Episode 10: How to Attract the Superstars You Want

How are you supposed to get people to come to you if you don’t have clearly articulated goals? They don’t want to work for a company that has no idea where it’s going.

Episode 10: How to Attract the Superstars You Want

What kind of offer is your company? If you cannot clearly identify your company’s vision, mission, or core values, candidates will never know your company’s value. In this episode, David goes over how to define your company, job requirements, and looking at your vision and mission statements to attract the people you want for your organization.

Show Notes

This episode is the first part of a 3-part series called “Your Hiring Process Sucks.”

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Show Transcript


Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Buck Stops Here Business Podcast. I’m your host, David Maples, and today I’m here to talk to you about your hiring process. This episode is one of a three-part episode called “Your Hiring Process Sucks; How to attract the superstars and retain the employees you need to take your company to the next level. This is the first part. Part one called, “How to attract the superstars you want and what kind of offer you are as a company.”



Number two; the second part is, “Where to find the superstars you need.” Kind of, the good, the bad, and the ugly of job boards, newspapers, and people you meet randomly in public. And part three is “Putting rubber to the road,” also known as your actual hiring process. Now, here at The Buck Stops Here Business Podcast, we like people to understand that- one of the things we have to understand is that you are responsible.



You are, as the owner, founder, runner of your company, or person in your own life, you are responsible for everything that happens on your watch. That means the people you hire, whether they work out or not, and you have to make a decision whether to hire them or not, A or B. And the first part of this episode that we’re about to hop into right now is how to attract the superstars you want or what kind of offer you are. Steven Covey he wrote a very famous book called “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” And it’s a great book if you’ve never read it.



It’s kind of one of the classic business books. And they asked him once, “What would the 8th habit be? If you had to go out and make an 8th habit, what would it be?” And he said, “I would make it to move slower on an opportunity and faster when addressing your problem.” And I think, kind of, when you look at these things, that’s a pretty sage piece of wisdom. It’s pretty valuable.



So, what does this mean? Slower when you see an opportunity and faster when you see a problem. So, that means in your hiring process, what you want to look at is you want to say, if you’ve got someone who’s- I like to say, nothing ever gets better in your relationship than the honeymoon. In your relationship, you’re not going to change that person, et cetera, at some point in time to be something that they’re not. And if you see a problem, it’s very unlikely that all of a sudden that problem is going to clear itself up without some major intervention or work.



So, the reason this is important is when you see a problem in your hiring process, you need to address it immediately when you see a potential thing that you’re changing. Let’s say your hiring process is currently working really well. You want to be careful about going out and changing something just because it’s a new shiny penny that you want to pick up. Just because somebody says you need to do something else, if something’s working for you pretty well, do understand that just changing at wholesale is kind of a risky proposition. But one of the things a lot of people don’t think about in, kind of, that dance of hiring is what kind of offer you’re out there.



A lot of business owners simply think about, “Well, I’ve got a job. It pays a good wage, and people should be happy with it, damn it!” And that’s very much a 1920s way of thinking, right? That stuff should be put on the ash heap of history. That’s not how business works in the modern day and age. In the modern day and age, there’s a lot of things, there’s a lot of things, that are going on that change how you hire and you recruit.



People say if you’re an applicant out there looking for a job, be careful what you put on Facebook. I think that goes doubly so for companies. Be careful of what you say publicly on Facebook. Remember, they are stalking you as much as you’re looking up the information about them. Before they come and hire you, if they’re under the age of 40, they’re going to check out your Twitter, your Facebook, or Instagram. And you might be able to fake stuff in your company, but ultimately that stuff is out there.



The other thing about it is that you have to look at, kind of, like your reviews online, on places like Indeed or Glassdoor, Comparably. There are several of these job boards online, and you need to make sure that your reputation is managed. If you have terrible Google reviews online about your goods and services, maybe the people who are going to come work for you – those, kind of, high-quality, hard-to-find hires – may check that out. And they may say, “Well, you know, I can sell anything, but this company apparently has a really cruddy product.”



