In my this podcast, I had the opportunity to delve into a subject that’s close to my heart: the art of recruiting and the profound impact it has on a team. I wanted to share some key insights with you all, hoping to inspire growth and improvement in your own recruiting journey.
1. The Impact of Producers: I discussed how hiring top producers can multiply a team’s success, while low producers can compound challenges. I shared a study that revealed being near a low producer can reduce production by 30%, while a high performer within a 25-foot radius can grow the production of those around them by 15%.
2. The Importance of Standards: I emphasized the need for recruiting leaders to define their standards and expectations. I explored the meaning of “standard” as something lifted up, urging the importance of having high standards in hiring. I reflected on the timeless wisdom that if you don’t stand for something, you fall for anything.
3. The Complexity of Hiring: I opened up about the complex process of hiring, filled with pressures and needs. I shared personal experiences of frustration and how changing my hiring standards led to a more aligned team. I also shared a humorous rule I implemented to ensure alignment.
4. The Value of Alignment: I stressed the importance of aligning team members with a leader’s value system. I shared how I created rules to ensure alignment, leading to the departure of low producers and the growth of those who wanted to do better.
5. Going All In: I concluded with a passionate call to action, urging leaders to go all in at all costs. I shared my own 90-day journey of intense recruiting, working 14 hours a day, six days a week. I encouraged leaders to be present on social media, build value-driven campaigns, and truly commit to the recruiting process.
I hope these insights inspire you to reflect on your own recruiting practices and strive for continuous improvement. If you find yourself under pressure to hire, remember to define your standards, align with your values, and go all in. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook to access the article I mentioned and to continue this important conversation.
Link to Article
Welcome back to another Recruiting Conversations. It’s your host, Richard Milligan. I can’t wait to share this idea with you today. I recently came across a incredible article that was written by the Kellogg School of Management, and one of the things that they studied as before as part of writing this article is the impact of.
Low producers on a team versus the impact of high producers on a team. And this is a recruiting conversation. Hiring top producers is a multiplier effect for your team. Hiring low producers is a multiplying compounding effect on the team, and it’s a challenge. The challenge is this, is that if you’re listening to this podcast, you most likely feel the pressure of hiring.
You’re probably some sort of a recruiting leader, possibly a sales leader, and there are expectations at a organizational level for you, building and growing. And if you’re an entrepreneur listening to this, Your ability to hire the right people to hire the correct people absolutely influences your ability to accomplish your greater vision.
A great place to start as a recruiting leader is by defining your standards, and we’re gonna talk about that today. Where I wanna start though is in this article. Um, I will actually, uh, share this article in a couple of places in my social profiles. If so, if you haven’t found me yet on LinkedIn, please do.
You haven’t found me yet on Facebook. It’s all underneath my name. Like my personal brand is what carries this, what, what this article said. And this was a, a big research piece of over a thousand people with the article. The conclusion that the research came to was this, is that being just within a 25 foot radius of a low producer affected your production by 30%.
People that were in the proximity, just the proximity of a low producer reduced their production by 30%. On the other side of that, a top producer. A high performer within a 25 mile radius. I’m sorry, a 25 foot radius. That would be great. Right? 25 mile radius. 25 foot radius grew the production of the people around them by 15%.
Now you know this at some level, if you are a recruiting leader, you recognize that we’ve made statements like birds of the Feather flock together for years. We all have heard that the closest five people to you basically become who you are, and so your income rises to the closest five people. Your attitude rises or falls to the closest five people.
It’s why we have to be so intentional about who we actually invite into our teams. And I just wanna say, I recognize this is incredibly complex. Because there are seasons where you need people. There are seasons where you have pressures to bring people to your team. I think there was a country song once that said that if you don’t stand for something, you fall for anything.
I don’t remember who sang it, but it seems to, I think my mom and dad may have listened to that on the radio. I did a little research on that. Alexander Hamilton once said, when you stand for nothing, you fall for everything. When you stand for nothing, you fall for everything. A word that we use in our society is standard.
What’s your hiring standard? Well, well, in the English language, the word standard typically falls in some relationship to expectations, right? Minimum expectations. It’s typically how we look at the standard, right? It’s like, They have to meet this. In order for us to hire them, they have to meet this in order for us to, in order for them to qualify for us to hire them.
I went on a little journey and just said in an original language, what is, what is the, what is the word standard means? Uh, mean, and, and that’s helpful for me as a coach because what I found in our current society is that words evolve, words change. We define them. However someone else has defined them, and at some level you’ve gotta go back to kind of like a foundational place and say, what does that word mean?
