The Strategist

The secret of recruiting the best

08/24/2018 - 15:54

Claudio Fernandez Araos, an expert in selection and development of top managers, told about how to recruit outstanding people to work on your project in his book “It's Not the How or the What but the Who”. So, what is the secret?

Steve Jobs said once: "If you take a taxi to ride through Manhattan, there can be twice a difference between the worst and the best taxi driver: the best will take you in 15 minutes, the worst... in half an hou ... The difference between ... a good programmer and an excellent programmer is 50 to 1. So I understood that all in all, no matter what I did, it made sense to hunt only for the best."
How to bargain
Imagine that you have found the best potential candidate. Be careful. At this point, you either successfully complete the search, or go back to the square one if you fail to agree. How to do it right? Here are a couple of examples from the author’s experience.
1. Araos and his client, a company’s head, were looking for a top manager. 49 potential candidates were studied. As a result of in-depth interviews and verification of the recommendations, a really outstanding person was found. It seemed that the issue had been resolved. A suitable candidate worked in a company where salaries were low. But he did not agree. He was not inspired by the project, and he felt that it would be out of his way. What to do in such a situation?
2. You found an excellent candidate for the commercial director position. The candidate receives your offer, but he says that the payment is too low. Even now, jobless at the moment, he cannot accept it. What to do now?
Hiring the best
The problem of hiring the best specialists is that they are not always easy to attract. You and your candidate may agree… or not, quite unexpectedly for everyone.
Everyone can hire an average worker. Anyone can hire a person who is looking for work. But the situation is more complicated with outstanding candidates.
Many excellent workers disappear when the focus of selection is shifted from the evaluation to employment. Sometimes it happens because the job position was "sold" badly, and sometimes - because the rationality and emotional values were imbalanced.
So, how do you "sell" your position to the candidate? Here are three steps to the goal.
1. Understand motives and doubts 
And not only understand, but also check the relation between them and realities of his future work. We should be aware that not all people are motivated by money. Some like the complexity of tasks, others like working in a good team. Professionals want great achievements, and leaders - power and influence. You can recruit the best only if you yourself are sure that your proposal is the best.
Classic mistakes at this stage:
inability to understand the opposite side;
focus exclusively on money issues;
use of incorrect incentives.
Understand interests and motivations of the candidate and make every effort to identify his career alternatives.
2. Share your enthusiasm
Everyone needs to pick up their own key. In the story number 1, where the candidate was not inspired by the new job, Fernandez-Araos, along with his client, started "courting the candidates." They appreciated others and it turned out that the one who refused them, was the most suitable person for this position. A year later, the candidate gave his consent. It was a long time, but the results of this man's work were impressive.
To hire the best people, especially those who are not currently concerned with finding a job, you must maximally motivate them - both rationally and emotionally.
Try to understand motives and concerns of a person, to suggest what alternatives he has to your proposal. And be sure to try and convey your enthusiasm. It is important.
3. Offer payment without distortions
The salary should be neither too large nor too small. Studies show that money is rarely the leading motivation. Addition to the salary does not always lead to the fact that people begin to work better.
However, we all expect a reward proportional to our efforts and results.
In terms of motivating the best, Claudio proposes to build schemes of rewarding for cooperation. Complex activities require cooperation, and individual incentives can destroy it, motivating people to compete rather than cooperate.
There are two systems: "eat what you caught" (motivation of individuals) and "all as one" (team motivation). Studies show that firms that prefer a collective type of incentive are more profitable than those who reward individual performance.
But what should you do if an outstanding candidate wants to earn significantly more than what is offered on the market? Araos believes that sometimes it is worth the risk. The courage to think out of the box often pays off when you have good motives for this. So, in the second situation, when the unemployed candidate refused to vacate for financial reasons, Claudio invited the leader to take risks. As a result, the CEO and CFO worked side by side for almost a decade. If the CEO did not then make an exception to the rules, then probably later regretted it. There is no point in immediately offering too high a payment for the market, but in exceptional circumstances such a step can be justified.
Why is it so important to surround yourself with the best? Because it is decisions related to people that determine whether a business will be successful or a failure. To succeed, you need to find people with high potential, help them to fit into your team and develop them. This recipe for success is obvious - and yet only a few manage to implement it.

Based on "It's Not the How or the What but the Who. Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best" by Araoz Claudio Fernandez