How to find good people

I wrote a post about why it is hard to find staff. The corollary is what we should do to make it easy to find people. Logically, we just invert my earlier post:

Create an attractive culture: diverse and inclusive, colourful and fun (the Thais get it: “sanuk“), human and nurturing.

Be transparent. Publish the salary/wage. Answer your own questions before you ask them of someone else. Let candidates interview other staff. Have a 3 month trial period, both ways. Pay people generously to resign.

Look for good people not “the right people”. Embrace imperfect people who are an imperfect fit, yet someone you want. Look for people who have something important and interesting to contribute, who seem nice.

Recruit for people, not to fill jobs. Grab the good ones who come along when they come along, not when you have a vacancy. If you only recruit when you have a gap, you’ll only get whoever is around at the time. Rethink recruiting.

Filter applicants on who they are, not on how they match a minimum set of attributes. This will require intelligence in the shortlisting process.

Recruit for potential, with the expectation of growing people, of creating an environment where they can thrive and flourish to become who you need. There are many more of them than there are fully grown perfect matches.

Show some humility. If they’re who you want, then they’re doing you a favour to work for you. Act like you want them.

Most of all, spend some damn money on people. Invest in the development of the organisation instead of siphoning off all the produced value. Pay so they’ll join, pay so they’ll stay. Then invest in helping them flourish and grow into the best they can be at what you need.

That’ll work.


Marriage is a great analogy.

Preferably you’ve already known each other for a while. I.e. whenever you can, hire people who are already known to it least some of your employees. This is why you should hire people when they become available, not when you have a vacancy.

Get to know each other first but do it nicely, it is not a trial by ordeal. Asking men to kill dragons has gone out of fashion.

Live together first before you get married. I’m a big fan of a 3-month trial period before employment contracts are finalised. Take care of the hurt if you call it off.

Breach of promise is a crime. If you have already made a job offer and someone has resigned from their current job, you don’t get to then just walk away from the offer.