Chances are you have big and ambitious goals for the future; dreams of what your business could look like and how that can influence the way you enjoy your life. You probably face the same challenge most entrepreneurs do – that you can’t go it alone to accomplish the vision, you need a team of people there with you to get championship level results.

Here’s the problem I see every day: trades entrepreneurs know that attracting top talent will make or break their business; but they simply don’t act like it will. They don’t put the time and energy to it that it needs, it isn’t a focus.

You know what life is like with bad talent in your business.  You are nothing more than a stressed-out leaky faucet manager, endlessly running around fixing mistakes and smoothing over issues (turning off leaking taps). Hopefully, you may even know life with top talent in your business, where you can be an effective leader, focusing your time on growing the business and doing what you love. Having top talent is a complete game-changer. But how much time do you honestly spend focused on recruiting?

Compare yourself with the General Manager of your favourite sports team. Like you, what determines whether they build a championship team is largely influenced by the team of people they put together. How much of their focus should be on identifying and attracting the talent that will influence whether their team will ever win a championship? Well, if it’s about being a championship team than the answer is… a lot.

What are the lessons we can learn from how a sports professional builds a winning team? What is relevant to you and your business? After working with hundreds of trades entrepreneurs, here are three things I’ve found to be important.

#1 Always be Recruiting

You might imagine that the General Manager of a sports team spends time daily on recruiting, that it’s something that is always on their radar – it probably excites them and drives them. It might even be what they love the most about what they do. In contrast, often trades entrepreneurs are guilty of approaching recruiting as a necessary evil of running a business. It seems to be the thing they want to avoid the most and invest the least in.

I would challenge this perspective. For any leader, the most impactful thing you can do with your time is attract top talent. Who you bring onto your team is what will ultimately define your future long-term success. The first key, then, is to have the right mindset about recruiting in your business. It is your top priority. It is scheduled time every week in your agenda. It should be fun. Energizing. After all, it’s what is shaping what your business looks like five years from now. Top talent will only be attracted by a business owner who is inspiring when recruiting and hiring.

#2 Know the Profile

You’ll need to do a bit more than just recruit energetically, every day, if you want to build a championship team. After all, if it was just about working energetically the General Manager of your favourite team would have already delivered you that championship. Now, how many times has your team drafted or signed a player and you went, “Why on earth would you select that person? That’s the wrong positional player we needed,” or, “that player no-shows in big games,” or, “they are a locker room cancer.” My guess is that sports professionals make the same error trades entrepreneurs do all the time. And that error isn’t being blind-sided after you hire someone, or tricked in an interview. There are always improvements to be made when it comes to interviewing and selection, but your gut is probably surprisingly good. The big error in attracting top talent comes before you even step out to search: you don’t have a clear profile of exactly what top talent your team needs. The second key, then, is building a profile of exactly what you need on your team to win your championship.

Good recruiters don’t have the wrong person in front of them in the first place. They know that if they try to jam a square peg in a round hole, they’ll end up with the wrong person on their team and that person will likely turnover anyway. Before you dive into recruiting you should know exactly what you need. What are the role(s) missing in your business? What skills and abilities make someone great at those roles? What makes them not great? What makes someone enjoy that role? What would make them stick with it for years? Who would enjoy being on your team? We call these things “preferences”, “abilities”, and “fit;” these are the building blocks of what is called an Ideal Candidate Profile. If you don’t know where to start, request our Recruiting Process templates at the bottom of the page, which includes the Ideal Candidate Profile.

#3 Process, Process, Process

Effective entrepreneurs develop processes. They find the best practices, the “right” way for something to be done, and consolidate those practices into a standard operating procedure. They do this to ensure consistently effective performance that provides the desired result, over and over again.

I would bet that the best General Manager out there has a process. It probably starts with an end of season assessment, tallying deliverables and identifying what they need for next season. They probably write it up and send it out to their scouts to short list only acceptable players. Maybe they have set meetings with player’s agents, a “sale” they do to convince top talent to come to their city. Maybe they even utilize their current players to help land other top talent.

Do you have a tried and tested process for recruiting? If the outcome of your recruiting efforts influences so much in your business, what’s stopping you from developing a routine way of delivering consistently exceptional results?

It comes back to focus again. Focus means taking the time to ensure you use your effort effectively. That you have all the steps in place and you go through them because they work. You wouldn’t build a house or do a renovation without a job flow process – so why would you recruit without one? The third key, then, is having a standard operating procedure for attracting top talent that is tried and tested to deliver results. And the thing is, top talent will be attracted by the professionalism of the process itself.

If you don’t know where to start, let us help. We’ll send you an example recruiting process to get you started, just request it below. All our material is designed and built specifically for trades entrepreneurs, so you can get out there and be focused on building your championship team.

Here’s to your success!

Brad Copes
Business Coach
Breakthrough Academy

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