Building a Winning Business – The Job Offer

Building-a-Winning-Business-BookWhen negotiating an offer, clarity and a deadline are essential. In negotiating, the person with the least amount of interest has the most power. When you’ve presented your offer, don’t hound the candidate. It makes you seem desperate. If the candidate starts making hefty demands, think hard about whether this person will fit in your organization over the long term. If you agree to bonuses and other perks, make sure the person understands what you expect in return.




  • If you require employees to sign a non-compete agreement, remember that you must disclose that at the same time you make the offer. Conversely, if you decide to pass on a candidate, succinctly thank the person for his time and frame the rejection letter correctly by stating, “At this time, given our interview process, we are choosing to proceed with other candidates.” This makes the rejection clean and gives the candidate no opening to try to change your mind.
  • Finally, put an expiration date on the offer. Give the candidate a reasonable amount of time to make a decision, but for everyone’s sake, provide a definite end date on the offer consideration period.

Tom’s Takeaway:  “Once you’ve presented a fair offer with a clear deadline attached, give the candidate a reasonable amount of time to make the decision.”

Thoughts Since the Book:

  • Like a business deal or personal purchase, with a high-end candidate, know your “walk away number”

Star Tribune Features Intertech in “Communication, culture boost Intertech”

Star-Tribune-Top-100Intertech is featured in the article “Communication, culture boost Intertech” in the Monday, July 28th, 2014 Star Tribune business section.

As shared in a previous post, Intertech was named the #1 employer in the 50-150 employee category and a special award winner for ethics in the Star Tribune’s 2014 Top Workplaces award.

My thanks to the Star Tribune for supporting the local community with the Top 100 Workplaces and my special thanks to our customers and employees for making us possible.

Building a Winning Business – Negotiating a Job Offer

Building-a-Winning-Business-BookWhen you’ve found a top-performing candidate whose skills, personality, and values fit with your organization, it’s time to negotiate an offer. I believe in the guidance given in the book ‘First, Break All the Rules,’ which advises that people be treated candidly.

  • When talking with a serious candidate, find out what’s most important to him by asking up front—is it time off, telecommuting, money, or something else? Take that into consideration when you make your offer.
  • Of course, there are no guarantees that candor will result in a happily-ever-after scenario. We’ve had experienced executives demand significant pay, bonus, and benefit packages. In some cases, we’ve agreed. In a few of those cases, we later let them go. There is no entitlement. If someone demands a lot, a lot should be expected of him. If he doesn’t deliver what he promised, then he needs to be let go.

Tom’s Takeaway:  “Understand what a potential employee values before making an offer. If someone expects a lot, you should expect a lot in return.”

Thoughts Since the Book

  • While the example in the book is of a couple of candidates demanding a lot and not delivering, in the past couple of years, we’ve had employees with very solid compensation packages and deliver a ton of value for the firm.
  • Enough people value being able to do some work from home (WFH), that we’ve baked it into our SOP.  Whether it’s the flexibility to WFH or our sabbatical program, these types of benefits are hard for a much larger firm to match when a candidate is comparing offers (i.e. if these types work-life-balance benefits are not in place at a Fortune 1000 company, the odds of the large firm being able to quickly change their policies to match what we can offer is low).

Building a Winning Business – Only Hire Top Performers

Building-a-Winning-Business-BookMaybe 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.

Voice App Helps Hungry Customers – and keeps a major fast-food chain on top

PizzaRemember my post a few weeks back about the explosion of mobile apps? I recently read that Domino’s pizza has pushed the envelope a bit further by becoming the first major fast-food chain to offer a phone app that lets you order by voice. (If the last time you experienced Domino’s was in college, you might be surprised to learn that the pizza has improved dramatically and the company now operates nearly 11,000 stores in 70 markets around the world.)

Of course, most of us are used to ordering pizza by voice. It’s usually a frustrating experience in which you are repeatedly put on hold as a harried manager juggles dealing with onsite customers who are eager to order or pay their checks. But with Domino’s new app, the harried pizza guy is replaced by “Dom,” a computer enhanced male voice (he currently only responds to English).

Looks like Domino’s has figured out how to stay number one with the coveted Millennials demographic? It shouldn’t be a surprise since Domino’s current mobile app is its fastest-growing ordering vehicle, representing 18 percent in sales (totaling $459 million in 2013).

Domino’s CEO Patrick Doyle believes that the day will come when typing on keyboards with our thumbs on mobile devices will be over.  “We want to be the ones who continue to advance the technology experience,” Doyle commented in a recent USA Today story.

Domino’s is smart to be staying on the leading edge of technology as it seeks to connect in ways most convenient for customers. Has your company considered how apps – computer, mobile or voice – might help to propel your business forward?