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Pie Crust Ingredients & Teams

The other night I was wide-awake at 2:00 a.m. and was leafing through a cooking magazine. A few pages in, I found a mouthwatering picture of a pie. I immediately felt hungry and ready to make a pie. Instead, I quietly rummaged through my pantry and found a forgotten box of crackers. The refrigerator ponied up some leftover Havarti cheese. That was the best I could do at 2:00 a.m. However, once the weekend rolls around, I’m going to roll out a pie crust and bake an apple pie.

My Grammy taught me how to roll a pie crust. She was a wonderful teacher—patient and fun. I won’t lie, there were many disasters early on! We laughed a lot. Grammy helped me gain confidence in my pie crust skills which also taught me a lot about how to approach life. Today, I apply those lessons to my business, especially when it comes to hiring a team.

Like a pie crust, there aren’t many ingredients. However, the way in which you combine them makes a world of difference.

To make a pie crust, the ingredients are simple: salt, flour, a bit of sugar, shortening, chilled butter, and chilled water. Depending on the cook, there might be a few other ingredients. The directions seem easy too. Mix the ingredients and roll out the dough.

Yet, my Grammy made this an art form. She knew just when to stop mixing and when to roll out the dough. She made it look so easy. Yet, for me, it was tough. I seemed to either over mix or under mix the dough. My crust was either tough as nails or a mushy mess. But something in me constantly questioned, “How could it possibly be that easy for Grammy and so hard for me? Certainly, I must have missed something critical to make it turn out right.”

Now doesn’t that sound just like hiring the right people for your business? Like making a pie crust, there is an art to hiring the right people.

When you need to hire, waiting until you have years of experience isn’t an option. Many business owners struggle and continually end up with the wrong people. And the ramifications are much more serious than a bad pie crust.

Most people only know what they’ve been taught. Or worse, they never had a teacher to guide them. So, remember that learning is the path to knowledge and today is the best time to start. Hiring the right team members has a few essential ingredients.

1.Define Your Ideal Team Member

Take time to map out the attitudes, behaviors, and personality traits you need in your team members. Then, create a pie chart with the top three to five critical attitudes, skills and behaviors that your team must have to be successful. Your chart is a snapshot of your company culture. Do this first. You can train for skill, but personality is unchangeable. Now you can decide what education and experience are necessary.

You can train for skill, but personality is unchangeable 

2. Identify the Job to Be Done (Hint: It's different from what you think)

A client had constant turnover in her receptionist position. She was frustrated because the employee failed to ask clients if they wanted to add another service (an up-sell). After spending time defining her ideal employee, she realized she needed a salesperson who could also do the administrative work. She missed the most important quality—sales ability—because she focused on the administrative work first. 

3. Find Your Ideal Team Members

Great people are hiding in plain sight if you know where to look. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Recruit your customers because they already use and love your products or services.

  • Use groups like eWomenNetwork and LinkedIn as a means of connecting with people who might be able to give you referrals.

  • Think about groups your ideal employee may belong to and reach out and invite them to apply.

  • Use the power of social media to find people in online forums and technical communities.

4. Ask Insightful Interview™ Questions

 Most of us ask interview questions we find on the internet. Savvy candidates have researched the “correct” answers and have learned to tell us what we want to hear. We think we’ve outsmarted them by asking behavioral-based questions. Unfortunately, those questions often include clues to the answer you want to hear. Instead, ask an Insightful Interview™ question, like “Could you tell me about a time when you lacked the knowledge or skills to complete a task?”. This question requires more than a canned answer. Most of us have been in situations where our knowledge and skills were lacking. A candidate’s answer to this question reveals more substantial information than canned responses to the weaknesses question.  

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Like Perfecting Your Pie - Hiring Takes Time

Remember, hiring, like making a pie crust, requires time and practice.

My Grammy had years of experience making her pie crusts. As I made more pie crusts, each one got better. Over time I added some secret ingredients that made my pie crust a mouth-watering delight. That’s a great approach to hiring as well. Take the time to learn from an expert and then add your own ingredients to create a team that helps your business soar!

If you still have some work to do, no worries. The important thing is you are ready to learn. I can be your guide. Click this link to schedule a complimentary Insight session. It’s an investment of 20 minutes of focused coaching that will pay huge dividends.  

My book, The YOLO Principle: The Ultimate Hiring Guide for Small Business, available on Amazon is packed with tools, templates, and step-by-step instructions. Or, send me an email and I’ll share my secret pie crust recipe and a few more hiring tips.

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Author, Rebecca Barnes-Hogg

Rebecca Barnes-Hogg is a recruiting strategist and the Founder and Chief Insights Officer of YOLO Insights®, a recruiting and hiring strategy firm dedicated to the art of hiring great employees. Rebecca founded YOLO Insights® with the vision of making sure no business was held back because they couldn’t hire the right people.


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