This is probably the second biggest issue preventing business leaders growing their businesses to their full potential. (The first is not mastering planning- a topic for another day!)

Recruitment can be divided into three phases: before, during and after.


In an ideal world a business would have the six keys to a winning team in place before recruiting. Briefly these are:

1.Strong Leadership- The key function of a leader/business owner manager is to enrol and inspire

2.Common Goal- The business needs to have a documented and regularly communicated Vision & Mission together with company goals and departmental goals for, at a minimum the next 5, 3 and 1 year and quarter.

3.Rules of the Game – This refers to your company vales and/or points of culture. In other words what kid of behaviours are expected from all of the team.

4.Action Plan – A documented and communicated plan of how the 5, 3 and 1 year and quarter goals will be achieved including who does what by when. 

5.Support Risk Taking – mistakes are a great opportunity once we have an environment where people can own up to them and learn from them e.g. put a system in place so the same mistake doesn’t happen again. 

6.100%Involvement and Inclusion – all team members are important irrespective of rank or role. All treated with respect and kept informed, trained and invested in where relevant and appropriate.


Having the above 6 keys in place will serve you in three main ways when you want to recruit. Firstly, you will know well in advance when you need to look for a new team member. This will allow you to recruit and not hire! Most businesses start looking for a new team member weeks or months after they should have. Therefore, putting themselves under undo preventable pressure. This more often than not, leads to a hasty, fingers crossed, type hire. Which invariably the leader regrets and costs the business a small fortune. Not to mention putting the rest of the team under substantial pressure and disruption. 

Secondly, you will know what kind of person you need. Simple, review your 1-5 year plan and then filling the gap between what you can achieve with your current team and what type of person you need to carry out the rest of your action plan.  This information is then used to develop a detailed job description with key performance indicators and an ad for your ideal person. 

Finally, with the 6 keys in place you will find that the people most suited to your organisation’s vision and mission, those who thrive in the culture you have created will be attracted to you. Of course, systems are an essential part of any successful business and none is more important than your recruitment system. The days of a simple interview after reading a CV are gone. Hiring should be a process not a rush to get someone. The company is not practicing due diligence if they are not crystal clear on what they are looking for and screening properly.


I’m sure you, like me, have seen plenty of examples over the years where a business has employed a real star player only to lose them within months or, maybe worse, for the new team member’s standards to drop dramatically. Equilibrium will always be found. One way or the other! Is your business run well enough to attract and keep the best people? What kind of an induction and training programme do you have in place? How regularly do each team member have a review with their next in line? How would you rate communication in your organisation? How would your team rate communication in your business? What grievance procedure is in place. Do you invest in your team’s training and professional development annually? Are they set up for success? Do they have the right resources and supports available to them to thrive? 

Once you have all the above in place it is easy to trust your team. So, let them get on with it! Watch them thrive and love coming to work where their strengths are played to and appreciated. Where they are supported and empowered.  

Remember, “train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”. Richard Branson.