Hiring the right staff for your business is crucial if you want it to be a success, and you want your vision to become a reality.
A key principle of the Entrepreneurial Operating System is that you need to have the right people, in the right seats.
When I’m implementing the system for clients, one of the first steps is to hypothetically fire the entire leadership team, create the idea structure for the business, then re-hire everyone in the best “seat” for them.
This article brings together all my best advice on how to ensure you have the very best team in place to help your business thrive.
We will be explains the People tools of the Entrepreneurial Operating System and drawing on my years of experience hiring staff both for Bold Clarity and for the retail business I founded, Retail Profile Europe, to explore how to design your hiring process, to give guidance on how to interview well, and tell you the five hiring mistakes to avoid.
Throughout, we’ll offer links to articles, infographics and videos which take an in-depth look at how to make sure you are hiring the right staff for your business, matching your core values and able to do the job well.
How to design your hiring process
Hiring the right staff is one of your most important tasks – if you don’t have the right people in the right seats, it can have a real impact on success of your business.
It is important to hire people who share the vision and culture of your business.
Here are the steps we take to make sure we hire staff who meet our vision and values.
1. Identify your market
There is no point in wasting time and effort advertising in places which are unsuitable for your target market.
It is important to identify the best places to advertise before you start your search. The best way to do this is to consider the role and the type of candidates who would be most suitable.
As part of our process of looking for a freelance office assistant, we identified that the most relevant market would be mothers looking to return to work and had previous office experience, so we found places to advertise where these groups would search.
2. Engaging advert
If you want to guarantee you get a good response to your advert, take some time to ensure your advert is engaging.
An effective job advert will help you to encourage applicants and to enable you to reach the right people as quickly as possible. This will make the hiring process much easier in the long run.
With a small budget, we found that using Timewise Jobs was effective. We received over 130 applicants for our role.
You need to respond quickly because good applicants will be snapped up in a week or two.
And do respond to all candidates, whether you are taking them forward or not.
If you don’t reply to candidates it can damage the reputation of your business.
4. Screening process
With 130 candidates, we needed a highly effective screening process to identify the right person for the job.
Our customised recruitment process had seven stages, and at each stage we filtered out those who didn’t meet our criteria.
- A “request for further information”
- Phone screening
- Competency testing
- A peer interview
- Kolbe testing
- An interview with Julia, the CEO
We then offered the most suitable candidate a paid trial to see how they worked, and then finally an offer.
Our criteria for success included:
- A well written and non-generic cover letter, ideally referring to our company and area of business
- Bonus points given if they address any of the person specification/requirements within the cover letter
- A well formatted CV
- Speed of response to request for additional information
- Good customer service skills, who was enjoyed managing up and had a tenacious, “get things done personality”
The way our process was designed enabled us to automatically filter out candidates at each stage, so, of example, if they answered no to the question about having previous office experience, they would not progress to the next stage.
Selecting the right candidate using EOS tools
You have a great business with a unique product, great market share and good cash flow.
You have a clear vision for where you want to take your business.
However, without the right people, in the right seats, that vision won’t be shared by your team, you will take longer to achieve it – and even risk it not happening.
Whether you outsource some roles, or employ people direct, you can’t have a good business without good people.
To avoid this, you need a system and process for hiring the right staff, that everyone follows.
Your process should include:
1. A screening procedure to match candidates values to the company’s core values
2. Screening candidates to ensure their skills and experience match the role
3. An accountability chart clarifying each person’s role and responsibilities
4. Setting priorities for each team member with a completion date
5. The few key numbers measured weekly which determine whether or not they are on track
6. Regular meetings to keep everyone updated with what the team is doing and what’s happening in the business
7. Individual quarterly and/or annual reviews to assess achievements, and reward and recognise each member of the team
Putting in place these HR tools and a process will help ensure you don’t waste money, time, energy and resources on hiring the wrong people, and allowing poor performance to go unrecognised.
Client case study
A client I am working with to implement EOS realised that the operations manager wasn’t performing, clients were unhappy and the department wasn’t functioning.
They let him go, and the Integrator worked in the operations department for a quarter to help fix some of the technical issues and resolve client complaints. Then they used their HR process to find and hire the right candidate for Head of Operations.
