Maybe this sounds like a tall order (especially if times are good and great employees are hard to find). Regardless of the business climate, making a commitment to hire only top performers is a strategy worth pursuing. It’s the only way to ensure that you can deliver the best service or product to your customers—and the only way I know to stay competitive, especially in an age of global outsourcing.
If you think you can get by with mediocre employees, you’ll soon see your profit margins eroding, since the only way you’ll be able to compete is to lower prices.
- It pays to be picky. By this I mean, only hire people you rate a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. In my industry, the data state that a top programmer will produce eight times more work than an average or poor performer!
- Great performers are rarely unemployed or desperate for work. For this reason, it’s important to build a virtual bench of possible candidates who are exceptional at their jobs but who are happy in their current positions. Eventually things may change and they will be interested in finding a new position. Conversely, if a top performer leaves your organization on good terms and later wants to return, don’t hesitate to take him back. This sends a powerful message to everyone about your company being a great place to work.
Tom’s Takeaway: “Although it takes time and patience on the front end to find and recruit top performers, you’ll get this investment back with hefty dividends over time.”
Thoughts Since the Book
- Without a doubt, this takeaway–along with daily huddles–are on the short list when people ask me which of the 70 takeaways to first implement.
- Given a great plan or a great team, eight days a week, I’d choose the latter. Great people are the difference.