And by the way, we haven’t even gotten to talk about you and your company yet – about your mission, your vision, your core values, the kind of offer you are. And a lot of business owners don’t always think about those other things having a direct impact on their bottom line, and they really should. At the end of the day, those things are all part and parcel of what you offer, what you do in your company. So, I, kind of, want to go into our “No BS” segment of the podcast right here at the beginning of this episode. I want to, kind of, analyze what you’ve got.



Here’s my question; Do you have a mission, a vision, a clearly defined and articulated set of core values for your company? Do you know what the job requirements for the roles you’re hiring for? And do you have a solid set of benefits for your company?



No bullshit, people. You need to look at this stuff right now in your company, and if you don’t have those things- This is one of those things – if you want to watch the episode on goal-setting – it’s about quick wins. Missions and visions can take a long time to craft, and you could spend years on it. Just getting one out there on paper is the first step, and you can do that as a quick win today.



Just to let you know, what is the mission, kind of, the roadmap for your company? In 50 words or less, what is it that you guys and your company do at its basic level? And we’re going to have a whole episode on setting your mission and vision and core values for you in an upcoming episode of The Buck Stops Here Business Podcast that talks to you a little bit about how to set that. And then we’ve talked about putting on workshops. If you’d like to hear more about that, please comment below.



We’d be glad to put on some workshops and do some webinars on really how to craft that for your company. But that being said, you really need to sit down and figure out what your mission is. What does your company do? What value do you provide in 50 words or less? Can you clearly state that to another human being and, kind of, say, what is your mission to do?



What is your guiding light for a company? And then vision is, kind of, more that aspirational piece. If you were able to achieve everything not in your mission, but what would the world look like in five years if you could do whatever your company wants to achieve? That’s the aspirational thing. I’ve run into several business owners every time they say, “That stuff is all window dressing. It doesn’t really matter.”



That’s absolute BS. It absolutely does matter to at least a large minority of the people you hire. How are you supposed to talk about the kind of offer you are? How are you supposed to get those people to come to you if you don’t have a clearly articulated goal of where they’re heading?



They don’t want to work for a company that has no idea what they’re doing. There’s some really good examples of mission and vision statements out there. Southwest Airlines used to have one. I don’t know if it still is, but it was like to be the low-cost airline. That was their mission.



That is their stated value out there. And they had a, kind of, a subtext in there while having fun, et cetera. And you have to line up what you’re doing with those kind of goals for your company. Microsoft for years used to say there’s was to have a computer on the desk in every office in the world. That was their stated mission of that.



By the way, very short, sweet, to the point. But having those missions lets people understand that they’re going somewhere. People don’t want to waste their lives just working for another company. And that’s why you have to be very honest, and you have to make a decision over what that needs to be. That’s the no BS, The Buck Stops Here, portion of this podcast to let you know. You need to have that stuff written down.



Your core values. You need to have your core values written down in basically five or six words that, kind of, embody the DNA of who works at your company. Now, you need to define those, but for right now- And if you don’t know where to start, go to your three or four key people in your company and say, “If you could describe us in five words or less, what would those words be?” And then go take those and put them on a slate and say which words reoccur? By the way, if none of the words are the same, you have an unfortunate core value problem.



Because ultimately, if they don’t line up- What generally happens, if your company has a good sense of itself and purpose and culture, you will find the same words being said over and over again. And those are kind of the things that find you. And by the way, figure out if those line up, what you want your mission and your vision to be. If one of those core values is something that’s not positive, pressure cooker or something like that, then maybe you need to go reanalyze where you guys are headed.



And the last one I want to say is make sure you have your benefits, what you offer, that is part of your package. By the way, when you offer a salary, remember, it’s not just the salary; it’s everything else that goes on. It’s the 401K or the healthcare package or the paid time off or how we work with you in your schedule. If you have flexible working hours or you work remotely, that is part of your benefits package, and it has a value attached to it. It’s very important that you put that down on paper, and you know what that is.



