Operating any restaurant requires tremendous energy.
The pursuit of profit alone is usually not enough. It is the pursuit of a dream—a vision about how your restaurant will positively impact your life, your family, your customers and your world. This vision gives you the stamina to deal with the inevitable obstacles that await all entrepreneurs—the cash flow crises, tech problems, vendors who don’t deliver on time and thousands of other random, unpredictable annoyances.
The entrepreneurial journey is, in some sense, a solitary one. It’s lonely at the top. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. But no matter how ambitious you are—how much energy and knowledge you bring to the game—you cannot win alone. As Margaret Mead famously observed: “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
You need a group of people committed to your vision. You cannot change the world by yourself.
Okay, that all sounds great in theory. But practically speaking, how do you do this? How do you attract rock stars, keep them there and make sure they thrive?
Unfortunately, hiring awesome talent presents profound challenges. As of early 2018, the unemployment rate in the United States is the lowest it has been in 17 years at 3.9%. Many great people are already locked into positions. That means competition for unspoken-for top talent is enormous. Candidates can be choosy. The best hires for your company may already be working for other businesses—possibly competitors.
To compound the problem, the stakes are huge. According to the unofficial bible of business recruiting, Topgrading, the cost of one “bad hire” can be as much as 15 times the employee’s annual salary. That’s a lot of wasted money! And one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch by negatively impacting morale, productivity and customer satisfaction.
And finally, the business owner’s attitude towards attracting top talent is grim. We hear too often from our clients: “there is not enough good people.” When we press the client for more explanation, we realize the owner’s recruitment strategy is based on hope – hoping the job market will get better. We all know hope is not a strategy.
What’s the Path Forward?
To get the right talent, you need more than luck and a prayer. You cannot depend on random good fortune. Instead, you must actively look for A Players and, critically, your campaign needs to be an ongoing one. You need a recruitment plan—a strategic, documented process for sourcing candidates, screening them and training them.
Mark Miller, Vice President of High Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A, and his team embarked on a journey to understand what attracts top talent. They interviewed 100s of top performers. And after completing their quantitative research, they discovered that once the basics have been met—a fair wage, safe work environment, access to the tools and resources needed to perform the job—Top Talent (as opposed to Typical Talent) seeks a Better Boss, a Brighter Future and a Bigger Vision. They want a boss that cares about their success and is committed daily to helping them grow and build transferable skills. Top Talent also cares about making a difference in the world. Here’s Mark’s recruitment strategy – actually provide the things most valued by Top Talent; and build awareness in the job market around your company’s story – the story your Top Talent wants to hear. In his book Talent Magnet, Mark simplified this concept with a powerful math equation – TM . This stands for Talent Magnet = (Better Boss) (Better Future) (Bigger Vision) *Awareness.
We took Mark’s formula and plugged it into our Recruitment Funnel (a.k.a. Talent Pipeline) below. This illustrates how a typical recruitment plan can work. We will get to the details in a minute.
First, you need proverbial clay on the wheel. Where can you source talent? Options include candidate referral programs, job fairs and social media. Be creative and get out there. Don’t wait for people to show up on your doorstep. Cast a wide net, pay attention to what works and what doesn’t, do more of what works, and rinse and repeat. In many ways, sourcing candidates is a lot like marketing to prospects. You need to test, identify a process that works and then improve that process over time.
Here’s an example of how we’ve done this at InPrime Legal. We recognized early on that some of our best employees previously worked as law clerks for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The legal industry regards attorneys at the 11th Circuit as the cream of the crop. So, we knew to include the 11th Circuit in our sourcing strategy. Here’s what we did.
Law clerks at the 11th Circuit serve a 2-year term. At the end of that period, those attorneys go hunting for their next positions. With this knowledge in mind, our hiring team networked and developed relationships with various contacts at the 11th Circuit. Every year, we leverage those contacts in our hiring process by sending them our job announcements. Thanks to InPrime Legal’s reputation, our contacts are happy to pass along announcements to the law clerks. It’s a win-win. We find awesome hires, and hardworking law clerks advance their legal careers.
Not every candidate will be a good fit. And even those who might thrive in your organization aren’t necessarily right for the position in need of fulfillment.
How do you sort the proverbial wheat from the chaff? You need an elegant screening process to winnow the field. This process typically includes:
1. The job application
2. Candidate interviews
3. Pre-hire assessments
4. Reference checks
5. Team member observations
6. In-person interviews
Here is an example of our screening plan:
Once the glow from the handshake and “welcome to the team!” emails fades, the real work in many ways begins. Intelligent onboarding is essential! You must orient new hires, introduce them to your vision and values, and integrate them into what you’re doing.
This takes work. Ideally, it should be done via a deliberate, documented process. Many businesses drop the ball here, because they believe the hard part—finding the employee—is over. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Shoddy, half-hearted onboarding can unwind all your hard work and then some. During the first 90 days, 1-in-6 new hires will consider quitting a job due to an ineffective onboarding. But if you get this piece right, you will decrease turnover, ensure consistent workflow and increase productivity.
An onboarding plan may include:
1. The offer letter
2. HR compliance paperwork
3. Training materials
4. Employee shadowing
5. A welcome gift
Truth be told, the world is full of Rock Star talent. You just need the right plan to attract them.
THE JOB ANNOUNCEMENTS AND DISCRIMINATION
While most businesses know to avoid intentional discrimination in a job announcement, a business can still be liable if the company’s job posting results in indirect discrimination. In its job announcement for new production employees, the Kohler Company set a minimum height requirement of 5’4” to ensure that its production employees were big enough to lift its porcelain fixtures. Unfortunately, the result of the posting was that more than 2,000 women were turned down for production jobs in 2 years. The height requirement indirectly discriminated against women. To settle the resulting lawsuit, Kohler paid over $800,000 to the women who were turned down for the positions, but the company lost so much more in time and damage to its reputation.
HOW TO AVOID DISCRIMINATION IN YOUR JOB POSTING
To make job announcements the right way, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Make sure your job announcement does not directly discriminate against a protected class. Protected classes include age, race, gender, religion, national origin and disability.
Step 2: Try narrowing your criteria to achieve a specific business goal while avoiding indirect discrimination. List only the functional requirements for the positions. In the Kohler example, a weight lifting requirement would have met the same goal without the resulting discrimination.
Step 3: Be proactive. Consult legal counsel to periodically review your job announcements and ensure legal compliance before a problem arises.
InPrime Legal has got you covered. Download our free sample recruitment plan. It’s full of creative ideas to help you attract and keep amazing people. And we're just a call away.
Contact us any time for a consultation, and to learn more about “Recruiting to Win” and the InPrime Legal program at:
Office: (770) 285-7785
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