The roadblock on growth is rarely money it’s people. Really smart, curious, effective people who want to own the problem, master the skills, and feel part of something bigger. Attracting great people is not luck.

  1. At least 30% of the CEO’s time should be spent finding and developing talent.
  2. Nailing your positioning, getting your story clear, evangelizes staff and attracts great people to your cause.
  3. Discard job specifications and instead create “performance profiles” that set out the performance standard that the business needs.
  4. Build a tight and meaningful relationship with an outside recruitment house.
  5. Deploy state of the art technology to control your recruitment process.
  6. Attract similar passionate people to you, by publicizing your culture, Google, Pixar, Apple and smaller private companies such as MathWorks come to mind.
  7. Create a University concept. Build 10 key courses that your managers can deliver to staff. Teach your accountant the basics of product launches, your production manager the basics of your sales process. Get people out of their comfort zone. Prospective Candidates love to see a staff development plan. The detail is here.
  8. Prepare a short FAQ on your business and pass out to candidates. No more than a few pages but setting out your vision, the history, competitive positioning and how the role fits into the bigger picture.
  9. Demonstrate in interviews that you encourage the execution of projects by the use of multi-disciplinary teams cutting through old fashioned silo departments. Prospective candidates see attractive training and job experience as higher priorities than marginally better salaries.
  10. Create innovative, clear and precise long-term incentive plans. In private companies, subject to tax advice, it is possible to create really smart capital instruments that return lower rewards if someone leaves but offer attractive returns on achievement of strategic goals. Public companies should look beyond share options to offer a more direct and granular reward for second tier management
  11. Consider “Employer branding”; a recent WSJ article highlighted using segmentation techniques to find the talent you need.
  12. Always be building your bench. Meet people constantly, keeping in touch with talented individuals who may join you later.