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Stefan Kazakis on 20 October 2018

It's one of the most common questions we hear from business owners: Where do I find great employees?

The fact is, A-graders surround themselves with other A-graders. So, you should go to the A-graders you already know in your network of friends and ask them to help you find these talented, energetic and enthusiastic people to join your business in the future.

But don’t ask just anybody. That’s a waste of time. Only approach those in your network who you believe will get it.

Don’t ask your brother-in-law if he thinks getting out of bed before 10 am is hard work. Don’t ask your next-door neighbour if she recently tried to sell you some suspect looking iPhones.

The strategy to find A-Graders employees

A-Graders hang out with other A-Graders. That’s where you’ll find them. Here’s a great strategy that I use all the time to be on the lookout 24/7/365 for future A-graders for my business.

Make a list of the top 10 influencers

Make a list of the top 10 influencers you know who get what you are about and what you do and who hang around with the right people. Make the list from the perspective of they know people who might be right for your team. Then, write a two paragraph summary about who you are, your business and what you represent and the position you have in mind.

This should be followed by bullet points about what type of person you are looking for.

Here’s how the explanation goes:

‘We’re on the lookout for a future business coach. I know you hang out with people who operate in this area. Do you know somebody who might be highly skilled but for whatever reason is not going too well on their business journey right now?

Would they consider joining our organisation?

I’ll email you a two-paragraph summary of our business and what we’re about and who we are, and I’ll list what I’m looking for so that you can have a clear understanding of the type of person I’m looking for.

Would you be happy to look at that and see if there’s anyone in your network who might be somebody I could have a coffee with?’

Then, send this to your A-grade contacts with an explanation of what you are doing and ask, ‘Do you know somebody I could have a coffee with?’

All you are aiming for at this point is a conversation. It’s not a job offer yet. There isn’t even a position for you to offer!

All you are doing is finding A-graders who you can talk to so you can gauge their interest about a possible position in the future. Then you can stay in touch with them and make them an offer when the time and the position are right.

For this strategy I use the ‘phone, mail, phone’ approach.

That is, I start with a phone call to my A-grade contacts to explain what I’m up to, and if they are willing to help I email them the information described above.

Then, a few days later I follow up with a phone call to see if they have anybody I could meet with.If you are a CEO trying to grow but you don’t have a strategy in place to always be on the lookout, then you will be hiring the best of a bad bunch when you need somebody.

The critical point is to position and market your organisation to future employees with the same intensity and vigour as future customers.

Think of marketing to future A-graders. You should always be on the lookout when it comes to future talent in your business. If you truly want to become a Productivity Diamond this is the one that sets you free.

Why is the 24/7/365 strategy so important?

Because it’s rare that a future A-grader is sitting around doing nothing. It’s rare that exactly when you have a position available a high-quality A-grader will be looking for just that type of role.

There will be many B-graders happy to apply, but the A-graders will usually be in the middle of something else and unavailable. But, if you are already in contact with these people, and they are already informed about your organisation and interested, you have a much higher probability of attracting the right person at the right time.

Because you already have somebody in mind, you can alert them to the position before you need them, and if they wish to do so they can make themselves available at the right time.

If you truly want to be a Productivity Diamond, this is the thing that will set you free. It is not optional. If you’re not prepared to do this yourself, get a head-hunter who will. Always be looking 365 days a year. Good people are out there, and if you’re constantly looking they will show up.

Power to you!



Could you use some guidance to run a more successful business? Contact Business Benchmark Group - we offer free workshops so you can "test drive" our coaching with no obligation whatsoever. 

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