After onboarding him, the scorecard revealed that the number of unresolved tickets on the helpdesk was increasing.
The Integrator brought this to his attention and added that measurable to the leadership scorecard so it could be tracked and managed. Subsequently the number is now back on track and that part of the operations department is functioning well.
Using the tools in the People component of EOS ensures that your people match your core values, understand their roles and responsibilities, and the structure of the business.
The key tools are:
The Accountability Chart, which defines the structure, roles and responsibilities which you need to help your business grow.
The People Analyser, which enables you to find out if your team members – and candidates – are right for your business by evaluating whether each one meets and matches your core values.
Video: What is GWC?
This includes GWC, determining whether each person’s skillset matches the role – do they G = Gets it, W = Wants it and C = has the Capacity to do the job?
The beauty of using these tools is that together they drive accountability and everyone understands how departments function together.
The EOS People Analyser
Business owners and leaders adopt EOS when they want to overcome business challenges and successfully grow their company.
By following the EOS framework, you will be able to manage and plan for every obstacle in the way of your business success.
One of the key facets of EOS is hiring the right people and the positive impact this can have on your company’s ability to achieve its goals.
In order to achieve your vision, you have to recruit great people. Hiring the right team that embodies your values is essential.
To ensure this, you can use the EOS People Analyser™, which will help you make the right hiring decisions each time.
Every company’s core values are unique. The People Analyser allows you to cut through the complex layers of interviewing someone and find out if they embody your company values and characteristics.
When you interview candidates around their core values and delve into their drivers, passions and goals, you can determine whether they are aligned with your business.
Hiring the right staff
When using the People Analyser, you write your company core values at the top, and your team members names down the left side, and you evaluate whether or not they meet or match the value.
We use + if they do it most of the time, +/- if they do it some of the time and – if they don’t do it most of the time.
As an example, when a company has five core values, the recommended bar is three +s and two +/-s, never a minus.
Candidates who are at or above the bar match the company values and you want to get 100% of the right people in your organisation.
As Jim Collins said: “A great vision without great people is irrelevant,” – you need to be sure you’re recruiting the best people into your company.
Get It, Want It, the Capacity to do It
The next stage of the People Analyser is to use your completed Accountability Chart and to clarify who is responsible for what role.
Then it is time to put the people who match your core values into the right seat. We use “GWC” as a filter. G = Get it, W = Want it and C = the Capacity to do the job.
It is a yes or no answer to these questions.
Get it – means they truly understand their role, the culture, systems and process, and how the job comes together.
Want it – means they are motivated to take the responsibility and do the job, based on fair compensation
Capacity – means they have the time and the mental, physical and emotional capacity to do the job well.
For this section of the People Analyser, you must have three Yes’s.
The People Analyser is just one tool in the EOS framework to help you establish the critical success factors you need to grow your business in the direction you envision.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) is used by over 28,000 businesses worldwide, helping company leaders and management teams to scale and grow their business.
It can transform a company from top to bottom, and ensures every person within business is working toward the same shared set of objectives.
How to interview so you hire the right talent
One of the questions my clients ask me is how can they attract and hire the right talent – ie people.
I believe finding the right talent starts with having a defined process and system, both in your hiring process, and to help you be great at the interview stage.
How to interview potential staff
One of the books I use and recommend is Who, a Method of Hiring, by Geoff Smart and Randy Street.
I use their “Who” interview worksheets; by having a template, I’ve found I am a better interviewer, have a more consistent approach and I ask smarter questions.
One of the challenges with interviewing without this preparation is that you ask different questions to different candidates, which makes it harder to evaluate and compare.
A second challenge if I am not using a template is that I often ask leading questions, so the interviewee tells me what I want to hear, and rather than their true answer.
Then, once you hire them, you discover they are different from the person you thought you were hiring. And it’s your fault.
Using the “Who” worksheets means my interviews are consistent.
Here are a few additional ways to make sure you are interviewing to hire the best candidate.
Asking the right interview questions
- In the interview, I like to create a conversation and get the candidate in the mode of them answering a question and giving me an example how.
I find candidates are extremely candid and honest if you have a system and a set of specific questions.
- I create interview questions around the core values of my company without telling the candidate what my core values are.
