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Strategic Discipline Blog

Before You Hire

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Mar 16, 2020

Avi Goldfarb Now Hiring - You are Hired (AI)hat’s the first step when deciding to hire? 

Most businesses start by writing an ad for the position.


Before you write your ad, make sure you know who you are looking for.

If you don’t have a job summary scorecard for the position(job description), create one.  If you do, it’s time to review it. 


Because just like taking a trip, if you don’t know where you’re going, any route will take you there.

Several of my customers have been working on hiring people for management positions. They’ve had me working through the Topgrading Process.  We’ve not completed three hires, with one not working out, and the other two A players.

The one that didn’t work out, had a much to do with not being clear on what we were looking for.  It turned out she resigned after 1 week when she realized the position wasn’t a good fit.  That was disappointing. We learned from it, adjusted, made sure our ad, and our interviewing identified the specifics we’d recognized we’d not focused on in our original recruitment.  

Hiring Image - aheadYou should be clear what accountabilities and metrics this position requires from the person you’re looking for.

Without that type of specificity, you can’t be sure you’re hiring the right person to fit the position.

I’ve written several blogs on this subject, including Decision - Achieve Accountability, Hire the Right People - Discover Locus of Control

In the book the Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz point out that precision and specificity are critical to achieving desired results.

With a system to follow to recruit, hire, and train, it becomes automatic to get the right people on the bus.


One of the biggest issues when I was in radio in Wausau, Wisconsin was finding good salespeople.  The best would always move up to a bigger market. Our pay scale wasn’t no where near what a top salesperson could earn in the marketplace.  It was a constant struggle to find capable salespeople, train, and develop them.

There were several radio sales trainers at the time in the business, and one whom I had interviewed with early in my career had a workshop to share how to build a system to hire for sales.

He shared interview questions, what to look for, how to write ads, and how to train.

It was my second experience with the value of building systems. 

One of my colleagues in the radio business provided me with a sales assessment he’d used when he was in real estate to determine a candidate’s potential success in sales. We created an ad that we would run on our two radio stations.

We never asked anyone if they had previous sales experience.  The assessment identified good potential sales candidates. Many of the best people we hired were waiters, waitresses, and marketing students from college who never had a sales job before.

The radio ads were a good tool because they reached candidates who were already listeners to our station and believed in its ability to deliver results. We had a very clear picture of the person who could be successful in radio sales, so the ad, the assessment, the interviews, all focused on finding those candidates who were ideal for the position.

It didn’t happen often, but there were times when none of the candidates who came in, fit our criteria.  We had the courage in those situations, not to hire anyone. To wait for the right person.

The experience helped me realize how critical it was to have a system to specify what we were looking for.  Once we found candidates right for the position, we began to make much better hiring decisions.

A clear job description helps build the right ad for candidates.


quote-it-s-all-about-finding-and-hiring-people-smarter-than-you-getting-them-to-join-your-richard-branson-79-90-23The next time you need to hire for a position, first make sure you know what the position you are hiring for requires.

Make a full list of the accountabilities for the position and the metrics each accountability should achieve. Have a clear picture of what you expect and create your ad around the qualities you are seeking. 

Always make this the first step before you hire.

Without this step, you miss knowing what you really want in the position, and waste both your applicants time and yours attempting to discover if the people you are interviewing are a good fit.

Growth demands Strategic Discipline.

Acheive Execution Excellence BP Guarantee poster-3To build an enduring great organization, requires disciplined people, disciplined thought, disciplined action, to produce superior results, and make a distinctive impact in the world.

Discipline sustains momentum, over a long period of time, laying the foundations for lasting endurance.

A winning habit starts with 3 Strategic DisciplinesPriorityMetrics and Meeting Rhythms.   Forecasting, accountability, individual, and team performance improve dramatically.

Meeting Rhythms achieve a disciplined focus on performance metrics to drive growth.

Let Positioning Systems help your business achieve these outcomes on the Four most Important Decisions your business faces:












Positioning Systems helps mid-sized ($5M - $250M) business Scale-UP. We align your business to focus on Your One Thing!  Contact to Scale Up your business! Take our Four Decisions Needs Assessment to discover how your business measures against other Scaled Up companies. We’ll contact you.

https___cdn.cnn.com_cnnnext_dam_assets_200108214800-coronavirusNEXT BLOG – Coronavirus

Maybe by now your sick of hearing about the Coronavirus.  It affected my travel plans.  You may have heard about flattening the curve, and possibly what to do under this siege of bad news to help your business. We’ll discuss both to give you sound advice on how to respond and plan ahead for this and the next challenge ahead.

Topics: People Decisions, Topgrading, Hiring

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







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1. Priorities: Determine your #1 Priority. Achieve measurable progress in 90 days.

2. Metrics: Develop measurable Key Performance Indicators. 

3. Meetings: Establish effective meeting rhythms. (Cadence of Accountability)  Compounding the value of your priority and metrics. 

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Certified Gazelles Coach

Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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