Dr. Misner’s guest today is Steve Suggs, author of Can They Sell–Learn to Recruit the Best Salespeople. Steve joins Dr. Misner to talk about a new topic: how to hire employees.
Where do you find qualified individuals?
It’s important to have a recruiting referral network, because the best people don’t always have their resumes posted online. They may not even be looking yet. Look for community leaders in networking organizations and service organizations, and check with the career services departments at colleges and universities.
What are the traits you look for in a top performer?
- Skills and Competencies
How do you measure these traits?
Character, attitude, and motivation are behaviors, and we can measure them with interview questions. For personality, there are many assessments provided by science.
Can you recruit BNI members the same way?
The 5 traits of a top-performing employee will also identify a top-performing BNI member, particularly character and attitude.
Brought to you by The Global Networking Show.
Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 384 –
Hello everyone and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by the GlobalNetworkingShow.com, which is a Google Hangout show hosted by Andy Lopata and Dr. Ivan Misner. I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, CA. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and Chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello Ivan. How are you today?
I am doing great, Priscilla. Thank you very much. I have a guest on our podcast today. His name is Steve Suggs. Steve is a past leadership team member in BNI, a good friend of Dan Rawls, who is an Executive Director who referred Steve to the show. Steve is the author of a book called Can They Sell. It looks like a great read, Steve. I definitely want to pick up a copy of this book.
You are on today, though, talking about hiring people, not just salespeople but anyone. And we have a lot of members in BNI who have employees, so this should be a pretty good topic for them. It is a topic I have never really talked about on our podcast. So welcome to our podcast.
Thank you very much. I do appreciate the opportunity to be here. Thank you very much for having me on. I am excited to talk about this.
Well, you know, it is a topic that we haven’t touched upon. I know that BNI members, as they are growing and getting more business, need to hire people, which is a good thing, but oftentimes, they don’t know where to start. So let’s start with that. Where does someone find good candidates for employment, you know, for a BNI member who is looking to hire people?
That is actually the number one question that I get when I am talking to individuals about hiring. It is where do I find enough high quality individuals? Most people, when they start thinking about that question, the first thing that comes to mind is online. That is a source, but it should not be the primary and only source.
Many individuals who are looking for jobs will go online and post a resume there, but a lot of high quality individuals may not necessarily have a resume online. They may not even have a resume put together yet, but they are interested in another career. So it is important if you are always hiring to have a strategy of creating what I call a recruiting referral network.
That really fits in with the whole spirit of BNI in getting out in the community and networking and finding those individuals not who are looking for a career change, but you are looking for people who are looking for a career change. So it is a matter of building a network of individuals who know you, who trust you, who trust your company.
You build relationships with them with the specific purpose of touching base with them occasionally throughout the year. You can do this very easily through email. But it is those individuals who are networked in the community, the leaders in BNI, the participants in BNI. It is a great place to have those relationships and build those relationships.
Other community leaders can be found in places like the Chamber of Commerce- people who are members there, the sales manager, the salespeople. Then, there are a lot of community service organizations like your Rotary Clubs, Kiwanas, the leaders at the Boys and Girls Club. Those community service organizations have leaders who know a lot of people.
Identifying the organizations within the sphere of where your business is located, that have individuals who are networked in the community that you can keep in touch with on a regular basis. Also, colleges and universities have career services departments and their number one job is to help their students find work. So make sure that you are absolutely taking advantage of the services of those colleges and universities.
You know, I think a lot of people just go straight to the advertising. I find it interesting because in BNI, we are teaching the networking and referral process but many members don’t use the referral process to get employees, which I feed on. I just scratch my head because I think it is a great way to get employees.
I can tell you that in 30 years of running BNI- 30 years- I have done one ad employee. Virtually 100% of my employees. One employee out of all the employees I have ever had I have gotten off of an ad. Everyone else. And by the way, it was an ad through a school. It was a posting through a school as you were suggesting. The only person I have ever gotten from an ad- everyone else has been through referral. I think we often forget about referrals as a great way of getting employees.
You have built a very valuable asset, and that is your contacts and relationships in the community. Being about to draw on that investment during a time of hiring is absolutely critical.
I absolutely agree. The next question is what are some of the traits and competencies that will have a candidate be sort of a top performer. What are the traits that you want to look for of a top performer in a team?
