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Get your hiring mindset into gear

By Nick Shanagher

The most helpful advice I have received recently on hiring was that a new salesperson needs to generate ten times their salary to justify adding to the team.

The advice came from Donald Miller at his April Business Growth Boot Camp, where he shared how he professionalised his company and took sales from $250,000 to $32 million.

The important thing about his advice is not that it works in all cases but that it offers a benchmark you can use when thinking about who you hire and how much you need to pay
them. The multiple will sometimes be different.

Some of my clients today are struggling to hire talented people. There are many reasons for this, and the most damaging mindset trap is to believe that your company is not good

I typed into ChatGPT: What is the best strategy to hire good people as a small company? And it came back with a list:

  • Clearly define the job requirement
  • Use your network
  • Post jobs on relevant job boards
  • Use social media
  • Offer competitive compensation and benefits
  • Focus on cultural fit
  • Use an applicant tracking system.

The first six all seem like common sense. I don’t even know what an applicant tracking system is, but I am sure some readers will.

These tools are all needed. There is a hierarchy at work. Most jobs are sketched loosely around tasks that need doing, and many job descriptions list so many tasks that priorities
disappear from view. Fixing all this will take time that many small business owners do not have.

However, Rian Doris, owner of, has a hunter’s mindset and some good ideas.

  • Simplify the role to the one thing the candidate needs to do and be good at. When the job description is so simple that you feel uncomfortable, write a scorecard for
    your success factors and a vision for where the role will take the person and the company.
  • Use the interview process to sell your company rather than to assess the candidate. Start with a phone call. Make it chatty. Ask them about their dream job, five-year
    goals and desire to make a difference. Then, pitch your company in terms of what they want and don’t want.

Doris suggests the hierarchy of recruitment channels from best to worst is: referrals, deep outreach (asking people in your network who they know at X that they can introduce you
to?), outbound headhunting, marketing the job on social media, using recruiters, LinkedIn Ads, and jobs boards.

Using his call method to screen people works for those not actively looking for a job (at the top of his channel list) and those who are (lower down the list).

As the leader of your business, you become focused on explaining why customers value your services, why they return, and how you make the world a better place. You are offering
an opportunity to share in an exciting journey.

Always grounded by understanding how much you can afford and how much extra the new hire needs to bring when they join.

Nick Shanagher | UK Business Advisors (

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