wardell books


Your human resources are your most valuable resource, so making a poor investment here can wind up being one of the costliest mistakes you ever make. Just as a good employee can enhance your business, a poor employee can cause immeasurable damage. Given this, it make sense to hire only the best candidates; people that will add value to your business, not take it away.

No matter how well you choose your people, however, and no matter how good an employer you are, people are going to leave every once in a while. There’s no getting around it. Indeed, it’s one of the main reasons for all of the work we have done so far. You can’t have your business falling apart every time someone leaves.

So, along with the operating systems for your business, we need a method to find high-quality employees quickly and efficiently.

Finding the Right People

The right people make all the difference to a business, but who are the right people and where do you find them? The right people for your business are out there in the marketplace.

They have dreams and ambitions that work hand-in-hand with the work performed by your business. They are hard to find, but just as you are looking for good employees, good employees are also looking for good employers. In essence, all you have to do is let them know that you're looking and they will show up.

Unfortunately, since you don’t have a list of ideal candidates, there’s no way to be sure that you’ve actually contacted them. Then, if they do show up, they’ll look and sound an awful lot like the rest of the candidates.

To solve this problem, you need a system for maximizing the percentage of high-quality candidates you interview, and a system to help you recognize them when you meet them.

“We hired the wrong people...because we were in a hurry to fill those positions.”

- Lynn Tendler Bignell, Founder of Gilbert Tweed Associates

Defining Your Ideal Candidate

Before you can locate your ideal candidate, you need to know who you're looking for. Not only will they need to have the skills and aptitude for the job, they will need to fit your corporate culture as well.

Before you hire someone new, re-examine your company’s organizational structure and Strategic Objective. What special qualities or skills will be necessary for this person to have in order to take your company to the next level? If you hire new employees based exclusively on your current needs, they may need to be replaced when your company matures. So try to hire people who have the ability and the propensity to grow along with your company.

While continuous learning should be a part of your corporate culture, don’t be afraid to hire people who know more than you do. Failing to do so can put limitations on your company’s growth rate. Intelligent, knowledgeable, ambitious, hard-working people, challenge the status quo and, in so doing, help to push the boundaries of your company’s future.

Start by identifying the qualities of those who would fit in with your company as a whole. Look to your Corporate Foundation of Mission, Vision and especially Values for guidance. Then identify the specific needs of the position itself.

What general qualities are necessary for anyone employed by your company? (Example: honest, ambitious, loyal, professional, curious, team player, etc.)

What are the minimum skills, education, knowledge, physical ability, experience and personal qualities necessary for this position?

PositionGeneral AccountabilitiesSalary Range
TelemarketerComfortable on the phone, detail oriented, flexible schedule$40,000 - $50,000

Channels of Recruitment

Following is a list of places you can search for possible candidates. Be creative in finding new ways to conduct your search. You’ll want to send your message out to as many people as possible, but the higher quality candidates you reach the better, so try to imagine where they are most likely to be found.

  • Internet
  • Friends of employees
  • Colleagues
  • Radio
  • Newspapers
  • Posters and signs
  • Industry, trade and professional associations
  • Ex-employees
  • Recruiting agencies
  • Unemployment agencies
  • Consultants
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Educational institutions
  • Competitors
  • Related industries

What kind of information should you promote when looking for a candidate? Of course you’ll want to include the minimum education or skills needed for the job and a little about your company, but most importantly you should try to get across the unique spirit of your business. What is unique about working in your business? It’s a good idea to include your Mission Statement as well (see Leadership).

Promoting or Hiring From Within

Whenever possible, the best place to find ideal candidates is within your organization.

These people already have a completely verifiable track record. If you can find someone inside your business who can fill the job, your chances of success are far greater than if you have to go outside.

hawaiian lego man

The Known Candidate

Your next best alternative to “hiring from within” is to hire a “known candidate.” Ask people you trust and who know what you're looking for to recommend people they think would be a good fit. You’ll need to scrutinize them the same as you would any other candidate, but your chances for success are far greater.

Be careful of hiring friends and family. It can work, but the line between your business and personal relationships must be extremely clear. Before hiring, carefully consider the impact your working relationships might have on your personal relationships. Should things not go smoothly, it’s not so easy to have a parting of the ways.

Confirmation Email/Letter

Upon receipt of each resumé, you should immediately respond with an e-mail or letter of confirmation. Set these up in template form on your computer so they are ready to go.

Mrs. Carol Johnson,

Thank you for the opportunity to review your resumé. Should your experience and background not match our current needs, we will retain your resumé in our files for up to six months to review for future openings. Should an appropriate position become available, we will contact you to arrange an interview. We sincerely appreciate your interest and the time you have taken to contact us.

Kind regards,

Bob Smith, Manager of Human Resources

Your Recruiting System

Where your recruiting system leaves off and your hiring system takes over is subjective, however, it's probably simplest to end your recruiting process with the collection and organization of a list of warm prospects. In most cases, this will be a stack of resumés from prospects who meet a basic set of criteria and are worthy of a second look. For example, you may decide to reject all candidates who are missing a critical educational component.

Create your Recruiting System.

uncle sam