The most important thing you will do as a manager is Driving the Bus, which is a metaphor that I like to use when discussing recruiting and team building. I recommend using the following Bus related questions to guide your hiring and team building:
- Where is the Bus going?
- Who should be on the Bus?
- Where should they sit?
- Who else can drive?
Each of these questions plays an integral role in building the team you go to battle with, and your long-term success. In Part Two A, we started with a section about Who Should Be on the Bus by talking about asking existing staff to get off the bus. In this post, we are going to invite some new people to jump on the bus. What an exciting time! Bringing new people into an organization or onto a small team can send a shock of energy through the building. Look what just happened with the Toronto Blue Jays. Against 10 years of history, they made significant trades for better players to help them win this year and the jolt was felt right through the organization. Their Monday game after the big trade was sold out and electric at the ballpark and the team is undefeated in the last week. Contrast that to a year ago, when the Jays were in it and did not make a move. The fans howled, the media questioned and the players grumbled – and then started losing and missed the playoffs. Don’t miss the playoffs! When you have a chance to strengthen your team through the hiring process, spend time on it and get it right. But where do you start? Certainly not with a help wanted ad or a hiring ad on Monster. Yes, you will post the ad internally and send it out online as part of the hiring process but your best prospects will not likely come from a stack of resumes. They will come from your own personal list of superstars you want to hire, who do the same job with better results, better attitude and a new outlook at their existing company.
Do you keep a list of superstars?
If you are not, I would suggest that you start. Start with your competitors locally, then nationally and find the person that kicks your butt at every pitch or who designs a product two upgrades more advanced than yours, year in and year out. In baseball, one phrase you hear a lot is “Glad he’s on our side” – because you’d rather not face them when with the game on the line. Hire that person.
I would also suggest that you don’t limit your superstar list to your own industry. Good sales people, CSR’s, coders and project managers work right down the street from you. Identify the best companies around from their local press, awards for results, venture capital funding announcements, workplace awards, whatever and target the people you need who have proven results.
There is no better way for you to shine as a manager than to hire a superstar – both in the short term exhilaration of the moment when you hire a superstar but also when the results start improving as a result of that hire.