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Simple Steps To Recruit Finance Professionals

Simple Steps To Recruit Finance Professionals to Work for You

Hiring the right professionals is crucial for the success of any business. From telecommunications to manufacturing, to retail products and banking, businesses across all market sectors need exceptional financial talent to increase revenues, reduce costs, efficiently navigate through investments and merger and acquisition activity, and intelligently deal with increased government regulation. Even though recruiting exceptional financial talent is difficult, the following simple steps will help.

Step 1: Create a Success Profile

Along with developing job descriptions, it is important to create a “success profile” of what you consider to be the ideal finance professional. You probably have a basic idea of the responsibilities and job skills you want the potential employee to handle, but you’ll have a much better chance of recruiting the right candidates (and avoiding the wrong ones) if you have a success profile laid out in advance. Make sure you specify the attributes you’re looking for including knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors.

Step 2: Understand What Motivates Possible Candidates

Once you have a good idea of who you’re looking for, it’s time to consider what the ideal candidate will want in return. A positive, motivating work environment is as important to most employees as compensation. Does your workplace offer perks, benefits and work-life balance that will attract and motivate top-notch finance professionals?

Step 3: Seek Employee Referrals

Your employees can be a very reliable and valuable recruiting source. A lot of companies have an employee referral program in place that rewards employees who recommend someone that the company ends up hiring with a reward like cash bonuses or extra vacation days.

People like to work with people they know, like and trust. Not only will you get a good referral, but you increase the likelihood of keeping both employees longer.

Step 4: Tap into Social Media

If you’re not utilizing social media to its fullest, it’s time to put up a company LinkedIn profile, especially if you’re trying to recruit a finance professional. When it comes to job searches, the active job seekers spend a lot of their time networking on sites like these.

Step 5: Network

By joining business associations, going to networking events and consistently contributing to public discussions regarding your industry, you’ll be able to get the word out about your company and your recruiting needs. It’s also a good idea to take part in career fairs and maintain a presence on college campuses. These types of venues give businesses the opportunity to offer job placement, mentorships and scholarships to college students.

Step 6: Hire a Recruiting Firm

A lack of time, inexperience or inadequate professional network can all result in recruitment challenges. If you’re facing any of these challenges, it’s time to contact a recruitment agency. Reputable professional recruiters have access to a substantial pool of applicants and they also handle the key administrative details, including placing ads, reviewing resumes as well as carrying out preliminary interviews. On top of that, you only pay the recruiter’s fee once they find someone you end up hiring.

I can help you find the right financial professional for your team. Contact me today to learn more about my process.

What’s Your BHAG? Good to Great: A DLB Consulting Book Study

We’ve been studying what makes a company go from good to great over the last seven weeks. Links to the previous posts on these topics are below for your review. Now it’s time to think about how your company can be built to last by setting your BHAG: Big Hairy Audacious Goal.bhag

Good to Great Attributes

Here are the seven things that make a good to great company:

  1. Level 5 Leadership: Leaders with a paradoxical blend of humility and professional will.
  2. First Who…Then What: The principle of hiring the right people before setting the vision and strategy.
  3. Confront the Brutal Facts: The belief that through the difficult times you will prevail in the end so long as you have the discipline to confront reality.
  4. The Hedgehog Concept: The intersection of three circles comprising of what you can be the best in the world at, what you are deeply passionate about, and what makes enough money.
  5. A Culture of Discipline: A culture that combines disciplined people, thought, and action with an ethic of entrepreneurship.
  6. Technology Accelerators: The careful section and pioneering of technology to accelerate growth rather than to ignite a transformation.
  7. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: The process of pursuing success in one direction, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough, and beyond.

Developing Your BHAG

This framework is essential to building a great company, but goal setting is key. To develop your BHAG you must consider your Hedgehog. Your BHAG will intersect what you can be the best in the world at, what you are deeply passionate about, and what makes enough money. Stay within those three circles, but be willing to change the specific manifestation of what’s inside them.

