You just can’t get good staff any more.

‘Really?’ I said. ‘It can’t be that hard’.

‘It’s almost impossible’ he replied. ‘There are so few people on the market and none of them are any good’.

It wasn’t a conversation I wanted to continue with.

After a couple more questions I said: ‘Thank-you for your time, but on balance I don’t think we are the right firm for your business. Let me make a couple of recommendations of firms that I think would be a better fit’.

They always give themselves away if you listen hard enough.

I’m not disputing whether recruitment is a challenge right now, or not. You see it’s an employees’ market at the moment. That means that there is competition for the best people.

But what I can say is that there are some entrepreneurial businesses for which this recruitment crisis does not exist.

They’re recruiting the same types of people, for the same types of roles, in the same geographic areas as everybody else – and yet, for the most part, they have a pipeline full of high-quality applicants all year round.

So, how is this the case?

Marketing.

The businesses that are finding and recruiting the best staff are actively marketing for new customers AND new team members.

So, how can you implement this to attract some new high-quality team members in to your business?

1. Start by understanding your vision and values

You won’t attract new team members if you can’t articulate who you are and where you are going as a business.

What are your long-term goals? What is your vision? What are your beliefs as a business? What do you value? What are your absolute non-negotiables? What is your culture like? Once you’re clear on this, then finding people who will fit the mould will become much easier

2. Identify your ideal team member

Just like in marketing where you identify what your ideal client looks like – you need to identify what your ideal team member looks like.

This isn’t a list of all the necessary skills. Of course skills are important, but with the right person they can be easily trained.

You need to be thinking in terms of personality traits and attitude (you might even want to consider how they fit in terms of psychometric profiles – it’s important to have a balance throughout your team).

Here’s how you can do that: write down what your next ideal team member might look like in every little detail that you can think of, (and very little of it will have do with their skills).

Another approach is to write down at least twenty personality traits of the person youI want to recruit – then pick the top three – and these three things become your absolute non-negotiables in the recruitment process.

Whatever personality traits you choose, make sure that your ideal team member also fits into who you are as a business (which is what you did in the previous step).

3. Start marketing to them

You wouldn’t wait until you desperately needed one more client to start marketing, so why do the same when recruiting new team members.

You need to be actively marketing for new team members all the time. Waiting until the last second isn’t always the best strategy as you may be willing to take on anyone and everyone to help you when the work starts piling up.

I appreciate smaller businesses might not have this luxury but remember that your team are one of the biggest investments you can make. Why not actively market to ideal team members in the same way that you do for ideal customers.

4. Get your recruitment firm on the same page

If you do choose to use a recruitment firm, then you need to get them on the same page as you by sharing:

  • who you are as a business, what your vision is, what you value, what your beliefs are;
  • the ideal personality of the team members you want to recruit; and
  • your marketing, so they get a good understanding of your culture.

By doing this they’ll be much, much clearer about who to send you way and who not to send you way.

At Guilford Accounting, we don’t do your recruitment for you but if finding the right team members is your biggest challenge right now, we can help you with steps 1 to 3 above. Just give me a call.

Noel Guilford, Principal at Guilford Accounting
Noel Guilford is the principal of Guilford Accounting a small business accountancy practice specialising in advising owner-managed businesses on current accounting, finance, and tax matters. You can reach him via email at noel@guilfordaccounting.co.uk or by phone at 01244 660866. He is the author of the 'Figure it out - an entrepreneurs guide to understanding your business numbers' which you can obtain by visiting guilfordaccounting.co.uk.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ His latest book, How to Build a Successful Business' will be published in 2018.

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