There are five traits, and these aren’t just traits that are applicable when you are hiring someone. These are really human behavior traits that have a lot of application in everyone’s lives. First and foremost, hire character first. Basically, people who are honest, have a hard work ethic, who have a genuine concern for other people. They live by the “Golden Rule”, and then finally, they accept personal responsibility for the outcomes of their actions.
Then, hire attitude. There are two attitudes that are important. First of all is having a positive image of themselves in the job roles that they are going to be in. And then secondly, having a passion for that industry, that it is something that they can get really excited about in serving the people of that industry.
Third, what are their motivations? There are two top motivations in most jobs. One is wanting to be the best that you can be in anything that you do. Some people call that competitive, but just be your best in what you set out to do. Secondly, is wanting to live a lifestyle at the level of income that can be earned in that job.
Then fourthly is personality. There are certain hardwired personality traits that cause a person to be able to do a job well and making sure that those personality traits are lined up with the job duties.
Those dimensions of character, attitudes, motivations and personality actually predict the fifth dimension, which is skills and competencies. If the first four traits are in line, an individual will be able to master the skills necessary and the competencies necessary for that job.
That is a really good list. I particularly am a fan of attitude. I think that is one of the most important things to look for in when you are bringing someone in.
Listen, there are two more questions that I have got for you. We are running out of time. How do you measure these traits in candidates? Then I have a bonus question I want to throw at you.
Okay. Character, attitudes and motivations are behaviors. We measure those behaviors with specific interview questions that are tied to behaviors. If we know the behavior, we can ask a question about that. If we are looking for honesty, we can develop whether or not a person has honesty or where their work ethic came from, for example. We can actually ask questions to measure an individual’s attitude about certain things.
When it comes to personality, we have science on our side. There are a lot of really good personality assessments out there that can measure those hardwired traits, and a lot of them have actually been benchmarked for the particular position that you are looking for.
So make sure that you have interview questions tied to the behavior traits. Make sure you have a really good personality profile to measure the traits necessary to do the job.
And skills, probably pretty self-explanatory, but take a look at skills.
Yes, thanks for throwing that back. You use questions to measure those skills.
Right. So here is the bonus question. We talked about hiring employees. How do you look for BNI members, potential BNI members, using these traits that you talked about in terms of employment? Is there a corollary?
From looking at and recruiting BNI members, yeah.
These traits apply to looking for a good BNI member, for example.
Absolutely. The character traits- again, the utmost important whether you are looking for a BNI member or are hiring somebody, you really want a BNI member who is honest, who has the work ethic, and they have a service mentality. Their concern for others is the mentality if I have enough other people get what they want, then I will be taken care of. So that service of ourselves is very important in BNI.
Also, taking personal responsibility. I have heard so many people say that “BNI just didn’t work for me.” My comment back to them is, “Tell me what you did to work in BNI. Did you accept responsibility for the results that you wanted to get in BNI, or were you just there to try to see what you could get from it?”
Then, a positive attitude about what you want to contribute to BNI. Do you have the attitude that you want to go to BNI, that you want to help that chapter become the best that it can possibly be?
Then again, when it comes to personality, there are a lot of individuals who actually aren’t naturally social or naturally socially confident. It is good to realize that those individuals don’t bring those personality traits to the table. They may need a mentor to come alongside them and help them understand how to best take advantage of BNI.
Good point. Really good point. We are out of time, but just one last thing I want to throw in and that is if you are doing this through networking as opposed to ads, then there is somebody who can tell you about each of these traits, or some of these traits, in someone. That is why it is really important, whether you are talking about BNI members or employees, to bring in people through referral or people that you know so that you can sort of vouch for some of these traits that you are wagering on.
The hardest thing to do in today’s world is to get referrals and to check and ask for the individual to provide you with referrals. It’s very hard because a lot of people don’t like to talk because their organization won’t allow them to give a testimonial about a candidate. But if you are getting your leads through BNI, you have that built in already.
Right. Exactly right. Steve, thanks for being in the podcast today. For the listeners, you can get more information on Steve’s book and other services at cantheysell.com. That is, cantheysell.com. Steve, thanks a lot for being on the podcast. I really appreciate it.
Thank you. My pleasure. I am flattered that you would ask.
Back to you, Priscilla.
Okay, great. I think that is it for this week. I want to thank both of you for that. It was extremely interesting. I would just like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by the GlobalNetworkingShow.com, which is hosted by Andy Lopata and Dr. Ivan Misner. Thank you for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope you will join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.