Developing the Best Recruiting Strategy for Sustainability

February 29, 2016

Join us on Friday at the University Club in Grand Rapids where we will take a deeper dive into the topic we discussed in February at our Round Table Meetings. To register online click here.

We hope you enjoyed the meetings this month! Looking forward to seeing you again in March. Below are the notes from the meetings.

Grand Rapids – Thursday, February 11, 2016

Key Challenges:

  • The tyranny of the urgent keeps us from thinking long term, well.
  • Succession planning is like raising a child, or creating a will – If we aren’t investing in the process NOW, we’re late already.
  • When vision changes, perhaps as a result of successful innovations, sustainability plans for the future also have to change.
  • Testing for culture fit is hard.
  • Planning from a Scarcity mentality (Vs. an Abundance mentality) embraces fear and results in strategic planning paralysis.

Key Solutions:

  • Define the finish line early. I.E. Partner/Owners signing a dissolution agreement at the beginning of their business launch.
  • Must listen more, and value other people’s input, perceptions and experiences.
  • Sustainability must include keeping the talent we have.
  • If the necessary conversations are too hard, bring in a skilled facilitator to have them.  Avoidance is not an acceptable option.
  • Don’t be afraid to “Right size” our organization if metrics and markets are indicating that we should.
  • Delegation, accountability, and relationship management are keys to success.
  • Knowing individuals’ skills and personality is essential (I.E. rowing vs. steering).

Key Takeaways:

  • Values must be aligned and in sync across the leadership team, while skills and talents must be diverse and complimentary.
  • Assess, promote and increase leadership responsibility with the same three “Cs”  that we consider when hiring: Character, Competence and Chemistry.
  • When we know we have the right fit with an individual, we should invest in that individual’s career path.
  • Utilize the power of prayer for discernment and timing.

Grand Rapids – Tuesday, February 9, 2016


  • Hiring the wrong people – “wrong people on the bus”
  • Dilemma of hiring contract workers vs. employees (watch IRS regulations on definition of employee) in order to “flex” with the business
  • Hire only for the current job vs. the future job (or future challenges)
  • What you see in the interview is not what you get (professional interviewers)
  • Poor sourcing of candidates – poor pool
  • Inability to communicate / deliver on meaningful work
  • Poor development of current employees – “are the best people inside the organization or outside”
  • Lack of consistency in the interview process – and do you even have a process
  • Poor interview behavioral skills
  • Inability to align culture (values) with the candidate – “do you have your values stated, understood by all team members?”
  • Poor definition of what you are hiring for


  • Have a true performance management system – tied to values, performance, measures, SMART Goals
  • Learn from teammates who leave – exit interview process
  • Use outside recruiting firms to increase the talent pool of candidates
  • Always be recruiting – both internally / externally (keep people warm)
  • Discern passion versus just keeping a seat warm


  • Have a culture of passion – meaningful work
  • Recruit inside first
  • Have an exit interview process – a “real” one – not a check the box one
  • Keeping people warm (always recruiting)
  • Make hiring / promoting a priority – train, learn, train some more

Kalamazoo – Thursday, February 11, 2016


  • So many options
  • Compensation – every State is different
  • Competition – extremely competitive
  • People change jobs every 2-3 years
  • Your hire came from a different Culture
  • Social Media – a shift in how you find people
  • Different Generations think differently


  • Read resume for 5 minutes and look at all their social media.
  • Learn about different generations – what speaks to them
    • Millennial generation – support, encouragement, desires team and group activities
    • Z Generation seems to be independent, want to work hard, takes responsibility, and are entrepreneurs
  • Priorities
    • Culture first – core values
    • Talent second
  • Test them third – do they have Grit? Tenacity/perseverance?
  • Be Adaptable
  • Have the courage to tell news that is uncomfortable.
  • Monitor is not managing.  Managing is in with them, purpose and motivation.
  • Ask:
    • Where does your purpose come from?  Have you had to redefine your purpose?  A Diamond in the rough.
    • What is something you are most proud of?
    • What is something you have failed at?
  • Be Patient – it is a long process to find the right fit.
  • Put everything into your new hire.
  • Interview weekend – 48 hours.  Friday through Sunday.  Bring spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.  It is highly effective as you see them in different settings.


  • The more you put into the interview process and new hire, the more you will get out of it.
  • Be Adaptable – what worked in your company 10 years ago may not work today.
  • Do you want the experience and baggage or no experience and no baggage?  It depends on the role.
  • You need to identify what works/fits your culture.  As your needs change, you need to redefine.  Take the time needed to be devoted.
  • Know who you are and your culture.  Learn and become over time what you want to be.
  • Take more time in the process.
  • Use strength based questions.
  • Don’t plug in someone that doesn’t fit your culture.
  • Miss hire and you will pay.
  • If you hire someone that doesn’t fit, you will have daily internal problems.  Damage control is hiring the right person.

Kalamazoo – February 9, 2016


  • Marketing/Branding yourself – You want people to say “I heard about StructureTec (your company).”
    • Visibility – deciding how you attract people the best
  • Testing – DISK, Meyer Briggs, Grit Test.  Whatever test works best for your company.
  • Extensive interview process
    • Do they have tenacity, perseverance?
    • Do they have Grit?  This is learned early in life through life experiences.  If they don’t have it they are 20 to 30 years behind those that do.
    • Today you are getting interviewed as much as you are interviewing.  Welcome it.
    • Is this person purpose driven or information driven?  Which fits in the role you are looking for?
    • Ask them to tell you a story of something they accomplished that they were not asked to do.
  • Be patient when you bring in new talent. Unlike your other employees, they know nothing about your company and culture.
  • Hire talent for the specific roll with the potential to advance into other roles later. Or for some – Hire to fill the need vs. hire to fill the need with a future position in mind.
  • Development
    • An internal University – Classes
    • Have a pathway figured out for higher positions and let them know what it is.
    • Have better programs – promoting by giving them the tools
  • Know what Attracts them
  • Retention is the goal.
    • A report found on the “Recruiter” site states it is estimated that replacement costs amount to 30%-50% of the annual salary of entry-level employees, 150% of middle level employees, and up to 400% for specialized, high level employees.
    • What keeps your employees?  For some today it is:  validation of achievement.  Smaller and quicker rewards.
  • Building relationship skills are a must.
    • Care about your people
    • This will give you more loyalty to you and your company
    • Promote servant leadership – read – Book by James Hunter “The Servant”
  • Accountability
    • Loving and caring is not giving them what they want.  It is giving them what they need.
  • Success in someone else’s culture may not be a success in yours.