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You could feel it in the air. The excitement was palpable. Recently in San Antonio, Texas, lives were being changed. Businesses were mending and leaders were taking the first steps in creating cultures that will take their companies to heights they’ve never imagined. Welcome to EntreLeadership Master Series.
On day two, the topic on everyone’s mind was hiring. Dave took the attendees through his process early in the morning. The event continued with a panel of his leaders, including Debbie LoCurto, vice president, Financial Peace University Church Department, Matt Woodburn, chief operating officer, Bill Hampton, executive vice president, plus Dave, sitting down to answer any questions in a no-holds-barred session. Here’s a sampling of some of the inquiries and the solutions offered.
Q: How do I inspire employees who are not getting the job done? I usually tell them once or twice to get their act together. If they don’t, I get ticked off and fire them. How can I avoid this and start building a company where people want to do their best work?
Debbie: I would have everyone write down what they do every week. That’s your starting point. Then, sit down with each of them and discuss what they have written. After the meeting, create key results areas for each position. Most corporations would call these job descriptions. But it’s much more. It’s defining in detail what winning in that position looks like. A job description gets you hired. The key results area moves your company forward. This is what you need to execute week in and week out.
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Bill: One thing we’ve learned is that sometimes what the person thinks they are supposed to be doing and what you are expecting are totally different. When they write it out, it will help you clarify each position. You can then say, “Hey, that’s exactly what they are supposed to be doing,” or “Oh man, we’re way off.”
Matt: Once you get that put together, you hopefully have a meeting of the minds. To make sure everybody stays on the same page, require your team to turn in weekly reports. A lot of elements that go into that weekly report are going to come from their key results areas. It’s going to give you a one- to two-page quick glance what that team member accomplished for the week for you, and if they are staying on track.
Q: I have a hard time finding qualified candidates to join our team. How can I generate a bigger pool?
Matt: We are experiencing something similar in our company. It’s been very hard to find technical hires for web development, programming, etc. We are experimenting with some recruiting companies that will actually go out and target people of these specific talents. We are also creating a branding campaign that will go out to all kinds of potential candidates. It tells them what a great place we are to work for. We want them to think of us like they think of Google or Amazon for some super-tech programming jobs.
Find out where the talent you are trying to attract gather. Do they have a convention? Can you set up a booth there? You need to somehow get your name out to them.
Dave: You need to put a bounty on the position. Pay your team for referrals. And then, get your team jacked up about it. Try to do some blogging and get some awards for being the best place in the world to work—your culture, integrity, who you are, the pay. Build up your reputation. Then it becomes a privilege for someone to work there.
We’ve won “Best Place to Work in Nashville” five times in a row. Everybody is yakking about us. It creates a buzz out there, and that is what you want.
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Q: I’m ready to hire my first team member. You always recommend multiple, multiple interviews, but at what point does the candidate think I’m crazy? Do I need to put on a fake mustache?
Bill: All your interviews don’t have to be that formal. Maybe the first time, you have coffee with the guy. It’s brief. Then you get together in a more formal interview. After that, go tee it up or just hang out. Then, meet with the guy and his spouse. You learn so much more just hanging out than in a specific interview. Very quickly, you can decide whether he has the skills for the job or not. That’s the easy one. It’s the other factors. It’s his integrity. It’s his character. It’s his personality.
You need to tell him that it’s going to take numerous interviews on the front end, though, so he doesn’t think you are a crazy freak. Say something like, “We are going to take all this time because we care about you, and we care about your family. I would much rather figure out now that you are the wrong person for the position then figure it out a month after you got here. So I apologize for the time we take in this interview process.”
At the end of day, I care about them. And I want to find out before the process starts whether they are right or wrong. They’ll thank you for it later.
Dave: I would recommend just claiming up front what you are doing: “This matters so much to me that we are just going to take some time. It’s going to seem a little weird. What I really want to do is let you get to know me to see if you want to work on this team. I want to get to know you too. We’re just going to talk a long time four or five times in different settings and get to know each other.”
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In 20 years, Dave has grown his company to a national winning brand with more than 300 team members who have impacted millions of lives. His company has been named one of the “Best Places to Work in Nashville” four years in a row. EntreLeadership is how he’s done it and how you can do it too. Get your copy of the new book now!