Secrets to Recruiting "A" Players

You can hire anyone. Recruiting is going out and finding the best person for the pay, benefits, culture and opportunity your company provides.

October 31, 2005

Doug Dwyer
Contributing Editor

Hiring new employees is not the same as recruiting. You can hire anyone. Recruiting is going out and finding the best person for the pay, benefits, culture and opportunity your company provides.

Think about a professional baseball recruiter. His job is to find a great pitcher to be the starter. He knows he has to find someone who has the skills for the job, experience, a successful track record, and the desire to make a change. Where does he look for this kind of guy?

He first looks at the people who are playing ball (observation prospecting). Then, he asks around for recommendations (referral prospecting). Lastly, he talks to other agents and gets the official word out in writing (advertising and agency prospecting).

When does he start this process? Typically months — if not years — out, because he is predicting future needs of the team. Once the recruiter identifies potential candidates, the team takes them through a detailed interview process. Then management chooses the best match for the profile of whom the team needed.

One of the first secrets to recruiting is to know exactly for whom you are looking. I recommend that you write a profile for each position in your company that lists the qualities, characteristics, skills and experience needed for that position. Then, and only then, can you recruit like a professional.

The second secret to recruiting is to start looking before you need to fill the position. This will give you more people to choose from and give you the ability to compare strengths and weaknesses, providing the best results. Create a file for each position. For every key position, put names, resumes and a target list to go after into the file.

The third secret to recruiting is to have a detailed interviewing system that enables you to identify who is a right match for the position and team. There are many books written on this subject that you can use as resources.

The fourth secret to recruiting is to have a company culture that attracts candidates and makes them want to join your team over your competitors. This not only helps recruiting, but does wonders for retaining "A" players. Once you get it going, "like attracts like," as one of my old managers said. One of the hardest things to do is to get positive momentum going in a company. A good recruiting system helps create it.

Let me share some personal experiences that I have had with the three primary ways to find A players.

Observation prospecting

I was attending a NARI event during a time that I needed to add support managers. I started to ask around for referrals, and one of the guys I asked ended up being the guy that I hired. It's just like hiring in baseball: Go where the people are.

Referral prospecting

I was attending the International Franchisee Association breakfast and sat beside a guy who is a consultant and trainer. I shared with him my need to fill another position because of our growth. He gave me a referral that turned out to be the right match.

Advertising or agency prospecting

I went to an agency and gave them the detailed profile for a marketing director position that I needed to fill. They gave me four resumes and pre-interview assessments to review. Three prospects matched what we were willing to pay and possessed some of the skills and experience. The fourth one matched the qualities, characteristics, skills and experience, but would cost 50 percent more than what was budgeted for the position. We hired her, and she has helped take us and the marketing department to the next level with minimal time and effort on my part.

Remember, hiring is only part of the recruiting process. As I've mentioned before, you must price for profit to afford A players.


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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