Enduring great companies preserve their core ideology. Their purpose and core values stand the test of time. However, in order for progress to be made, it must be stimulated by change. Changes that occur in cultural and operating practices and changes that occur in goals and strategies. Create BHAGs that are consistent with the Good to Great framework and you’ll be on your way toward greatness.

What’s your BHAG?

The Flywheel Effect – Good to Great: A DLB Consulting Book Study

Great companies realize that there is no one single event that catapults the company into greatness. Rather, it’s a series of cumulative actions that add up to sustained and amazing results. In Good to Great, Jim Collins refers to this as the flywheel.Flywheel Effect

The flywheel is huge, heavy and creaky. It takes a lot of effort to move it an inch, but you keep pushing. Eventually, the flywheel begins to move until you get the first revolution. After continuous effort, the flywheel begins to pick up speed making rotation after rotation until at some point it’s using it’s own weight to continue the progress. That’s the break through.

The Flywheel Effect

Getting the flywheel to move in the right direction takes more than just an initial company meeting and a party to announce your plans. Arguably, hoopla and motivation are less likely to get the wheel turning. Instead consider using your vision and hedgehog concept to get started. Here are a few steps to implement as you build the flywheel effect:

  1. Take steps forward that are consistent with your vision and hedgehog
  2. Accumulate visible results
  3. Make sure there are roles to be filled because employees will want to be involved
  4. Encourage participation as the flywheel builds momentum

Everything that we’ve talked about so far in our book study on Good to Great is a piece of the buildup-to-breakthrough flywheel effect. The key is to be consistent and continue to build upon the stuff that works so that the positive effects are magnified.

Building a great company takes a long time. According to the study, the average time for a Good to Great Company to achieve greatness was seven years. There are no overnight success stories. Most overnight success stories are about twenty years in the making. Are you willing to take the next step to become great? I’d love to help you get started.

Technology Accelerators of Momentum – Good to Great: A DLB Consulting Book Study

I often engage with businesses who tell me that they’re looking for a technological solution to a financial problem that they’re facing.Technology Accelerators They’re often looking to get setup on a system such as QuickBooks Enterprise. However, the first thing that I notice is that the internal processes needed to sustain such a system is either nonexistent or inefficient. Before I implement any type of technology solution, I work to ensure that they’ve got solid processes in place to sustain them.

Technology Accelerators of Momentum

Good to great companies use technology as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it. They choose the application that fits within their three circles of the Hedgehog Concept. Technology must be relevant to their business and what they’re trying to accomplish. They become pioneers of carefully selected technologies that enhance their pursuit to be the best in the world at what they do. Once they find these technologies they become fanatical and creative in their application of them.

On the other hand, comparison companies often have the opposite approach. They are looking for a magic bullet to fix their problems or create some magic that’s required to take them to the next level. They believe that technology itself will fix the problem. But in the Good to Great study, Collins reveals that 80 percent of Good to Great company CEOs don’t attribute technology as one of the  top 5 factors of their success.

What Technology Isn’t

Technology isn’t a magic bean that will transform your business into a Good to Great company. It won’t make you a level 5 leader, it won’t get the right people on the bus,  it won’t light a fire where there is none, and it most certainly won’t create a culture of discipline. Instead of viewing technology as a creator of success, view it as  an accelerator to your already determined path to success and greatness.

Technology is an enabler of change, not the cause of it. The right people and processes  must be in place before application of technology will do any good. I can help you with this.

Give me a call and let’s work on getting the right process in place, the right people in the right seats and focused on the priorities that are key to the success of your business.

A Culture of Discipline – Good to Great: A DLB Consulting Book Study

A culture of discipline first involves getting the right people on the bus and in the right seat. cultureOnce you have them in the right seat you’ll notice that these employees have disciplined thought, which means they aren’t mindlessly working on tasks that are low priority. Instead, they’re focused on the right priorities that are derived from the three circles that we discussed also known as the Hedgehog Concept. These employees are giving thought to what they’re doing and the action they take drives meaningful results for the company.

