One of the toughest challenges for any entrepreneur or leader is finding and cultivating the best talent to bring your dream and vision to life.
There are a million articles and different systems and philosophies on finding and hiring the best talent - some extremely intricate. Years ago, I was part of a task force in a Fortune 500 to study hiring. We brought in the experts. We analyzed the traits of top hires. We look at what type of interview processes and personality tests gave the best results. It was a year long project. After all the hard work, time, and effort - we found one simple, brutal fact that we could not overcome with any type of system, process, or corporate "crystal ball." It was this, One in Three. No matter what, one in three hires will turn out to be a bad fit or unsuccessful. Even if they have all the traits in the world and are perfect fit for the job in every way, it still happens. The funny (or not so funny) thing was that the one 1:3 ratio was about where we were before we started the whole exercise!
Here's the deal, sometimes people do their best sales job in the interview. They come across as talented, with all the skills and capabilities, but one in three will end up not being what you thought they were. Period.
Once I truly understood and realized this, it made things easier for me as a leader. I resigned to the fact that 1:3 will not work out, but that would mean I would gain two rockstar A-Players for every 3 hires. And if you can do that, you can be tremendously successful.
So how do you find and hire rockstar A-Players? Here are 3 simple steps you can take starting today.
1.) Be Deliberate and Purposeful About Your Hiring
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You get into your office, have a million things coming at you, and you look at your calendar or your assistant tells you, "You have interview you have to do in 30 mins." To which your mind goes, "Damn. I totally forgot. I don't have time for this today." So what happens? You scramble, get into the interview, ask the same old boring questions to check the boxes and move on with your day.
This happens over and over again and it has always astounded me with most businesses. Everyone says that talent is the most important thing and that their people are the most important asset, blah, blah, blah, but for most hiring is where they put the least amount of resources, time, and training.
You've heard a million times that you need to plan for your success, right? Well, if hiring the right people make the biggest impact in your success, then you need to plan and prepare for that area of your business. Be deliberate and purposeful about your hiring. Treat potential talent like a potential client. Do some research on them. Look at their resume and their LinkedIn profile and think through the questions you want to discuss and the topics - and why. Don't "phone it in." You should spend a couple hours preparing and interviewing candidates at the minimum.
2.) Create A Good, Solid Screening Process
Now that you are committed to being deliberate and purposeful in your hiring, if you are going to put the time into these candidates, you want to make sure that you are doing it with the best ones out of the pool you have. In order to do this, you need to have a good screening mechanism. The simplest way is to either have them fill out a questionnaire online or do a 20-30 minute phone screen. You can have someone on your team do the phone screen, but make sure you train them in the specific things you want to look for in the screen and what will constitute whether the candidate moves to the interview. Your screening process should have at least the following:
3.) Make the Interview a Conversation (and one other little secret)
Be wary of HR items of what you can and cannot talk about in interviews, but you should strike to make the interview a conversation. After all, this person might be working for you, so you should be able to get along and have good conversation. Most interviewees have their guard up, so it takes a little while to get them to loosen up and show their true personality. You should always be asking 3rd, 4th, and 5th levels follow up questions on topics you are discussing. Peel back the onion, get to the roots of things. Find our how they think, what they believe, and confirm that what they say their are passionate about is true.
Here's the other little secret. Tell the truth about the reality of the role they are coming into. A lot of advice these days has to do with the fact that "you are competing for talent and you need to sell them on your company, etc." I disagree and think that this is where a lot of hiring mistakes happen. The employer sugar coats the reality of a role so they "can get a butt in a seat." They are concerned more with getting someone hired rather making sure they have the best someone to hire.
Be honest about the role and it's challenges. I tell everyone that comes into my companies that the role will be one of the hardest they ever have, because it will be. We move fast, we are demanding, we expect excellence and results. I also tell them that it can and will be the most rewarding they will every have if they are willing to put in the hard work and stick with it for the first year because I know that is what will take. I ask them to take time and really about what we've discussed and the reality of the role. And if after deep thought, if they truly believe that it is the dream role that they were made for, then we will move to the next step. If it is not - that is OK. I would rather have them find and know they have found the best position to maximize their talents, passion, and capabilities. And if it is not with us, that is fine. In some ways, I am selling against working with us, but telling the truth and giving a very clear picture is most important. I also always tell them to remember our conversation, because if they move forward and we move forward, and things get hard - because they will, they can't say I didn't tell them what to expect. I cannot count how many times a team member has brought that up to me a few months after getting into the role and told me - "Wow, it was tougher than I expected, you were right, but this is why I signed up with you and am excited to get better." As a leader, you cannot ask for anything better.
