Engineering the “A” Team by Ruka Sanusi

Building the A Team is probably one of the most challenging, demanding features of operating and growing a business. Together with building a thriving, loyal client base and securing access to finance; identifying skilled, responsive and motivated staff is a constant challenge for a lot of business owners.

But given the importance of having the right human resources to run and manage a business, it’s always a surprise to realize that many business owners give inadequate attention to the process of searching for and selecting staff for their business.

All too often staff are recruited on hunches, ill-advised referrals from friends and frenemies, or an ill-thought out recruitment process. The negative externalities of these is an exasperated and frustrated CEO and equally exasperated and frustrated staff.

Building The A Team. The task, burden and responsibility of the moment.

To my mind, for the CEO, building the A team begins with an exercise in business introspection, followed by an exercise in self- introspection. However, both of these absolutely must be preceded by clearly articulated business aspirations, values, and goals – for if we do not know the end for which we are recruiting, we recruit for the immediate short term and not necessarily for what our business needs in the medium and long-term.

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Whilst you may agree that in recruiting professional staff due consideration needs to be given to alignment of the prospective staff’s technical skills and the aspirations of your business. You may however wonder what your business aspirations, values and goals have to do with recruiting a driver, or even a cleaner. As fickle and fastidious as this may sound, as long as they are on your premises, they are in some way related to you and your business. You cannot afford to be fickle in recruiting and selecting any member of staff. Commit to be absolutely concerned and interested in the mind and aspirations of everyone connected to your business.

Then comes self introspection. What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses? What are your organizational strengths and where are your organizational weaknesses? Which personal and business strengths are you seeking to reinforce with any recruitment, and which personal and business weakness are you seeking to minimize? All recruitment should be done in the light of these.

Then when the selected staff comes on board, the process doesn’t end there. Build your team. Team build. Morale build. Motivate. Reward. Provide KPIs and performance measures. This keeps everyone on their toes – least of all yourself! If you need to create a new way of working suited particularly and only to your organization, create it. It is after all your company! Take nothing for granted. The most pioneering companies did not work with templates, they created templates.

Let yours be one of those companies.

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