A Culture of Focused Discipline

Great companies have a strong sense of discipline. The employes that make up these organizations have some degree of independence that they combine with focused discipline. Without discipline, things begin to break down as the company grows and the company becomes a rigid, stifling hierarchy.
As your company grows you may seek to bring leadership into your organization so that your profit-making machine continues to run efficiently. Be careful to avoid bringing in leaders who instill fear into their employees. They may get results in the short-term, but results will only be temporary and you will lose the best people on your bus. There is a big difference between having a tyrant that enforces a culture of discipline by fear, and creating a culture of people who naturally adhere to a disciplined approach. The latter creates a lasting sustainable system.

Stop Doing List

If you’re a high performer, it’s likely that you have a list of things you need to do each day either in your head, in an application or written down on paper. This to do list continues to get bigger and bigger and bigger ultimately leading to less focus and more frustration. Leaders of good-to-great companies often made just as much use out of a stop doing list as they did with their to do lists.
A stop doing list involves knowing what activity fits within the Hedgehog Concept that you will fully fund verses something that doesn’t fit and therefore gets no funding of time or money. Stop doing the things that aren’t central to your business and focus in the areas that are in your three circles: what you’re passionate about, what drives your economic engine and what you can be the best at.

Do you have the right people on the bus, the discipline to do the right thing and, equally important, to stop doing the wrong things?

The Hedgehog Concept: Good to Great: A DLB Consulting Book Study

The Hedgehog Concept is the understanding that your company can’t be the best at everything. Rather, it’s knowing what you can be the best at, gaining clarity, and devising a focused strategy that ultimately leads to business success.Hedgehog Concept

The Hedgehog Concept

The Hedgehog Concept is drawn from the essay written by Isaiah Berlin, titled “The Hedgehog and the Fox” in which a cunning fox tries and continually fails to capture the hedgehog. The Fox waits for the perfect time to pounce on the Hedgehog, but is outwitted by the prickly creature when he rolls into a ball at just the right moment.

Jim Collins explains that companies who are more like the hedgehog — that is, focusing on one thing and doing it well — need not be concerned with cunning competitors because they would not be a threat to success. The three circles that make up the Hedgehog Concept are passion, economic engine, and understanding what you can be the best at.

What You Are Deeply Passionate About

The good-to-great companies focused on those activities that ignited their passion. The idea here is not to stimulate passion but to discover what makes you passionate. You can’t manufacture passion or motivate people to be passionate about a product or service. You can only discover what ignites your fire.

What Drives Your Economic Engine

If you could pick one and only one ratio – profit per x, to systematically increase over time, what x would have the greatest and most sustainable impact on your economic engine? For example if you’re focused on profit per store, you might consider changing your ratio to profit per customer visit, profit per employee, or profit per local population.
Your economic engine is not driven by a complicated macroeconomic equation. Instead, this simple single denominator helps force a deeper understanding and focus on the key drivers of your business.

What You Can Be the Best At

In order to truly know what you can be the best at you have to look beyond what you’re good at. It’s not a goal, strategy, intention, or plan to be the best. It’s an understanding of what you can be the best at.
What you can be the best at might even be something that you’re not currently engaged in. Just because you can make money and generate growth, doesn’t mean you can become the best at it. You must focus on what you can do better than any other company. Then gather the competencies and capacity to do so.

An Iterative Process

Developing your Hedgehog Concept is an iterative process. Each of the three circles can take some time to complete. In fact, it took four years on average for the good-to-great companies to get a Hedgehog Concept. It may take you less time, but the effort will be worth it.
What is your Hedgehog Concept?