At Misfit, we use a number of tools to help us produce and promote our show, blog, brand, social media, and manage our business. After a lot of searching and trial, we have found a set of tools that are the easiest to use, offer the best services and capabilities, and while, we do pay for upgraded setups of them now; they all have awesome FREE versions that can help any business. In fact, on all of these we share below, we started on the free versions.
Best Resource to Easily Creating a Website - Weebly
We love using Weebly for websites. Our site is built on the Weebly platform. After using everything from Wordpress to WIX and others, we have found Weebly the easiest to use, manage, and leverage. There are probably some capabilites that the others have that offer a little more in some areas, but for the all around experience, you can't beat Weebly. Their drag and drop website builder is easy, intuitive, and fun to use and build with. The standard setup comes with just about everything someone getting started needs and they have everything else, including app plugins for your needs as you grow.
Weebly also has integrated shopping carts, membership site capabilities, and the ability do newsletters and subscription services all within the platform.
I have used Weebly for almost a decade since they first started and it has been amazing to see how much the platform has grown and continues to grow. Even at the most expensive upgraded version, it's only a few hundred bucks a year.
They offer a great FREE account version that can handle most everything for new sites, blogs, etc.
Here is a link to setup a free account with them from Misfit
Full disclosure, nowadays Misfit works with Weebly as an affiliate. After using them for a long time and choosing them for the Misfit site, it made sense to finally have a relationship.
Best Resource for Managing and Growing Your Presence on Twitter - Crowdfire
There are a million tools for managing your social media presence and they all have their own benefits and challenges. Some are really good for specific platforms and some are really good for more general management.
Crowdfire is one that we have found that is really good for managing and growing your presence on Twitter. What we like about Crowdfire (aside from the fun to interact with "FireBot") is that it actively manages things for you on a daily basis and gives you what you need to do in a daily "prescription." All you have to do is follow the next step. And it takes about 15 minutes a day to manage. They have a great App so you can manage on the go as well.
Crowdfire really does everything for Twitter. It analyzes your new followers and gives them to you to review and decide to follow or not. It suggests people to follow based on your key words and topics. It suggests people to follow that follow your competitors or similar accounts to you. And it curates content and articles to share based on your interests and focus.
It's easy, quick, and allows you to stay well connected with your audience on Twitter. They recently released a version for Instagram as well.
Check it out at www.crowdfire.com
Best Resource for Creating Cool Pics and Images - Pablo by Buffer
To go along with Crowdfire, we also use Buffer at Misfit. Buffer is a pretty well-known tool that has been written about extensively. It has a great free version for posting content to all of your social media networks. But, one thing that is less known and that is really cool, is the Pablo app and site that you get, even with a free version of Buffer. Pablo allows you to create awesome social media images to go with your content. You can edit and create different versions and looks of the hundreds of templates available to you, as well as add quotes or your own text. You can also upload your own images and do the same.
It is easy to use and navigate and allows you to knock out awesome pics with your message in just a few seconds.
Check it out at https://pablo.buffer.com/
Best Resource for Email Marketing, List Management, and Engagement - Benchmark Email
I absolutely love Benchmark. Over the years, I have used everything from Constant Contact to Aweber and Mailchimp. In fact, when setting up Misfit, we reviewed and tested over 10 different tools in this area and Benchmark was the best. Benchmark's UI is easy and super intuitive. It's integrations are excellent. It is easy to integrate into any website, including Weebly. In fact, the Misfit Minute Signup is a Benchmark integration. Benchmark has a great autoresponder setup that is easy to manage and use. Additionally, they allow for split testing in your emails and automate it, making it easier to see which messages your audience like most.
Benchmark has a number of other features, but after using them for little while, we were thoroughly impressed and continue to be. We brought them on as a sponsor for Misfit and they offer our audience a really great FREE account with up to 2000 email addresses. For many, that is all they'll ever need, so it's a sweet deal. The cool part is they don't limit functionality on the free account!
You can sign up and test it out by going to Misfit/Benchmark FREE 2k Plan here
Best Resource for Curating Attention Grabbing Headlines and Post Titles - Coschedule Headline Analyzer
Let's face it, you can have the best content in the world, but if you can't get it noticed, then it doesn't matter. For a while, I never really paid attention to the titles of posts or what I wrote when I shared an article until I was fortunate to attend a Mastermind with some of the best marketers online today. One of them said something that resonated in huge way with me , "You have to sell the click first!"
So true. People are bombarded with content and articles, blog posts, videos, and everything in-between all day. It's your job to find a way to separate yourself from the pack and grab that 2-3 seconds of attention that makes someone listen to what you have to say or share. You do that by selling the click, by having an interesting and attention grabbing headline.
