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Chris LoCurto

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August 25, 2011

How To Attract The Talent You Need

August 25, 2011 | By | 8 Comments">8 Comments

Hiring is always one of the most daunting tasks for a leader. Obviously you have work that’s not getting done, or you’re stretching your current staff beyond acceptable long-term limits. You have to spend a ton of time going through resumes of people who don’t fit the position.

Someone will spend a lot of time making initial calls, calls on past employers, calls on references, etc. And that’s before you begin the process of sitting down with strangers, asking tons of questions, hearing….interesting answers, and hoping that you find a gem! Then, if you’ve made the same mistake as most leaders, you hire someone only to find out later that they weren’t right for the position. Thus starting the process all over again.

If that’s ever been you, you’re not alone. I don’t know of a single leader who doesn’t have some hiring war stories. It happens to us all. The key is to do everything you can to fix the process. Tim Sanders was doing our devotional one day and he said it’s okay to make mistakes, just don’t make the same one twice.

We have a pretty good track record of hiring people at Dave Ramsey‘s office due to the massively long hiring process we have. I’ve written a few posts on how to do it right, but I wanted to take this time to tell you about an important element of your job posting that should save you a decent amount of time. It should be obvious that you need to write your job description in such a way as to attract the talent that you need.

However, you should write your posting in such a way as to attract the personality style that you’re looking for. For example, we have a ton of families that take their vacation to come to Financial Peace Plaza. Some to celebrate getting debt free, some just to get an extra shot of enthusiasm in their arm. Either way, we wanted to do something special for those folks when they came in. Our thought? Taking our book store and expanding it to add a large coffee shop with cakes and cookies and someone incredible to run it.

Now, if I posted a job listing for the person to run that, and I didn’t explain what we were looking for in that person, we would have had a ton of resumes from hard charging driver personalities with a goal of expanding our coffee-house empire by adding five more stores within the first year. But that’s not what we were looking for.

Instead, we wanted to give coffee, cakes, and cookies away for free. Yes, free. If these folks were going to take their hard-earned vacation to come see us, we wanted to bless them in the process. Also, we wanted someone with the heart of a servant, the heart of a host/hostess, not someone who was interested in watching the bottom line. Therefore, we needed to post this listing in a way that asked for someone who had hospitality running through their veins.

Luckily, one person stood out immensely and that was Martha Thompson. If you’ve been to FPP, and interacted with Martha, you know she is the exact fit for what we needed. She bakes the most insanely good stuff, makes a great cup of coffee, but more than anything she treats people like kings and queens. She listens to their financial journeys and tells the stories of how we got to where we are. Again, something we most likely wouldn’t have received with a generic posting.

Question: How have you seen job posting fail?

Help me help others. Pass this along to those in your network.

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  • http://ericspeir.com/ Eric Speir

    It truly is important to define the person that you need for the position. People’s gifts come in a variety of packages and it’s important that we have the right people sitting on our bus and in the right seat. We don’t need a type “A” individual running a hospitality team.

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Heck no we don’t! :-)

  • Anonymous

    You guys made a great choice with Martha. She and my wife immediately connected. They acted as if they were life long friends as soon as they made eye contract. She has a very welcoming personality. And she, whether intentional or not, can soft sell the items in the book store very effectively.

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      She is fabulous. She probably gets the most letters of appreciation of anyone in the building.

  • http://gravatar.com/lgthaxton Louise Thaxton

    Well, Martha is great. When I visited a few months ago – she made sure I got a GREAT cup of coffee!

    As far as “job posting” – I think I have failed in the past by not having a clear vision in MY OWN HEAD of my expectations of the new hire. In other words, I knew (vaguely) of what I expected for the person who held that position – but could I clearly communicate those expectations? From the beginning?

    Another way job posting can fail is by just posting the “position” rather than the “heart” of the person you are seeking. As you said – you were looking for someone with the “heart” of a servant – Martha filled that requirement!

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Absolutely!! I think as leaders sometimes we don’t give the heart of the job in fear that we won’t get the person. That’s when we have to rely on God to send the right person!

  • http://twitter.com/hollyhall22 Holly Hall (@hollyhall22)

    I think another point here is how Martha was already known within the company. Her warm and welcoming nature had already influenced the lives of the Dave Ramsey team, and she was connected to the history and journey of the company. In my experience, the best hires come from referrals within a company. A current employee puts their reputation on the line when they refer someone for a position, so they are only going to refer someone they believe is actually a good fit. This eliminates much of the upfront time and energy spent sifting through piles of resumes. So, yes, the job description will help attract potential good fits, but current employees and the relationships they have will help find even better ones.

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Excellent point Holly!!