And if you don’t have it out there publicly on your website, it should be. You need to have that stuff on your website. You need to have that stuff out in your job offers. You need to do those things. And you want to talk about what the job requirements for the role are. Many, many, many companies do not have clearly written job requirements.



People do not like to be set up for failure. They like to be set up to succeed. And it helps them when they have a clearly listed set of job requirements and goals. So that’s the end of the “No BS” segment. Okay?



So, the question is- going back to, kind of, the mission and the vision and the core values and those benefits packages, figure out what those things are. So, for you, one of the big ones that people don’t think about is the benefits to the company. They literally think about just the nuts and bolts. They think about what am I paying in this thing? And they have a salary range, et cetera.



They don’t think about the fact that they get free meals that they eat here when they work, or they don’t think about the fact that we let people off for child care, or we’re really flexible with time and working, or we work with your school schedule, or we help pay for people to go to school, or we have maternity and paternity benefits. You want to talk about those kinds of things. And I think one of the things that can help you when you’re describing that stuff, instead of just listing them as bullet points, you can, in many cases, put an explanation of why that’s important. We work with people in school schedule because we believe that education is really important for our employees. We have a commitment to continue education.



By the way, if you have something in your mission or vision statement that says, “We have a commitment to continue education,” that needs to be stated elsewhere in the things you’re doing. Right? If it’s very obvious, or if your online reviews say that they don’t give you time off to go to school or something like that, but you say you have a commitment to education, you have a problem where your stated values and your actions don’t line up. And I had somebody once always tell me that’s your BS angle. What you say publicly and what you do privately, when those don’t line up, that’s your BS angle. And people can see it, even if you think they can’t. It’s really important to know that they can sniff that out.



It’s very hard to fake all of the things that people say about you on Facebook. And by the way, on some of the job review boards- and I’ve heard business owners, kind of, complain about that before. I understand how that works. You have employees who leave, and they’re disgruntled, and they go on to complain about you to the world, and you’re going to have that. You’re going to have that. It’s part and parcel of running a company, and you have to accept that that happens.



By the way, negative criticism you get, you always need to look at it and say, “What can we do better?” And remember, it does affect your hiring process. I read a stat that was really, kind of, concerning a few weeks ago. It said that 10 to 20% of job seekers find information on the company they work for on Glassdoor. And Glassdoor has a whole raft of issues.



Fake reviews, reviews even put by business owners or being put by employees. I mean, heck, they allow you to write one review about a company per year, even if you worked at that company for six months and you got fired, and it was a really bad thing. If it was a bad breakup, you’re allowed to go complain about that company every year, once a year, and write another negative review about that company. And by the way, there are people out there currently doing that, so don’t be surprised.



So, how do you combat that? By the way, that also means that the people who’ve had a positive experience can write a positive review about you every year. But remember, if they’ve had a bad experience, they’re more likely to talk about you. Why is this important? It’s important because you have to realize that that stuff’s out about you in the marketplace, you know? You need to talk about-



If you have a very close-knit office, you need to talk about that. And this is a lot about attracting the kind of people you want. So, when you start going into your core values, things like that, for the company, you don’t want people who don’t line up with your core values. You don’t. And we’ll talk a little bit more about that in part two and three, where to hire the superstars you want. And part three about, kind of, putting rubber to the road.



But you do want to, kind of, look at those things and figure out, kind of, “How do I attract those people?” So, we have at Catapult, the company that I work for and I helped found, we have kind of a nerdy, really nerdy culture and everybody kind of geeks out or nerds out over some particular- People we hire; very smart, highly capable individuals who really care about their craft and improving the things they’re working on. That’s a little plug for Catapult, by the way. Catapult Creative Media helped sponsor this podcast.



So, if you’re interested in digital marketing and those kind of things, we would love to hear from you. It’s catapultcreativemedia.com. But that being said, our company culture is one in which we embrace people, kind of, for their weirdness or their nerdiness or whatever it is. Something that may not be mainstream for those things, nevertheless, is important to the people who work there. And that’s, kind of, something we put out there.



