owners must go first and lead the way.

If you want your employees to come up with new ways to “wow” your customers, they need to feel inspired, aligned and engaged with your company. Your people need to buy your brand before customers will.

So, the basis of your recruiting process must be your brand, the values, vision and commitments you want the market to experience.

If you don’t have these clear and written down I recommend you do some time and think.

Don’t make the same mistake as many other businesses by taking more time researching a new computer system or choosing a software program than in hiring new employees.

Spend the time to identify your core values, then create and follow a systematic approach to recruiting.

Remember, your business depends upon innovation and you want and need your people to be your innovators. If you have to think of everything it’s hard work and you then need to sell it to everyone. Much better for your employees to be the innovators in your business.