People are probably the most important contributor to your business, getting the right ones on board will be a critical determinant of your business’ success. Hiring staff is a skill every business needs to perfect. Yellow Belt

This article discusses ways to improve staff selection.

Valuable Wisdom

Some of the valuable distilled wisdom to keep in mind when framing employment decisions include:


Recruiting is a very similar process to Sales and Marketing and the concept of the Sales Funnel applies:

Once through this process, all surviving candidates are ‘qualified‘ for the job.  Now it is a process of finding the best.
Go to the article: 5 Whys Meets Sales Funnel
Go to the Skills Module introduction: SM2.0 80/20 Sales Growth; Double Sales, Triple Profits


To hire the right people you should have a clear set of goals/objectives in mind for the person who is to fill the position.

A Position Description (PD) outlines the characteristics of the job and of the person to fill it.

It might take into consideration such things as:

Mark the things in your Position Description as “musts” or “wants”.  Musts are the things the candidates Must have (say a law degree).  You will use these to rapidly discard applicants who don’t meet your basic requirements. Wants are things that you Want but are relative.  You Want the lowest paid person who meets all your Musts for example.

Though this may sound like tedious paperwork, the Position Description:

Getting Leads

In this step, you want to get as many candidates as possible, as fast as possible, so that you have plenty of fish in your net to choose from.

Typically you advertise the position.  

There are many internet options to choose from.  Your choice should be governed by what your ideal candidates will be monitoring, not the cost.  If you are going fishing, it is a lot more productive to sail to where the fish are than to hope they will come to you!

Also drop a line to your social networks for referrals from others.  Referrals from friends and associates are very good leads because they come pre-qualified for quality by the person who is giving the referral to you.

In some areas, newspaper advertisements may be where the fish are.

Cull Leads Rapidly

Every applicant you have contact with is going to consume your valuable time so you want to get rid of the chaff as fast as possible.

Use the Must items in your Position Description to thin them out.  Start with Musts that you can do without taking time to contact them personally.  Email is a good way to do this as you can send just one email to a number of people at once. Remember to BCC them so they don’t see everyone else.

People will have sent in their work history (Curriculum Vitae or CV) but inevitably, that will have big holes in it from the point of view of your Position Description.  Many of them are ‘canned‘ anyway.  They send the same one for every job. You can ask them again to give specific answers to your specific requests in the email.  A more sophisticated way to handle this might be an online survey tool like Google Form.

It might be that the type of staff you are looking for are not the type of people who would be good at written answers so this step will not apply to  all.

At the end of this step you have suitable candidates that you need to rank in order of preference.

It might be that this cull leaves you few or no candidates. If so, reconsider your Musts as they might be too tough (e.g. you want to pay too little).  Alternatively, your fishing net might have gone out at the wrong time (e.g. annual summer holidays when no one is looking) or not have been cast wide enough to turn up leads.  Pause and consider what to do here.

The intention in this step is to remove any of those that fail your Musts as fast and as economically as possible leaving just suitable people that you need to rank in priority.  In Sales and Marketing “speak”,these are “qualified” leads.

Ranking Qualified Candidates

Once you have a list of people who pass all the necessary requirements the task then is to rank them in some sort of priority order.  This  looks like a difficult task.

Consider a similar problem.  When you buy a car, you have to trade off colour, engine type, fit-out, price and a host of other variables.

A tool for quickly ranking a number of candidates, against a range of criteria to identity them in preferred order, is:
Using Weights and Scores Prioritising Technique

After doing a Weights and Scores you have your candidates in priority order.


Books have been written on this topic and it is too much to cover here.

Do consider:

Reference Check

Experts in this field say to always interview the people given as references.


If you still have a number of candidates, you can plug the interview and referee checks back into your Weights and Scores table to re-prioritise the candidates.

Post Selection

Once you have a winner, consider:


There are many sources of draft employment contracts on the Internet.

If you do a lot of employing or it is important in your business, the book Topgrading (How To Hire, Coach and Keep A Players)  by Brad Smart is an interesting read.  
See a free version on YouTube (along with a number of others) at Dr Brad Smart

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