Go back to, to an original language, Hebrew and the definition of that word standard meant something lifted up. Think about that. Something lifted up. Like when I think of like lifting something up, something heavy, right? Something above our head like. This is rising to something and in a moment of pressure where you lose a key person on your team and you need to fill a spot or you’ve got some pressure from your organization to put butts in seats.
Our standard is something that we typically fall for or fall towards, versus having a high standard and, and the implications of it are incredibly big. The reason why I have a lot of empathy for you is that I have been in your shoes. Yes, I coach today, but I remember what it was like to have actually attracted anything to my team.
There’s a moment in time that is very clear to me. I go back to this time and I have a blend on my team, and I’ll give you a percentage blend if like a hundred percent makes up the entire team. 30% of them were low producers, 30 40% of them were middle of the road producers, and I had another 20 to 30% that were high producers.
What I found myself as a leader feeling with the mixture of that team is tension, and I would dare say frustration. I came to this point where I’m asking myself the reason why am I so frustrated? And I was frustrated because, I was all in and I had some low end producers that weren’t all in. I was hardworking and I had a group of people that were really part-timing it that were supposed to be full-time.
And when I had this aha that I was really hiring anyone that once I got in front of them would say yes, I changed my standard around my hiring. So one of the things that I did, I kind of look at it in hindsight and I laugh, but I don’t know that it was funny at the time and I don’t know that the people that were having to deal with it necessarily thought that it was funny when they were people that weren’t aligned with my value system.
But as a sales leader, what I found is that my low end producers, they were always gone on Friday. They were, you know, they, you could not reach them, call them, you wouldn’t see them. They were just always gone on Friday. And I asked myself the question, how do I get people to be aligned with my value system?
And I just determined if they’re not aligned with my value system, they shouldn’t be on the team. So I created a rule within the team and I said, every Friday at 2:00 PM if you’re below this minimum expectation number, then you are required to attend in person a meeting in this office, 2:00 PM on Friday.
My thought was if someone was really aligned with my value system, they’d show up for those meetings and I would give them an enormous value. If someone was in aligned with my value system, I was really looking to work a part-time job with full-time pay four days a week. Then on Fridays, they would no show, and eventually they would quit because I set an expectation, you have to be here if you fall below this minimum expectation.
What I found is that very quickly, literally within 30 days, The low producers were gone, and the people that showed up that actually wanted to do better, actually did better and got out of that bucket of low producers. So the challenge in this is that you are not going to be perfect in hiring people.
You’re gonna hire wrong people. You’re gonna hire people that are in line with your value system, okay? But when you start to set your standards that people have to rise up to. Not only can you take some chances on people, but you will also find that you’ll look to hire better people in your market. So a helpful place for you to go right now is ask yourself this question, what do you value?
What are your values? My what I, Val, I value hard work.
There’s a lot of reasons why I value it. It’s been connected to anything of success I’ve ever had. So work ethic’s important to me. I value someone who’s hungry. I love. Patrick Lynche. Wrote a book called The Ideal Teammate, and in that he said that the ideal teammate is someone who’s humble, hungry and smart.
I love hungry people. I will die hungry. So, um, not saying that everyone has to be as hungry as you or as hungry as me. They, I do value growing, developing, becoming more. I also value loyalty. Loyalty is really important to me and all of those things. I realized one day that I can actually ask questions around those look at work history that will determine that if you’re in an industry where you can actually, and you’re on the sales side, where you can see production numbers, you can go pull your reports to see that.
That would probably be real estate mortgage industry. You’ll have all the data to see the production of the people that you’re gonna actually invite into your team. And what I found is that I begin to hire better. And when I hired better, naturally, the entire team did better. Now here’s what I wanna say.
In my own journey, there was a time where someone took a chance on me. The question that, that I get asked regularly is, should I ever hire, should I even hire outside my standards? And to that, I would say there’s a couple of things to consider when you’re hiring outside your standard. Number one, is the person aligned with your value system?
And if you’re not sure, Be thoughtful in how you pursue the individual to determine that if there’s, if they’re outside your standard, that might be you say like in a 10 year window, they can’t have any more than five employers. It’s your standard. You get to determine that. Maybe you’ll say three. When you look at and you evaluate this individual, do they fall outside of that?
And if they do, you should clearly vet that. One of the things that I would vet would be production. If you can vet their production, if you got a standard for your production, bringing someone who’s significantly below that production can impact your team. Bringing someone in that’s significantly higher can impact the team.
One of the things that I see all the time on social media as companies doing these blasts, these announcements, we’ve hired these people. Now in the mortgage industry where I cut my teeth as a, as a recruiting leader in the mortgage industry, there are tools to go sort their production, and I do this all the time.
