Agency owners tend to get trapped because when they think about recruiting talent, they think about expense. They think, “A new person is going to cost $86,000 a year or $40,000 a year.” Taking on that obligation is terrifying. It’s also necessary, so keep three things in mind.
Number One: Employees are an investment, not a cost. Understand that employees are actually committed to you. Flip your mindset. Don’t think that you’re spending your own money on salary, but rather “I’m investing in this asset, in this resource, that will help my company grow.”
Number Two: You need to be having a lot of conversations with smart people who are interesting and clever that really don’t have a destination. You have to be recruiting substantially before you’re ready to make an offer. If you already know that you need to fill a role or that you’re under the gun to fill a role, and you don’t have three people that you can reach out to and think, “Oh, wow, this person would actually fit really well,” you’re way behind. You need to carve out time to recruit, meet, network, and talk to leaders and other agencies about talent.
People don’t come to work for jobs. They can get a job anywhere. They can get a salary anywhere. They come to work in a culture and an in organization that makes them excited and happy, and feels like it’s going to make them better. You have to commit yourself to having these conversations even if you might feel like you’re wasting your time. What you’re really doing is building a foundation and a recruitable audience.
Number Three: Create a company that’s worth working for. Money is good. Everyone thinks it’s all about money, but it isn’t. You have to create an environment where people truly feel that they can get better, that they’re contributing to something bigger, that your agency is completely aligned with their values, or that they’re part of a family. Employees have to feel valued. If they feel like, “Oh, you’ll do. Here’s your paycheck. Just do the things we ask, and then please go home, and don’t talk to me. I don’t want to have a relationship with you,” they’ll be looking for another job before the first direct deposit hits. You need to focus on culture, on being a leader, and on being somebody that other people want to work for.