To build an amazing organization, you need remarkable people. Period. Full stop. No woman is an island.
Bestselling business author, Jim Collins, has argued in his books that recruiting is arguably more important than even core fundamentals like strategy or vision. Here’s how he put it in Good to Great: “The executives who ignited the transformations from good to great did not first figure out where to drive the bus and then get people to take it there. No, they first got the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figured out where to drive it. They said, in essence, “Look, I don’t really know where we should take this bus. But I know this much: If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.”
Top CEOs (perhaps unsurprisingly!) intuitively understand this idea and spend a profound amount of their time just looking for great people. Consider:
- Dave Gilboa, co-founder of Warby Parker, said… he spends 25% of his time recruiting and that being a CEO also means you’re the “Chief Recruiting Officer.”
- Marissa Meyer of Yahoo! at one point personally reviewed every new hire at her company!
- Per LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg spends a full 50% of his time recruiting.
How Can You Recruit Better? (A Secret Shortcut)
There’s a vast and growing literature on recruiting—one we obviously don’t have time to summarize in q short post. But there is one standout idea that can save you tons of time. In some ways, this is the 80/20 hack of recruiting A Players.
When filtering a pool of applicants, wield the Threat of the Reference Check (TORC). Developed by Brad Smart (Topgrading), the Threat of the Reference Check is a simple concept. During early phases of the interview process, reveal to applicants that you absolutely will be calling and checking all their references. Then do so! Have thorough conversations with each and every reference, and then cross-check any inconsistencies with the applicant.
There’s more to the method than that, but that’s the gist. Here’s why it’s so powerful. Many C (and even B) Players will exaggerate or lie or put on airs during the interview process. The TORC:
1) Intimidates poor-quality applicants and scares them away from applying for your positions.
2) Forces people to be more honest and self-revealing, because they know you’ll eventually find out the dirt, anyway.
3) Exposes troublemakers before they get into your company.
Want help improving your recruiting processes? I can help you drill down to discover solutions to find more remarkable people—and to prevent the wrong people from signing up. Get in touch today to set up a time to speak together!