So, in our job descriptions that we write, we put stuff that kind of embody those core values. In our interviewing process – and part of this will be covered in the next episodes – we ask questions to see if they line up with our core values of accountability, honesty, excellence, respect, and ownership. And those are things we’re looking for. One of the things you want to know is when you’re hiring, are you hiring for the company fit first, or are you hiring for skills first?



And I think that depends on the kind of offer you’re putting out there. You need to talk about those things. If you are going to be putting out that you hire- that you will train new hires, then put that stuff out there. And by the way, that needs to be, kind of, something in your core values or on your website and your masthead. So, when people read this stuff about your company, your mission, your vision, your core values, the benefits you offer your people, the job requirements and roles, make sure those are clearly posted. Put them out there, put them on your website.



It’s incredibly important because those people are looking at you. And make sure you’re restating that stuff in your social media things because those people are looking at you as well. Here’s the thing; what is a superstar for you, or a rock star, or top performers (what they call them in sales)? If you’re looking for one of those people, you want to make sure they line up with the company.



So, for example, at Catapult, when we’re hiring salespeople, et cetera, we have caps on what salespeople can charge, okay? We have a certain amount of- there’s a certain variable on what things can cost. There’s always that negotiation phase, but people aren’t allowed to just go out and gouge people. They can’t charge triple what our book rate is for something or things like that. I mean, there are limits. And so, we may want a top performer, but for us, honesty and respect for the client are part of that thing.



So, when we’re hiring for salespeople, that’s one of the things we want to make sure they line up with. They want to know that they can make a ton of money as a salesperson. I want a top performer who is also honest. I want a top performer who doesn’t bend the rules just because they can get away with it because that’s not who Catapult is as a company. Now, that doesn’t mean that needs to apply to your company.



It doesn’t, because these are the different things that apply to us. But make sure that when you’re hiring for that role, that that stuff is clearly out there because it could weed out some of the people on the front end. If there’s like, “Well, you know, I don’t know if I want to work for that kind of company.” Just make sure that you know what kind of offer you are in the marketplace so people can see it. So, kind of, the three pieces you need to take away from this is you want to establish clear mission, vision, and core values for your company. Number one, okay?



Number two is you want to have clear job roles and descriptions that kind of are the people you want. And then the third thing, this is, kind of, for bonus and for extra credit, go out there in the marketplace and test it. Have your existing employees go out and look at these mission and vision statements. Run those by people. Run them by other business owners in the marketplace that you respect and you admire.



Maybe ask them for current clients. If you’ve got a good relationship with current clients, say, “Look, hey, we’re trying to hire for X at our company. We have established our new mission and vision and core values, and I’d like to share them with you. What do you think? Does that line up with the people you’ve run into at our company?”



Because what you believe internally in the company is not always what’s out there in the marketplace. You can ask other people who have run into you before, but you have to be- We at Catapult believe that you need to eat your own dog food. If you’re a dog food manufacturer, you need to eat the dog food yourself, because if it’s something you would never eat, it’s something you shouldn’t be selling to other people’s dogs. So, at the same time, you need to test your stuff. See if the job postings that you’re putting up line up with your existing staff, and you want to know if that’s correct. And then take their feedback to heart. But ultimately, as we say on The Buck Stops Here, you are responsible for making decisions.



So, if you want to attract the kind of superstars you want, you need to establish what kind of offer you are. My name is David Maples, the host of The Buck Stops Here Business Podcast. I’d like to thank you all for listening. If you like this podcast, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you’re listening, and so you don’t miss another episode. Please give us a review on Apple Podcasts and like and comment on YouTube.



We appreciate all of your feedback, and your review or comment could be featured on the next week’s episode. Again, next week, we’re going to be talking about establishing where to find and hire the superstars. You know, the, kind of, good, the bad, and the ugly of job boards, newspapers, and the people you meet randomly in public. And we’ve got some interesting stories on that we’ll share with you as well. Again, thank you for listening. Have a great week. Go out there and be awesome.


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