How do you do that? How do you know what is going to work? Well, that is where Co-Schedule's Headline Analyzer comes in. You simply type your headline in and it will score it based on a number of factors and let you know if it is good or not. I have found that scores over 70 are pretty solid consistently, so you may have to play with your headline to get there. But it is really worth it. I mean why spend all of the time writing something or sharing it if no one is going to read it or see it?
Once I understood this and incorporated it into my content routines, I definitely started to notice an uptick in views, shares, and interaction from others.
The best part is that it is a totally free tool. Check it out at http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer
There are a lot of great tools and solutions out there to help you in your business and your brand and you have to find out what works best for you and how you operate. But, we have definitely made great use of the tools above starting with their free versions and moving from there. Hopefully they can help you too!
Let's face it, no one can motivate you, but yourself. That seems counter-intuitive coming from a group that creates content with guests that talk about their stories, secrets, and what motivates them, but in reality, the choice to be motivated is yours. You can hear the greatest speech or read about the amazing success secrets of others and still not be inspired.
The truth is that motivation comes from within...and what motivates and inspires an individual is different from one person to the next. But as individuals, we need motivation. We need it to keep ourselves grounded, keep pushing ourselves, and inspire us to new levels in our lives.
The key to stay on top of your game is to stay motivated. So what really motivates you? What makes you get that feeling of energy, that rush of excitement, or pushes you to "Go?" Have you ever really thought about it? If you want to keep yourself motivated, you should. Figure it out. Figure out what types of things (topics, content, messages) motivate you. Next, figure out what mediums of these items make it come alive for you. Is it video, podcasts/audio, books/reading, etc.? Once you know the answer to those two questions, you will be able put items in your life every day to keep you motivated.
For example, I am a huge fan of visualization and visualizing success, as well as taking control of your thoughts and mind, so I prefer to watch inspirational videos with very specific messages about mindset to pump me up and get me going. Each day, I work these into my daily routine like the one above (one of my favorites). Starting my day with something like this puts me in the right frame of mind, gives me that awareness that I am in control of my success, and the energizing emotions that I am looking for so that I power through at a high level.
Try this in your life. Be deliberate about what motivates you, and use the topics and mediums that best fit your style to really give you true, lasting motivation that makes a difference. Don't waste time or your energy on ones that don't!
A lot of people ask me, "Dave, how do you do it? How do you manage to do all you do across your different businesses and keep everything going and working at high levels? What is the secret?" There are so many things wanting our time and interrupting our lives these days. Everything from work needs to our social lives (and social media), to a 24 hour news cycle. And then of course doing everything you can to spend time with family. There is a lot to keep up with. To make matters worse, because of the instant nature of our society and everything having to be now, now, now; it seems like there is always "something we have to do." We stop the microwave with 2 seconds left! We can't even wait the 2 seconds any more.
(you know you do it)
So how, with all of these things in our face every day and all of the commitments we have in our lives, are we supposed to keep up? What is the secret?
We live in such an instant society. We stop the microwave with two seconds left! We can't even wait two seconds any more...
Well, there is one thing I have found that has worked consistently for me and others over time that is easy to do and is so simple. It's so simple, you are gonna say, "Yeah I knew that already. I know I should be doing that."
Well, here it goes - Plan Your Day! That's it. Take 15 mins to write down the things you need to do for the day and keep your checklist with you throughout the day crossing things off as you go. It is amazing what this does for you. First, having a checklist helps to keep you on task and focused for the day. Second, what you have written down are your goals for the day and your mind will drive you toward them - with the added satisfaction you get whenever you cross something off the list. You know the feeling, it's progress. You are moving forward. And this creates a snowball effect in actioning on things. Think about it, there is no way you are going let your day end without that last thing being crossed off the list. You've come that far, you gotta finish right? Having a daily "To Do" list holds you accountable.
Try it for one week. Each morning, grab a piece of paper and write down what you need to do for the day. You will be amazed at everything you will accomplish. Once you see the benefits, you may want to take it a step further like I did about 5 years ago. Take 30 mins or so each weekend and write out your "To Do" list for the week by each area of your life. For example, your work area, personal area, any other areas that you want to separate out. Then each day, pick items from the weekly list for your daily "To Do" list. Its really easy to do and after a few weeks, it will be habit and you will find that you can get exponentially more done in the time you already have. And you may even find that you are so efficient in getting things done that you have a lot more extra time for fun and family. Here's to your new found freedom!
If you do decide to try this method, drop me a note and let me know how its going for you at firstname.lastname@example.org