So what is an Employee Acquisition Plan? It’s a practical plan to win the battle for top talent by consistently generating more than enough leads, screening out non-performers, and using a skills-based test-drive process and psychometrics to choose team members that deliver results.

Why is an Employee Acquisition Plan important? Studies indicate that if you only use a resume and interview to determine who to hire your probability of success is barely 60% so you might as well just flip a coin. Using the Employee Acquisition Plan coupled with the Psychometric Profiling Process, which is another Tip, can improve the odds to over 85%.

One other real key thought before getting into this; you need to hire into your culture and not hire into your company. It is relatively easy to hire someone based on checking off against a list of skills or abilities or experiences, but it can be very challenging to find the person that will be a good fit into your culture. The best ‘qualified’ candidate may not be the right person to hire!

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My 3-part process for building a winning team is based on a metaphor by Jim Collins. He says to build a winning team, you have to get the right people on the bus. But I like to take Mr. Collins’ metaphor a bit further. Not only do you want to get the right people on the bus, but you also want to get the right people, in the right seats, exhibiting the right behavior – on the bus. In other words, you want to recruit the best, most talented people in the market, make sure they are playing the right role on your team, and make sure they’re playing nicely with each other.

Each of these 3-parts has a corresponding Silver Bullet. The Team Building System Silver Bullet is implemented when you need your team to behave better and become a cohesive team. I use the Employee Acquisition Plan coupled with the Psychometric Profiling Process to help owners hire the right people for the right seats, or in other words the right roles in the business. I use psychometric profiling as the very last part of the recruitment process for employees because it dramatically reduces the chance of making a mis-hire.

The first thing you should understand is that as the employer, you need to position yourself as the buyer, not the seller. Hiring is like fishing. The firms that get the best people are the ones that get a lot of fish on the deck so they can be choosy. The challenge a lot of business owners have when it comes to hiring is they approach it like they are really the desperate ones. They absolutely need this position filled and come to the whole thing kind of groveling. You want to have a whole lot of people coming to you trying to get this job, so that you can be the buyer, choosing and making the decisions. By doing it this way, you’ll have the benefit of people selling to you rather than you going out and selling to them. In order to be able to be choosy and have people selling to you so that you have the freedom to make a good decision, you've got to do an effective job of marketing the position.

The goal of the employee acquisition plan is to generate more than enough leads on high quality employees by deploying multiple recruitment strategies to market for employees in unusual ways. You have to look at recruiting like marketing. There are a lot of studies that have been done that talk about the shrinking pool of talent. Many things have been written basically saying that an employer’s ability to recruit high quality talent is absolutely one of the competitive factors that will make a business either OK or fantastic.

Here’s the 4-step recruiting system that I recommend to get the best “fish”, so to speak, out of the water.

1. The first step is Prepare the Bait. Your goal is to market for employees in unusual ways, and marketing starts with preparing the bait. You’ve got to create the ad and the description of the opportunity in a way it really gets the fish wanting to jump onboard. Just like you have to differentiate yourself in the market to attract clients, you must do the same in your job posts. Be creative, think outside the box and set your ad apart from all the others out there. Before even starting to write a job post, go back and really think through 4 things and then address all of these in the post.
   a. Where does this position fit into your organization plan, not just for when they are hired, but             longer term as your business grows.
   b. What is the role and define it in as much detail as possible.
   c. What is your business culture and how might it affect who you hire.
   d. What is the compensation structure including salary, benefits, bonuses, commissions, etc

2.  The second step is to Cast the Net. You have to get the net into the water, and you have to use a lot of different strategies to generate leads. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make over the years is not having enough strategies out there to get enough people applying for the position. When this happens, you have a business owner deploying maybe one or two strategies and they only get two or three applicants. The challenge is that if you only get two or three applicants for a position that might not be enough! The big fish you’re looking for, the ideal employee, might not have been one of those two or three applicants! Mis-hires can be incredibly expensive. Studies suggest a mis-hire can average thousands of dollars so going into this you have to make a decision; pay upfront to get the right person the first time or pay often to hire poorly over and over again. Four good tactics include
   a. offering incentives to your existing team to recommend someone
   b. offering an incentive like a restaurant gift card to your network for referrals
   c. using one or two online job posting sites
   d. hiring a professional recruiter if the position warrants it.

3.  The third step is to Sort the Fish. One of the other reasons that business owners often do not cast a big net is because they don't want to interview ten or fifteen people. What often happens is the business owner will get two or three people, they’ll interview them and choose the best. In a lot of cases this amounts to basically choosing the lesser of two or three evils! They'll bring that person in, that person won't work out, and then the business owner will be back to the drawing board. That's why I have as the third step in the recruiting system an interview process which cuts down the time and effort dramatically. You can do this a couple different ways, but the objective is to give the applicant one chance to tell you why they should be seriously considered for a more formal interview. You can easily setup a voice mail box that when called tells the applicant they have up to 90 seconds to sell themselves to you – their so-called elevator pitch. Alternatively, you or one of your staff can call them and ask them a single question that forces them (again) to sell themselves to get an interview.

4.  Step number four is Reel Them In. You're going to choose the one or two best ones out of the group you’ve sorted through in the virtual interview and then reel them in. We do that through a test drive process, which is another kind of special interviewing process. You would never think of buying a car without test driving it. You would never think of buying a house without walking through it. And yet most people will hire somebody without really test-driving that person to make sure they have the skills and are going to work out! Here are 3 examples:
   a. If you're hiring salespeople, bring a few good applicants in, have them sit at the phones and           actually try to generate leads. Alternatively, have them do role playing with each other. The               people who could really sell would show that they could sell and generate leads in the test             drive. If they can’t do it in the test drive, they won’t do it in real life.
   b. Say you are in the manufacturing or construction business. You bring the people in and have          them do a work sample for a few hours on the job site. That way, you can actually see how               many units they can produce, how they start working with the crew, what their work ethic is           like, what kind of skills they have. This also lets the team participate in evaluating the                     people that are coming in.
   c. Say it’s an office person. Create a list of tasks that are common, and then bring in the people         you want to test and have them do the tasks so you can see which of them have the skills!             Draft emails, use spreadsheets, edit a presentation, schedule meetings, etc. This is simple             and lot of it is pretty intuitive but how they approach it or the questions they ask will give               you tremendous insight.

The last thing you do is you take your favorite, top-performing 2 or 3 candidates from the Test Drive and put them through a psychometric profiling process. This part of the recruitment process is so important that we have entire separate Silver Bullet about it. This one step alone can dramatically reduce the chance of making a mis-hire. The goal is to make sure that the person you are about to hire for this position will be in the Right Role for them, a role best suited to their strengths. After you have reviewed the profile results for your favorite 2 or 3 candidates and created your priority list, it’s time to negotiate the compensation package starting with your best candidate.

If you would like to learn more about how an an Employee Acquisition Plan can help your business book a short phone call with me to chat.