Trevor Clark - You Get The Team You Deserve
Trevor Clark - You Get The Team You Deserve

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Trevor Clark - You Get The Team You Deserve


Trevor Clark, professional speaker, business and executive coach.

Picture this - Emelia owns a medium-sized business that she has built from the ground up over the last seven years.

Lots of hard work and learning every day - through reading books, listening to opinion leaders, mentors and coaches - has gone into it. Emelia has probably learned even more through the hard knocks - mistakes made along the way where the lesson only comes when Hindsight taps her on the shoulder with that cruel clarity and insight into how something could have been done a far easier and more effective way.

Now this happens: An empty chair.

Either a team member has resigned, or she has identified a new position or role within the organisation that will help her grow and better serve her customers. But how many business owners do you know that have ever formally studied the art of recruiting talent?

Emelia's first intent is to hire fast, so does she:
  1. Rush to fill the post as quickly as possible, and spend the next five years regretting it? (She is already time-stressed and a family member or her next door neighbour's friend's son is currently unemployed... and that not-so-great ex-employee is back on the market, "Maybe she will be better this time?") ... or
  2. Hire that expensive, walk-onwater graduate that is ridiculously over skilled for the position but comes with an attitude that will make Emelia, and her teams', life miserable? ...or
  3. Pause, plan, and follow a clear process to ensure she finds the perfect person that is going to add significant value to her business?
Sounds obvious right, but how often do business owners and executives get this so very wrong?

Entrepreneurs regularly call me in to work with employees that aren't meeting expectations. Yes, coaches can help with performance, accountability and human improvements in several areas - but often I have to ask is "How did that person get put into that role in the first place?" Getting it wrong is the employer's responsibility far more than the employee's. "Hire for attitude, train for skill."

Below are some key tips to help refine your own hiring process:
  • Do you actually know who you are looking for?
Has a clear job description been drafted so you will know the right candidate when you meet him or her? But more than the standard roles and responsibilities, have clear Key Performance Indicator's (KPI) been defined by which the person's progress will be monitored, have these been cross-checked against the (updated) company organisation chart to ensure no overlap/omissions?

Have you defined the attributes of who will fit the role better?

By using psychometric tools like DISC, Wealth Dynamics and Profile XT, we can more easier tell who will be happier in any role (thereby working in a state of 'flow'). Ever notice how most CV templates contain prepopulated attributes like "Results oriented", "Team Player", "High Attention to Detail", etc. whether the  andidate possesses those qualities or not?

For Trevor's detailed article on behavioural profiling, grab a copy of KZN Business Sense Vol.4, No. 1
  • Are you turning over enough rocks?
The right candidate is out there, but the best people are usually "Looking but Not-looking." In other words, they may leave their current job, but only for a company that speaks more to their core values, goals or personal growth.

Is the advertising and wording compelling? Would it make friends/family of that candidate forward it on to him/her?

Are you getting the job advert out through sufficient channels - recruitment sites, digital channels, human networks and using good placement agencies already in possession of a prescreened pool of talent?
  • Screening
Your time is precious - don't waste it on unnecessary interviews. Using the telephone for prescreening and first-stage interviews can leverage significant hours in your day.

Have you ever tested group/ panel interviews? Save having to repeat yourself by meeting three to four candidates simultaneously, you also get to see how the candidates handle themselves under a little pressure. Bringing three or four existing team members into the interview allows further insight and reinforces their commitment to the team.

Talk about the future, more than the now. Great people want to work for great companies - are you sharing your personal vision and your vision of how your business will look in 20 years' time and the impact it will have?
  • Testing
Have you come up with a method to test for the candidates' skills prior to hiring? (Can the person actually deliver what the CV says he or she can?).

Aside from skill-based testing, again using psychometric tests like DISC can be a great way to break a tie between your shortlisted candidates. These tests range from only R800 and upwards so a small investment to make to reduce the risk of placing the wrong person at salaries in the tens and hundreds of thousands.
  • Reference checks
A basic that is too often overlooked. Are you also taking references from the employers not listed on the CV? Don't settle for one positive reference or give up on one negative. Digging a little (and checking social media channels) can uncover a lot of useful insight.
  • Social interview
A great acid test is to invite your shortlisted employee to a team lunch or, better yet, an evening meal. At this level, easy to witness social etiquette, drinking/ language habits and to meet the person's spouse/partner. Incredible what you learn about people when loosened up, or from their significant other.
  • Induction
Once you have chosen your candidate and sealed the deal, do you set him/her up for success?

A proper induction plan (often check listed) will help you onboard any new recruit faster and allow them to quickly assimilate the culture of the business and be 100% clear on how to do the job before being inflicted on your clients.

Regular review sessions (weekly even for the first month of employ, then monthly, then quarterly, etc) will also aid confidence for all parties.

Drop us a line at for a free user guide to ActionCOACH's "Four-Hour Recruitment Process". A system that brings these, and more principles into play, allowing you to bring on capable and dynamic team members fast.

T: 031 266 2258

Trevor Clark - You Get The Team You Deserve

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