What I Did To Hire My Team

This week, I’m running a blog series on how I hired an 11 person team. While most of my blogging has been about my perspectives on careers and recruitment, this is about my actual experience as a hiring manager.

Yesterday I talked about where I first met the people I considered for my team. Some relationships went back to 2004, and really 1994 if you consider the college mentor who referred me one team member. So besides meeting lots of people and remembering them, what did I do to put this team together? Let’s discuss three points.

Relationships: This is probably obvious based on yesterday’s post, but I make it a point to keep up with people, even if it’s in impersonal ways sometimes, and know what they’re up to professionally. Even before I anticipated landing a contract where I would need so much support, I also intentionally spent time cultivating new relationships with people who I could see partnering with some day. I still do.

Here is my most important point I’d like to make about relationships. Never Eat Alone is a fantastic book that I often recommend, but despite what relationship gurus say, it’s impossible to have value-added relationships with hundreds of people and be a productive human being. Instead, be okay creating ways to check in with people in quick ways even if it’s not the way you exactly want. Perfect can be the enemy of the good. And speaking of keeping up with people, let’s talk about…

Social Media: In yesterday’s post, you saw lots of mentions of social media. I used Twitter to meet and get to know new people, I used LinkedIn to actively recruit first degree connections, and I used Facebook to engage my second degree “weak ties” by asking closer friends and co-workers for recommendations. Before social media, it would have been so much harder to keep up with people and access such a large network. I actually believe it would be impossible.. So for everyone who says social media can’t help you recruit or establish relationships- you just don’t know how to use it. That’s okay, but you have to learn now.

I will also say this on the content curation, creation and promotion aspects of social media… it helped me with this project, too. For the people I hired who I didn’t have strong relationships with, they were able to know more about me and what I had to offer based on content I’d shared on the internet. They saw my legitimacy in my new endeavor and made them more willing to work with me and listen to…

Recruiting with Maslow's Hierarchy of NeedsThe Pitch: Tomorrow I’ll talk more about the selection process on my end, but once I decided that these were the people I wanted to hire, I had to convince them to work with this project. My recruiting strategy borrows a lot from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, not only for my recruiting for business, but when I develop a full-scale recruiting solution for a client. Too many organizations focus on the lower parts of the pyramid- compensation, security, a team to work with. Those are important, but when I talked about the work to prospects during the meeting process, I talked about how they could make a difference, structure their work, and  learn new skills- the self-actualization aspects of work.  And I kept that promise anyway I could that didn’t interfere with the client’s needs.

Image courtesy of BetterWorks.com.

More on why I hired the team tomorrow.