As an example, I was interviewing a woman for a part-time office role. She was a stay-at-home mum wanting to return to work. I asked her to give me an example of when she said she was going to do something, and followed through and did it.
Much to my surprise, she said, oh, I never to that. I always tell my friends that I am going to meet them for a coffee and then I cancel at the last minute.
Needless to say, I didn’t hire her.
- Another question I find effective in interviews is to ask the candidate on a scale of 1-10 how much they want this position. If the answer is not 10 I am hesitant to hire them.
I want them to be self-motivated and excited to take the position – after all, they will never be as motivated as when they first take the position.
- Once I have found the candidate I think fits both my company core values and the skill-set I am looking for, I require them to come in for an eight-hour on the job trial.
We happily compensate them for the day they have to take off from their existing role. It is telling how much a person wants a job if they are willing to take a day’s holiday and trial both for them and for you.
Interviewing based on your core values, and basing your questions on a template, so they are consistent, will help you ensure you hire the right people who want to work well and help your business to grow.
Five hiring mistakes to avoid
One of your most important assets is your people, the leadership team you surround yourself with as a founder or CEO. Here are five common hiring mistakes leaders make in the process of building their team – and how the EOS tools can help you avoid them.
Not clarifying the role you are hiring
An accountancy firm needed a marketing manager, but did not clarify whether it was a strategic big picture role or a role combining strategy and the ability to execute on the plan. They ended up hiring someone who was strong on strategy, writing lots of plans and documents, but not updating and fixing the website, gathering leads for the sales team, and producing regular newsletters and blogs.
When using the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), we identify what seat you need to fill on the Accountability Chart and the five main roles in that seat. From these five roles, you can create a detailed job description with the skills and experience that the ideal the candidate will need.
Infographic: Is your hiring process fit for purpose?
Not hiring around your culture and values
Before you consider whether a candidate has the right skills and experience, we believe it is imperative that they match the company’s core values. Without a core values match, it doesn’t matter how much expertise they have, what their accomplishments are or what brands they have worked with, they won’t fit in, and may cause problems for a healthy team who have been working together well – such as disruption and division.
By using the EOS People Analyser and interviewing with questions around the company’s core values, you can determine whether a person matches these and/or meets a minimum standard. The People Analyser provides a black and white view of a somewhat subjective analysis of whether the person will match and fit.
Not knowing what level to hire at
One of the challenges a business faces when trying to scale and grow is what level to hire at – junior, team lead or a senior level position. Are you hiring someone who is going to grow into a leadership role, or someone who needs to come in with management experience, who knows how to hire, train and lead a department?
A client I have worked with hired an operations manager who had worked in a much larger organisation. He was used working with greater resources and larger budgets and he overspent on recruitment fees. Eventually he left the business and one of the people he hired became the head of department. It is important to use the Accountability Chart to know the seat, the roles and responsibilities which match the departmental budget, so you are hiring the right person (who matches core values), at the right level, who will deliver.
Only considering internal candidates
Other hiring mistakes we see are only considering internal candidates and forget that the best practice is to recruit the right person who matches the seat requirements, regardless of whether they are internal or external.
One of my clients had discussion and debated whether or not to promote a lead sales manager as head of sales and marketing. The founder had previously held this position and wanted to reward the existing sales manager with the opportunity.
He was promoted, he didn’t deliver the marketing plan, the sales pipeline shrank and there was discontent in the team at his leadership style. After 90 days, he resigned as he had not delivered on his Rocks and was feeling overwhelmed.
Best practice is to follow a pre-determined hiring process where you allow internal candidates to apply as well as finding the best qualified external candidates in the market. Interview and appoint the most qualified candidate, regardless of whether they are internal or external.
Only considering external candidates
Only hiring external candidates can bring a different set of challenges. It is best practice to have a training programme where you develop your mid-level managers, giving them an opportunity to grow their leadership and management skills in order to give them a career path within the organisation.
If you consistently hire your top level managers and leaders externally, ambitious members of your team may feel there is no chance of promotion or advancement. The danger is your best talent may leave.
Every company needs to have a consistent hiring, onboarding and offboarding process. Using the EOS tools and systems helps take the complication and hassle out of hiring, as well as finding the right talent as the company evolves and grows.