Six Secrets to Find and Hire Outstanding Staff

Good teams start with good team members. They don’t usually advertise themselves on Craig’s List. In fact, good team members—especially team leaders—are hard to find.

Over the years I’ve hired my share of top performers. Here are six secrets to recruiting leaders who can get the job done.

  1. Hire on the Inside

Some of your best candidates for leadership may already be in your organization. Those who have already joined your team have proven they’re aligned with your vision and strategy. Recruiting begins right where you are. Don’t ask, “Who’s out there?” until you’ve asked, “Who’s already here?”

  1. Work Your Network

Name three leaders you respect. Now ask them for referrals of possible team members. A great leader always has contact with great potential leaders. Ask around. You’ll get better referrals from the people you know and trust.

  1. Send a Scout

Where are the places developing leaders can be found in your industry? At a trade show? An industry conference? A university? Go where younger leaders are—or send someone to scout around. Identify good leaders before you need them.

  1. Share Your Vision Relentlessly

Good leaders are drawn to a big idea, a noble cause, or an exciting adventure. Talk about your big picture every chance you get. Be excited about what you’re doing, and strong leaders will want to join you.

  1. Ask about Results

Many leaders have a better resume than track record. It’s easy to make yourself look good on paper, but you need someone who has proven that they can get the job done. Don’t ask, “What would you do?” in a given situation. Ask, “What have you done?”

  1. Trust Your Gut

A leader can pass the IQ test and the resume screening, but the gut check gives the final word. You must feel personally comfortable and confident about your recruiting choice. If you have qualms about a potential staffer’s temperament, work ethic, or integrity, take a pass.

Your team will only be as strong as the leaders on it. Recruit good leaders and you will have a successful team. You can do this!

What’s your best tip for recruiting leaders? Share your answer on Twitter or Facebook!