Recruiting 'A' Players

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Four tips to help remodeling firms find motivated employees.

July 01, 2007

Doug Dwyer
Contributing Editor

Many business leaders have a vision that one day their business could run without their working full time. The motivation for this varies. It could be to spend more time with their kids as they grow up; to start another business; to do volunteer work for their church or other organization; to take a much needed vacation or travel the world.

The reasons will differ, but this motivation is critical to thinking differently about recruiting. One key element is for you to envision giving up some of your current duties, even if it is years down the road. This foresight will cause you to look at recruiting people with greater potential than what is needed for the current role you need filled.

This is a distinction most leaders don't consider early enough. Yet the leaders who get the greatest results in the shortest period of time do understand the importance of proper planning and recruiting. It is similar to the saying used by many business experts, "to begin with the end in mind."

With the right frame of mind and motivation, what are some of the practical considerations to recruiting "A" players?

  1. How to find them: There are three basic ways to find new employees. First is observing prospects. This is where you and your team observe people you encounter on a daily basis to see if you discover someone who may have the qualities you seek. Second is to ask for referrals from people you know in business or create a referral program that rewards people for giving you a lead that results in a hire. Third is using advertising or recruiting companies. I have found all of these to be effective, yet I prefer the first two because the expense and time invested is typically less, and you often have better insight into who prospects really are. It takes utilizing all three to fill every position you have available.
  2. How to interview them to make sure they are a right match: First have a clear, written profile of the qualities, characteristics, skills and experience needed for the position. Then, have a planned and disciplined interview process. Some key elements: collect resumes and rank candidates based on how well they fit your profile; do an initial phone interview to decide if you want to meet them in person; interview the candidate in person to discuss their work history and discover if their likes, interests, skills and experience match what you need; use psychological testing to double-check your assumption; call their references to see if they validate your findings; set up peer interviews with your team members; if it all lines up, hire them, and if not, pleasantly thank them for their time and wish them the best.
    Recruiting is part art and part science. With a disciplined approach you can avoid some very costly bad hires. If you are not already using all these steps, then, at a minimum, add one or two to your process and watch your results improve.
  3. How to secure them as a new employee/team member of your company: Develop a company culture and compensation package desirable to new hires. A good way to know if you have this right is to ask yourself this question: would you want to work for your company and you? If not, start working to change that. It takes time to accomplish this, so don't be discouraged. We all have to start somewhere. Congratulations to those that can already answer an enthusiastic "yes."
  4. How to retain "A" players: One key is to have a proactive growth culture with continuous opportunities to learn and prosper. As human beings we are happiest when we are challenged and growing.

All the best in building your dream team!


Author Information
Doug Dwyer is president and chief stewarding officer of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen by Worldwide, one of the nation's largest remodeling franchises. He can be reached at doug.dwyer@dwyergroup.com.

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