9 Steps to Getting the Perfect Team Member


John Nieuwenburg

John Nieuwenburg has been a professional business coach since 2004. Prior to becoming a coach, he held executive positions with Tip Top Tailors and BC Liquor Stores. In 2019, MacKay CEO Forums awarded him with Canada’s CEO Trusted Advisor Award in the Small Business category. Since becoming a coach, John has worked with over 350 clients, taking them through a systematic process that helps them feel organized, confident and in control of their businesses.

Too many business owners waste time and money by using out-dated recruitment methods.

Here are 9 steps you can take to hire the perfect team member:

1. Have a clearly defined job description

One of the biggest mistakes business owners can make when looking for new staff, whether it’s for the expansion of the business or because someone needs to be replaced, is that they don’t actually have a clear and concise outline of what they want the team member to do and exactly how they expect it to be done!

So, working out what you expect of your new team member is half the battle, but don’t leave it until after they start!  Do it before you advertise.

2. Get a lot of candidates to choose from

Putting the effort and money into advertising to just get 2 or three candidates is a common mistake.

The problem with this is, if you have only 2 or 3 candidates to choose from, how do you know if you’ve picked a great candidate?  And are you truly going to be satisfied with picking the best of a bad bunch?

For some tips on how to get more candidates, see this article: 3 tips for recruiting when employees are hard to find

3. Hire slow and fire fast

Most people in business tend to do it the other way around: they hire fast and fire slow.

This is because the decision to bring on more staff is usually made under pressure.  You know the situation, you’re busting at the seams with work, your spouse says, “If you don’t start spending time with me, I’m out of here” – or your best person has just had a better offer (which should always give you food for thought) and suddenly you are left with a great hole in your operations with no-one left to fill it!

So now the race is on to find someone to share the load and take up the reins where they were left.

Don’t worry about losing candidates, rather, worry about how to get a good process going and how you’re going to get lots of prospective candidates into that process. Then if the candidate doesn’t work out, you can let them know early and start the process again.

4. Give people a compelling reason to want to work for you

Often overlooked is the process of making the job attractive to the right candidate. Most good people are looking for a more than just a job.

Create an environment that good team members feel that they could develop and grow, and contribute to something worthwhile.

If you put some effort into creating a great environment and opportunity for your ideal candidate, they will be excited about the prospect of working for you and with you.

5. Use a systematized approach to choosing the best candidate

Don’t trust in your innate abilities to choose the right candidate, as this usually only works if you are an expert recruiter, and it can be very easy to get it wrong.

Recruitment is almost like a courtship:  Everyone is putting on their best behaviour and face, and once the honeymoon is over, we get to work with the ‘real’ personality.

Instead, create a system of key activities and questions that will test your candidate’s knowledge and their abilities. Systematize this process so you can deliver it consistently and accurately.   That way you can actually compare candidates in an “apples to apples” comparison.

6. Communicate the values of your business

Do you know how much it costs the average business if they employ someone and that person leaves within 3 months?  Around $30,000!

Most people don’t believe this figure until they start to count the down-time for training, lost productivity and opportunity costs, and the time taken to interview and select that candidate.  Not to mention the time, costs and heartache of having to go through the whole recruitment and interview process again so soon!

Make sure you communicate your cultural environment and the long term opportunity, up front.  Let them know what it’s going to be like and what they can expect 12 months and two years from now.

7. Have a systematized orientation process

Create an orientation process that will welcome new team members into the business and that will mesh them with your team and give them the best possible chance at succeeding within your company.

You and your new team member will reap the benefits and will be very glad that you did.

8. Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your employees

As the old business saying goes, “If you can measure it, you can improve it”, so make sure you have measuring sticks in place to monitor each aspect of the new team member’s performance.

Don’t just complain when they do stuff poorly – provide them with meaningful data about their performance and results.

Remember, if you can measure it you can improve it!

9. Review performance regularly

Implement a regular, structured review process where you can discuss details of their role and their performance objectively.

Did you know that 68 percent of your team will leave you because of perceived indifference?

Make sure you keep this communication open and honest, and with a positive outcome in mind.

How does your recruitment and hiring process measure up?

Which of these steps is your business doing well?

Which ones can you do better?

What can you do today to get better team members?

If you’d like some help implementing a better recruitment plan and hiring process, consider getting a business coach! You can learn more about my services here: business coaching or book a 15-minute call on my calendar here: Book 15 minutes with John

The Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Business

w5 what does it mean to scale your business

How to grow your business without sacrificing time freedom

This post is part of my Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Business. Visit the guide homepage to get my best advice and coaching exercises to help you:

  • Develop systems and processes to free up your time
  • Hire and manage a great team to run your business (mostly) without you
  • Make the mindset changes that enable you to grow your business bigger - faster than you dreamed possible