Here’s the seven people we hired last month, and I’ll go and I’ll plug in those individuals and I’ll look to see who they are. I just did this last week and I’m like, why are you announcing that you hired a bunch of low producers? Because your top producers are going to look at that as well. They’re going to know who those people are in their market.
You’re creating a brand for yourself. Digital has now made brand exponential, no longer linear, exponential, like that’s going to reach the masses. And this is a, a, a large organization that’s announcing, we’re hiring low producers. Okay? And so, Umm, this is for you as leaders. This is something to be thinking about, something to be considering.
Every hire is not a win. Sometimes you’re taking some chances. Sometimes you’re, you’re, you’re taking some risk in this. Okay, are they aligned with the value system? The other thing that you have to determine is do they fit within the current team structure? Well, lemme give you, tell you what I mean by this.
Some of you are going through difficult seasons right now, bringing a low end producer. Into a difficult season that’s going to require more of you, more of the team may not be the right time. Do they fit within the current team structure? The and, and to that? Here’s what I would tell you. When I’ve got a top producer on my team and that person loves to mentor and loves to have a mentee, that structure of having a top producer that loves to mentor, It could actually mean that it is the right fit in the current team structure.
But if I’ve got a top producer that doesn’t wanna mentor, or I’ve got a top producer that says like, I’m in a, in a season where I’m really digging deep and I’m building systems and structure and trying to grow my business, now’s not the right time. Okay. As leaders, some of you don’t have the capacity to take that person under your wing and to fully evolve them, fully grow them.
So do they fit within the current team structure? If you’ve got four low end producers and you’re looking at a fifth low end producer, I would tell you, I’d advise you it is not the right time. In terms of the current team structure, there are also seasons, and I think of seasons. You know, you’ve got winter followed by spring, followed by summer, followed by fall.
I think of a season like a shorter wind of time, a 90 day wind of time. There are seasons where bringing people in don’t make sense. Your team is evolving. Your company is evolving. There are times when companies are in the building systems phase. Bringing a low end producer in when you’re in a building systems phase of your team may not be the right season to bring them in.
And so you’ve gotta consider that. That might be a person that you build relationship with. You actually articulate to them now, it’s not the right season to bring you in. I’d love to stay connected. You bring them value, you bring them value, you bring them value. When the season changes, you can come back to that and bring that person in.
If any of those questions, are they aligned with my value system? Do they fit within the current team structure? Is the right season to bring the person in? If any of the questions get answered, no, it’s a good decision to pass because that person doesn’t meet the standard. Now, some of you need to do some work on your values.
You’ve gotta be able to articulate what those things are because if you don’t clearly know what those things are, then it’s hard to establish a standard. I believe in excellence. I believe in work ethic. I believe in loyalty. I believe in being others centric, servant, heart focused. We could keep going here.
Do they meet the value system? You do need to. You need to do the work to determine your value system. Okay? Now, here’s what I wanna say. Some of you’re probably in a desperate situation. I’ve gotten the client coaching client before that says that I’ve got one month to make three hires, and if I don’t, I’m gonna get terminated.
That’s a very real raw conversation to be had. Some of you may fit into that season. You’re getting a lot of pressure to make some hires. I want to give you a step-by-step methodology on how to deal with that season. The first thing that I would advise you is this, you’ve gotta get clear on the expectations from your organization.
Are they wanting you to hire anybody or are they wanting you to hire the best, or are there, is there something in between you? You’ve gotta be really clear on those expectations. If they just say, you need to put warm bodies in seats, that, for me, doesn’t align with my value system. So gain clarity on those expectations.
The other thing is this, you need to hire me. I’m just kidding. That’s not really the second thing. Uh, but it could be right. Hiring me. Um, I love to follow rules, follow systems structure whenever we’re recruiting, but what I would tell you is that there are seasons to break those rules. I’ve had a season where I’ve had to break the rules.
When I say break the rules, I don’t mean like, you know, do something illegal or go against my value system or any of that, but I do think structure and a sequence and communicating who you are as a leader and building relationships and bringing value, all of that matters to your success in recruiting.
But there have been times when I’ve had to break those rules. I once left the company, had a strong non-compete, had to start completely over at zero, and I took a 90 day window to be a rule breaker. Let me give you three things that you need to be doing if you find yourself desperate, under pressured, needing to make hires.
Okay? The first thing that I would do is I would be incredibly present on social media, and I would be there humanizing myself. I would be there reflecting that I’m a person with high values. I would be talking about the reasons, the extrinsic why reason that I do what I do. I’d be talking about the larger vision for what I’m building in my market.