Confront the Brutal Facts: Good to Great: A DLB Consulting Book Study

In our last post we emphasized the importance of getting the right people on the bus. The right people are internally motivated and your job is to make sure they don’t get de-motivated. In this post we’ll discuss the importance of building a culture that confronts the brutal facts and where open and real communication exist. Confront the Brutal Facts

There’s a difference between having the opportunity to be heard and having your say. Great companies know the difference. To create a culture where truth is heard and problems are solved, consider the four basic practices that good-to-great companies employ.

Lead with Questions

As a leader you must be humble enough to admit that you don’t have all the answers. You weren’t anointed with a crystal ball the moment you got promoted or started your own business. You should ask questions and actively listen to responses. This will help you gain a better understanding of the message and lead to better insight.

Engage in Dialogue and Debate

Become a great moderator. Create an atmosphere where issues can be debated with facts and point-of-views based on information that’s presented. Ensure that all sides engage in the debate and do so respectfully. Then, make a decision and implement the solution.

 Conduct Autopsies

John Maxwell, author of Sometimes You Win—Sometimes You Learn, points out that experience isn’t the best teacher. Instead evaluated experience is. Leaders learn from past mistakes. They take responsibility for the mistake and take the time to truly understand the root cause. In other words, they learn.

 Build Red Flag Mechanisms

The information age brought with it the ability to share and receive data. You have access to this data just like your competitors. However, having data doesn’t do you any good unless you recognize it and then take action. Create a mechanism that allows your employees to raise a red flag when they discover a risk area to evaluate and mitigate.  You can use a physical red flag if you want to or you can simply create a process that enables it.

Confront the Brutal Facts

Good-to-great companies that employ these techniques face adversity with strength instead of fear. They focus on confronting the brutal facts with open and real communication. In the end, they cultivate a culture that drives the success of the company and those who are in it.

Which of the four basic practices discussed today will you employ to drive the success of your company?

Getting the Right People on Your Bus: Good to Great: A DLB Consulting Book Study

Right PeopleIt’s important to first get the right people on the bus before you decide where to take it. The good-to-great leaders began the transformation by first getting the right people on the bus  and then focusing on where to go.  In good-to-great companies, the “who” questions come before the “what” decisions. They come before vision, strategy, organization structure, and tactics. This ensures that the company can be more agile and change directions if strategy indicates it’s the right thing to do.

Hiring the Right People

The right employees are your most precious asset. Without them, you don’t have a great company. Finding the right employee has more to do with character traits and  capabilities than with specific knowledge, background, or skills. As you grow your business you’ll find that hiring becomes a necessity in order to move to the next level.  You and your existing employees may feel the pain of doing more than a normal workload, which might encourage you to hire the first capable person. Stop there. Remember, the right person is more important to have than someone who can simply do the job. If you’re unable to attract the right people, you’ll need to review your culture, benefits, and compensation packages. Otherwise, your growth will be limited by the ability to attract the right people.

Shifting Resources

Act quickly when you know you need to make a people change. The longer you let issues fester, the more damaging it can be to your business and culture. Before you fire an non-productive employee, be sure you don’t simply have them in the wrong seat. Look for other areas where this employee might shine.

Prioritize

Most companies put their best people on their biggest problems. The intent is to have a hero save the day. A downfall to this strategy occurs when you decide to sell off your unprofitable or problem business units. It’s possible that your best person could transfer with that sale. Additionally, it simply doesn’t make sense to have your best people focusing on the biggest problems when they could be using their brain power to further your biggest opportunities. It’s about priorities.

Compensation

The idea that the specific structure of compensation acts as a key lever in taking a company from good to great is unwarranted. No such correlation exists in good-to-great companies. Yes, compensation and incentives are important, but for very different reasons. The purpose of a compensation system should be to get the right people on the bus in the first place, and to keep them there. Not to force the right behaviors from the wrong people.

Have you ever felt like you had the wrong people on the bus at your company? What did you do to get them in the right seat or off the bus?

