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13 2011

Build Your Business by Building Your Team

Syndicated from: Your Planning Partners

If you want to build your business you can only do it by building your team. So say after me: I cannot grow my business without the help of other people who can do some work better, faster and more efficiently than me, allowing me to be doing what I should be doing! Recruiting people onto your team is probably the most important management activity you undertake. It is also one of the riskiest. Get the right people onto your bus (as Jim Collins describes it in his book Good to Great) and you have a winning team. Get the wrong people and you have problems; big problems. This is our Six Step Process for building successful teams. Feel free to use it! Step 1 – Hire a person for the job; don’t create the job for a person. Before you do anything; before you talk to people, before you put the word out that you are looking for someone, define the job. Without a clear job profile there is a greater possibility that you will hire someone you like before you hire the right person for the job. A typical job profile is organized into four components: Purpose – the reason for the job. This gives you clarity as to why you need this position filled. Specific Activities – the list of everything this job does. This is the detail; the heart of the job. Job Requirement – this component outlines the knowledge, education special skills and qualifications required. Work Context – this component covers authority (reporting structure, supervisory responsibility, decision making), relationships with others (contacts), environment (working conditions), and equipment used on the job. Step 2 – Put it out there Create a ‘short version’ of the job profile and put it out there. Send it: To your community – people know you and trust you – they know your personality. Craigslist and similar web sites Your networking groups Step 3 – Shortlist After reviewing resumes and shortlisting the candidates you will start the interview process with a phone interview. This is to further shortlist the candidates. These questions include the show stoppers. For example, if they will be working out of your home office is that a problem to them. If it is essential to have a car do they own one. This is also a good time to make sure the compensation is acceptable. No point in going further if the candidate wants more than you are willing to pay. Important note: Interviewing is a 2 way street. The candidate wants to prove that they could work for you AND you must prove that your company is worth working for!  Step 4 – Face to face interviews Now is the time to meet the shortlisted candidates. Ideally you are down to no more than three candidates. Take lots of preparation time to develop the interview questions. Another important note – the questions are based on the job profile NOT the candidates. Don’t be afraid of taking notes during the interview. Not only will this ensure you don’t forget important things but it also shows the candidates that what they are saying is important. If possible have another person interview them as well. And assume you will want to do second interviews with one or two of the candidates. Step 5 – Reference checks Never bypass the reference checks. Past performance is always an indication of future performance and the reality is some people just shine in interviews. You want to make sure they also shined in passed jobs. If you are uncomfortable checking references hire someone to do it for you. Again, the questions when checking references should be around the job profile and not the candidate. Depending on the job profile here are some examples: Was he a good team member? What role did she play? Leader? Follower? What were her strengths? She told you what they were in the interview but what does her old boss think her strengths are. Ask if they would hire him back! The answer to this question usually tells you a lot! Step 6 – Onboard the new team member The first few weeks are the most critical. How you handle the onboarding of the new team member will tell her a lot. If she starts and all she gets is a desk in the corner and a 100 page policy manual to read because you are too busy to be with her she won’t stay around for long. Here are some onboarding ideas: Cover the lay of the land – restaurants, washrooms Explain the history of the company – its mission Have lunch with the team Describe the plans for the future Meet a client Give them a space of their own; make sure they have everything they need! Have passwords, codes, contact names all arranged Review the job profile Get together at the end of the first week Like anything in business there are no guarantees that following the Six Step Process will always be successful. But we do know if you follow these steps thoroughly you will minimize the possibility of making a mistake. Remember; you can’t build a great business without building a great team. Happy team building! If you would like a job profile template email me at

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