It doesn’t matter what line of work you’re in, what you make, sell or distribute; a successful business cannot run at peak without a great team at its foundation. That may sound like yesterday’s news and something top entrepreneurs are fully cognizant of, but one weak link may start as a tiny crack in the foundation but end up as a formidable sinkhole.
Sorting through the vast array of personalities and character strengths and weaknesses is a daunting challenge. The brief time allotted for resume review and interviewing cannot possibly delve deeply enough into a candidates real work ethic and drive. Knowing how to cherry pick is like so many other aspects of business and life; easier said than done.
Creating a solid and cohesive team takes planning, it’s important to decide before even advertising the position what you are looking for in an individual, for example self-motivation and consistency in a sales rep, or reliability and attention to detail in office personnel. In essence it requires a different mindset for every team member.
It is only human nature to be attracted to people that are the most like us and share our values, integrity and personality traits. When selecting the right team members you must learn to let go of those innate reactions and understand that it takes a cornucopia of individuals to propel a business to the top—and keep it there.
Unless you are hiring to expand your team, generally when we hire staff we are looking to replace a team member. It is only natural to feel compelled to get new boots on the ground as soon as possible and fill that gap, but doing this will be a disservice to you, your business and the rest of the team. While it requires much more of your valuable time to slow the whole hiring process down, it can actually save you time and money in the long run because the ideal candidate will enhance the team and improve it. A great foundation, like a great team is built on stability and durability and should be in place for the long term.
The very best candidates and top producers are a rare breed and obviously highly coveted -and they know it. As the Godfather would say “you need to make them an offer they can’t refuse.” Find out what their prime motivator is, for example monetary bonuses, extra time off, an expense account or whatever. It is also essential to offer a commission policy that meets or beats your competitor’s; otherwise you will find your ideal candidate working against you instead of for you.
It may sound simplistic, but if you don’t promote an awesome Mission and Vision Statement where it is visible and easily accessible, you might be losing out on some highly talented recruits. You can count on the cream-of-the-crop candidates to check you out long before they permit you to check them out. Everyone wants to work on a team that seems dynamic, successful and forward thinking, and the best candidates not only want this—they crave it.
There are many reasons to take your time and hire right the first time. Naturally a strong team will garner strong results, exceed goals and expectations and put your company on top, but on the other hand, if you employ a capable, pro-active and independent team you will be happily surprised to find that you can actually improve your quality of life. Without a strong team in place, you will be working too much and too hard overseeing, double-checking and micro-managing—don’t you want your life back?
Keeping all this in mind, do you have a vision of your “perfect” team? Are you capable of creating a formula to start building that team on your own? Do you have the time? Most highly successful entrepreneurs simply don’t and that is where a business coach can be invaluable. Knowing that you have a “mentor” who has been there and done that successfully in the past and can guide you through the process of building a great team is worth its weight in gold. If you don’t have a coach—why not?
Ken Goodfellow is a leading real estate coach in North America to Top Agents, Brokers and Teams. He is well known for taking high-producing agents and real estate companies to the next level.
For more information, visit www.goodfellowcoaching.com.