We call that the attractive leader. The attractive leader has a clear vision for where they’re going. They have a clear, uh, set of core values that represents them, and they have a clear intrinsic why. A purpose, a cause, a belief that inspires them to be more, inspires them to do more. I would be active on social as an attractive leader.
The second thing that I would do is I would build an incredible campaign loaded with value. Okay? And I would show up in lots of places with that value, things that the person I want on my team would find valuable. This would be podcasts, this would be books, this would be scripts they could use. This could be, there’s a lot, lot of places to go with this, but it, when you identify your targets and you begin to pursue them, and when they say, look, I’m happy where I’m at, but we can at least stay in touch game on, I am going to bring you an enormous amount of value.
The more value you bring, the more in demand you become. That is a universal principle. You wanna grow your business, bring value, you want to grow your team, bring value, you wanna retain your team, bring value, you will be in demand. The third thing I want to give you, and this is going to be a mic drop, most people don’t understand what it’s like to be all in.
When I mentioned the season where I started over, I had no people on my team. I determined that in a short window in 90 days, that I was going to truly go all in at all costs. Six days a week, 14 hours a day, you start to do the math. I did a little bit of this math coming into this podcast, so, so that you could get an understanding of this.
I was, in essence in 90 days doing what most recruiting leaders do in eight or nine years. And I’ll break that down for you so that you can understand that I was all in at all costs in parentheses. Nothing short of sin. Not gonna lose my reputation here, right? But when? When, as I’ve gotten in this coach’s seat now for over six years, I have spoken to hundreds and hundreds.
We’ve surveyed over a thousand leaders who are recruiting leaders. Okay? I think that number’s close to 1200 now. What we have found in our surveys is this, the average leader who recruits that also manages the team, which is a big part of our audience, right? You’re recruiting leaders, managing teams, but responsible for recruiting to that team.
What we’ve found is that the average recruiting leader recruits about 30 minutes a day. If you’re working 50 hours a week, that’s about 5% of your role. If you’re working 40 hours a week, that’s about 7% of your role. In the season where you have a lot of pressure, that is not enough. Let’s just map this out.
In 90 days, six days a week, me working 14 hours, I invested 1,092 hours recruiting. Now let’s just create some perspective. Most people work 40 hours a week. That’s okay. That’s a great balance. I don’t know if you’ve ever done the math. Do you realize that 40 hours a week is only 23% of your week? You start to run a little math around that.
You realize 77% of your week is still available. Okay. So a lot of people are like, well, 14 hours a day. That’s right. I was getting to my office around six o’clock and I was staying till dark ’cause it was fall and winter. Okay. 1,092 hours. Now let’s go and take the 30 minutes a day that I find that most leaders recruit.
That’s about a half an hour a day. If we start to multiply a half hour a day, that would be 2,184 working days to do what I did in 90 days. If there’s five days in a work week, that would be approximately 437 weeks or 8.4 years to do what I did in 90 days. So when someone shows up and goes, coach me for the next 90 days, we do a lot of these 12 week coaching modules.
Okay? The first thing that I want to vet when they say the reason why I’m here is ’cause I’ve got a lot of pressure. I’m on a performance improvement plan. I gotta hire is I want evaluate. How all in are you? I’ll give you great scripts. I will give you great systems. I will help you create extreme structure because extreme structure equals extreme success.
I will help you identify who you are as a leader and articulate that I will help you build out your digital campaigns, but you could win there. My question is, are you willing to be in this at all cost?
You find yourself here, you really need to look in the mirror and you’ve gotta ask yourself that question, am I all in? Now? Here’s what I know. I wanna take a step back from them. I’m gonna say this as, or organizations. We fail our people when we don’t train them to recruit, and then we give them a quota expectation around how many people they have to hire.
It incentivizes our people to put anyone into the recruiting process and to hire anyone. When you think about this, if you motivate people, but don’t educate them, you discourage them, they simply go do more of the wrong thing, and they don’t get the results that they want to get. As a company. If you’re an executive leader and you’re listening to this, it’s education, then motivation.
Because if someone is educated and motivated, they will apply that knowledge. Education plus motivation plus application equals transformation. Invest in your people in the area of recruiting training. I can get pretty fired up about this game. Okay? If you’re spending spending time coaching with me, you know how passionate I’m about this space of, of recruiting.
I’m gonna leave you with this, okay? The first thing, your key takeaways are this. Define your standard. Make it something that you lift people up to, okay? When you make exceptions to your standard, have a decision making process that you stick to and define that process. The last thing I leave you with is if you find yourself under pressure to hire and to hire, right?
Go all in at all cost. And in the end, if you need a coach, I’m raising my hand. I would love to help you win. It’s a shortcut. And until the next podcast, my friends, have a great week. Everybody hire well.