What is Level 5 Leader? Good to Great: A DLB Consulting Book Study

Are You a Level 5 Leader? Level 5 leaders focus on the interest of the company before themselves. They check their egos at the door. They are modest, humble and fearless. In part one of our DLB Consulting Book Study series, we’re exploring level 5 leadership. If you don’t have your book, you can order it through my affiliate link at Amazon.com. Level 5 Leader

Level 5 Hierarchy

Level 5 leadership is the first of two concepts in the Disciplined People stage of the Good to Great framework. It refers to the highest level of executive capabilities, which are:

  • Level 5: The executive who builds enduring greatness through humility and professional will.
  • Level 4: The highly committed effective leader who passionately pursues a clear vision with high performance standards.
  • Level 3: The competent manager who effectively and efficiently organizes people and resources towards the goal.
  • Level 2: The contributing team member who effectively works with others through individual contributions towards the goal.
  • Level 1: The highly capable individual who contributes talent, knowledge, and skills towards the goal.

 Level 5 Leader Attributes

Level 5 leaders exists all around us. They are the leaders who achieve greatness and never attribute the success to themselves. They are the lynchpins in the company that go above an beyond their job role, work with diligence, have intense focus, and declare others as the heroes. To identify them look for the following attributes:

  • Ambition for the Company: Level 5 leaders hire strong successors and set them up for success.
  • Compelling Modesty: Level 5 leaders produce extraordinarily results and are often described as humble, modest, reserved, shy, gracious, mild-mannered, self-effacing, understated, or simple.
  • Unwavering Resolve: Level 5 leaders have intense determination to do what must be done, often times going against the grain. They work more like a plow horse than a show horse.
  • Window and the Mirror Mentality: Level 5 leaders credit others for the success of the project, while blaming themselves for failures. They often attribute their success to outside factors, such as the industry, life events, blessings and good luck.

How to Attain to Level 5 Leadership

There are no magical steps to attain to the level 5 leader and you don’t have to go through each of the executive levels to get there. The secret to level 5 leadership is to encompass all four attributes described in this post. If you don’t currently have them, you can work to integrate them into your leadership style one trait at a time.

Do you know a level 5 leader? If you’d like to recognize them, leave a comment below. I’d love to recognize them too.

Good to Great – A DLB Consulting Book Study Series

When you envisioned your business your dreams reflected a great company, with great employees, and a great mission. Good to GreatSomehow the existence of your company would make this world a better place either through the products and services you offered or through employees you provided with a steady income. Where is your business now?  Perhaps your business is failing, mediocre, or performing well but not according to your dreams.   Are you ready to make it great?

Good to Great

If you’re ready to take steps towards greatness, then join us for our study of Jim Collins’ book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t. This book contains in depth research performed by his team over the course of five years.  The process of taking a company from good to great relies not on executive compensation, celebrity heroes, or any one person. But rather on the ability to adopt a framework that provides the foundation for establishing a company that can rise to the top and outperform the competition year over year. This framework includes:

1) Level 5 Leadership: Leaders with a paradoxical blend of humility and professional will, like Lincoln and Socrates.

2) First Who…Then What: The principle of hiring the right people before setting the vision and strategy.

3) Confront the Brutal Facts: The belief that through the difficult times you will prevail in the end so long as you have the discipline to confront reality.

4) The Hedgehog Concept: The intersection of three circles comprising of what you can be the best in the world at, what you are deeply passionate about, and what makes enough money.

5) A Culture of Discipline: A culture that combines disciplined people, thought, and action with an ethic of entrepreneurship.

6) Technology Accelerators: The careful section and pioneering of technology to accelerate growth rather than to ignite a transformation.

7) The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: The process of pursuing success in one direction, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough, and beyond.

Order Your Book

If you’re ready to become a selfless leader who builds a great team and passionately pursues a simple goal, then follow along with us as we explore this timeless classic and begin to become great ourselves. We’ll discuss each of the principles in great detail over the next few months. You can order your book from your local bookstore or through my affiliate link at Amazon.com. Are you ready to become great?