Most businesses recruit on only one of two other occasions: when someone leaves or when the business is growing and there is a need for another resource. This approach means that the opportunity to improve the overall quality of the team is only occurring reactively and that is poor management of the business.
Every business should continuously recruit high quality people when there are no ‘vacancies’ for them to fill.
The best (and only) way any business will succeed is by having a collective of high quality people, connected to the fundamental purposes of the business. Too many businesses continue to ask questions around their success (or lack of it) that move away from this fundamental component … that is costly, time wasting and doomed to failure. The right group of people will always get the job done and irrespective of what is in their way. They self develop, bring in new ideas, encourage others, solve problems, are resourceful, create change, influence others into positive behaviours, appreciate what is provided for them, demonstrate initiative, show resilience and persist. They ultimately achieve higher profit levels, create a much better customer experience and act in ways for people to enjoy their careers. Surely that is the experience of anyone who has worked with high calibre people. So, why would any business not continuously improve the quality of their own people by bringing in the next, best person, ongoing … and not wait for a vacancy to occur or business growth to create a need? Whatever the overall quality of internal people it can always be better.
Here are the reasons businesses don’t take this approach:
- They don’t think to do it. They just recruit when the need presents itself. That is classic ‘working in the business’ mentality.
- Bringing in a high quality person will sometimes require the exit of someone else and businesses shy away from doing that because of perceived integrity or loyalty issues. But it does not lack integrity on the part of any business to change someone out in favour of a higher quality person (defined by their likely contribution to business success) providing that all communications internally are open and honest.
Further, it is not an awful thing to suggest that the wrong people should be exited from a business. To not do that places their interests ahead of others, including the owners! It is also often the case that people who are changed out end up in better situations for themselves, because it’s not about their quality as a person, it’s about their fit for the role and the business.
- They see an additional person as representing a cost increase. That is so short sighted … high quality people improve profit, they don’t just add to cost. It may not happen overnight but it will happen.
- They can’t support the cash flow required. Sometimes that is valid but most often it is not. If a business owner or key person is not capable of making things happen, even things that don’t at first thought seem possible, then they are unlikely to succeed in general. ‘Make it happen’ is what creates success in business, not merely accepting obvious barriers as being insurmountable. There are various ways to source the funds.
- They won’t pay them more than what the current internal people are earning, if that is what is required. Why not? That is a nonsense contention. If it is accepted that higher quality people will drive better business results then it is not only affordable but advisable.
Too many businesses look to the wrong ways for improvement … training programs, leadership courses, conferences, use of consultants, the latest ‘thing’, what they read in the latest book. Whilst there is nothing wrong with any of these per se, none of them will create sustained and high level success for the business that a group of high quality people will. So, before looking at any of those ways, let alone providing personal trainers, massage, yoga, meditation or team building exercises, put resources into continuously improving the quality of internal people.
It obviously takes skill, proper process and time to gather a high quality group of people together … that’s the main reason businesses look for quicker, easier ways. But it doesn’t work. Wonderfully, a high quality group of people tend to want to stay together so retention of them is naturally easier.
To take this approach even further, deliberately set out to source every next person recruited into your business, the best, not just as good as what you already have. That will lift the bar for those already there. And don’t just look for who is available …. look for the best.
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