Home Thinking Aloud How To Find Good People

How To Find Good People


by Sean Blanks, marketing director of www.cartridgesave.co.uk

As hard as it is to hear, you can’t do it all.  To get where you want to be, you’ll need a team of talented experts to help.

But finding them is not easy.  We’ve compiled a guide of our top tips learnt over the years to recruit the best people:

1.  Don’t delegate recruitment.

We believe in the concept “A hires A and B hires C”.  It basically means you hire people as able as you.  For example you’ll instinctively look for someone with the same intellect, experience and outlook on life.  Yet your PA, as skilled and empathetic to your needs as he or she is, will naturally hire candidates more on their wavelength than yours.

The solution?  Don’t delegate.  The time you invest in finding the right person for your team will reap its rewards in the long term. You and only you will know the right person when you meet them. Furthermore, you and only you will know if their expertise and character fits with the vision of your company.

2.  Pay well, not peanuts.

Put your money where your ambition is and be prepared to pay for the best people.  You will attract the best candidates within the recruitment pool if you pay market rate or even higher.

If it’s still too early in your company’s growth to offer the big bucks, offer equivalent rewards.  For example, a renumeration structure that works in line with the company’s performance.

Leave bonuses in the past though.  We’ve trialed and tested Christmas bonuses as a motivational tactic and they don’t work.  The only way to secure loyalty and productivity year round is to pay staff properly. Don’t dangle a carrot on a stick.

3.  Use your contacts.

In our experience, the best people are not looking to move.  They are happyily getting well paid by other companies who value them.  Therefore you need your contacts (this A hires A) to point out people worth approaching (i.e poaching!).

4.  Check the grades.

Before any interview, review the candidate’s academic history.  Experience is important but you also need smart, committed people who can match – and even exceed – your abilities. It’s not very fashionable to check these but GCSE, A-Level and Degree provide a good gauge of both intelligence and dedication levels.

5.  Kick start loyalty.

Foster loyalty from day one.  Make it as easy as possible for good candidates to accept the job you’re offering by ensuring they feel valued.  If they need to move to join your company, pick up the bill for removal men and flat deposits and provide relocation days.  If they have to live away from their loved ones during the week, offer flexible working so they can achieve a healthy work-life balance. And if they have to work their notice, allow them to honour their contract.

6.  Make sure you’re right for them.

Interviews are a two way process – you need to be as right for them as they are for you.  As a result we offer candidates the chance to come in for a day, fully paid, to make sure they have insight into the company and its culture before signing on the dotted line. This may extend the recruitment process by a week or so, but it’s preferable to dealing with a resignation at the end of the probation period.


Sean Blanks is the Marketing Director of printer cartridge company www.cartridgesave.co.uk. By taking a systematic trial and improvement approach, Sean and Managing Director Ian Cowley have created a Sunday Times Fast Track100 e-­retailer which manages 30,000 orders a month and is among the UK’s fastest ­growing printer supplies retailer in terms of sales.