Robert Nickell, Founder and CEO of Rocket Station, the premier choice for offshore staffing, is a master at ensuring new hires are set up for success before seeing resumes and applications.
While Rocket Station primarily serves small to medium sized businesses, Nickell’s proven framework creates a template for businesses of all sizes to succeed in hiring the best candidates for their teams. Read on to discover his three steps to hiring success.
Step One: Discover Your Systems
Nickell calls step one the ‘Alignment Discovery Phase’, in which Rocket Station works with its clients to learn and understand the answer to the question, “What do you do all day?”
“Most business owners are so busy, they don’t have time to answer the question of what they do in their day to day,” said Nickell. “But the key is to drill down into what your version of ‘busy’ really means. That way we can figure out which tasks we can take off your plate, from a capability and utilization standpoint, and go from there.”
The first step is less of an action statement and more of a thought exercise. Do you have a clean, efficient structure inside your business? Be transparent with yourself to get the most out of this. This is the ‘what’ phase. What will this hire do? What does my team expect this role to fulfill? What will they be responsible for? What technology will they need access to?
This is the most-often-skipped and yet hugely valuable step. You have to be able to articulate what’s happening internally before you can expect anyone to jump in and fulfill a role well.
Step Two: Document Your Systems
This step blends with the first, because now you need to write down everything you just discovered about your systems and processes. Perhaps you used a brainstorm method in step one, and now you need to hash it out into a comprehensive list and map out everything that happens during a typical workday or week. This is the ‘how’ phase.
“Write down everything, step by step, that happens for you and your team,” said Nickell. “Create a recipe, complete with ingredients list, that allows any competent, passionate person to be successful in those roles. This recipe for success makes it easier to give them autonomy once they’ve finished training — rather than osmosis-style training where someone comes in and just hopes to infer as much information as possible from their peers, and around 60 to 90s days later they can do their job. No. Make it so they can do their job within just a few days.”
Document everything and create longform SOPs that don’t leave any room for misinterpretation. Try to think about your trials and errors when you first started your business. What did you mess up on? Write down what new hires shouldn’t do or how they can troubleshoot problems based on your experiences.
Step Three: Fulfill the Weak Spots in Your Systems
Now that you’ve developed the framework that spells out s-u-c-c-e-s-s, you can begin hiring the types of people that fit the mold.
“We ask potential hires all sorts of questions based on our findings in the first two steps,” said Nickell. “What experience do they have? What is their energy level and how do they best work? Do they fit the profile of the roadmap we created?”
It doesn’t matter if you’re hiring for an entirely new position or for an exact copy of an existing one, you must always follow all three steps. Perhaps you do over the system and find that your current employees could be supported in other ways or need to work more efficiently in certain areas. By going over the SOPs on a regular basis, you ensure growing pains stay in remission.
Not following the above steps is why some hirings don’t work out. What else could be going on?
“If you spent too much time in step one daydreaming about the parts of your job that you love, you can come up short when creating the recipe in step two,” said Nickell. “Don’t skip on the discovery process, because you may forget steps without realizing it, only to blame your underperforming new hire for it later, when really they just weren’t given the tools to succeed.”
The Benefits of This Process
The mark of a successful hire is their ability to get into a flow state while they work. If a hire loves what they do and it comes naturally to them, they will be able to perform well almost 100% of the time. That is what you strive for when following Nickell’s hiring template.
“When I played college basketball, I got into that flow state that only comes when we are doing things that come naturally to us,” said Nickell. “Everyone has something, or many things, that help them access that state. Maybe someone is totally fired-up by administrative or HR tasks, and that is the type of person you need to fill those roles. If they are happy, your business will prosper.”
About Robert Nickell
Robert Nickell is the Founder and CEO of Rocket Station, the leading provider of outsourced staffing and process management for the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. Rocket Station helps businesses hire virtual teams with efficiency and profitability. Simplified staffing allows operators to focus on core competencies and outsource the rest. For more information, visit https://rocketstation.com/
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