Maier Law Group


Employment and Privacy Law News

Search for a blog post:


Look up posts by category:


Seven Steps to Hiring Peak Performers


Here is an excellent article by hiring expert and guest blogger, Margaret Graziano. In the coming months, one of the sole competitive advantages your business will have is the people you hire to carry out your mission.

These days, every company has to do more with less. Running a company effectively now and in the future will be directly related to your ability to choose the right people for the right roles and retain them for the right period of time.

As a small or mid-sized player in your industry, you probably can’t count on brand recognition to drive the best talent to your door. You certainly can’t count on having the deepest pockets to keep that talent in place.

The game of business has shifted. Your relationship to your human resources needs to shift as well. Here is a seven-step process for becoming the type of company peak performers choose to work for.

Step 1 – Establish your employee value proposition

Tie your employment brand with your business strategy. Define why people want to work for your organization and design a program that attracts more ideal candidates through your doors.

Step 2 – Never stop looking

Find out where your ideal candidates are right now. Where do they hang out? What do they do for fun?

This includes having a proactive social media presence. Assign a credible, passionate, authentic person from your company to address your ideal audience all the time, whether you’re hiring or not. Provide value. Attract ideal candidates to your Web site and keep giving them reasons to come back for more.

Be a talent scout. Encourage your team to scout for additional contributors and mission-critical players. Reward your people for quality recommendations.

Hire the right recruitment talent. There are many “recruitment alternatives” in the marketplace. Choose a partner who is committed to your objectives and who will do a great job selecting and assisting you in on-boarding top-tier people in your organization.

Step 3 – Know what the job is

Define performance criteria before you start searching. Together with the key stakeholders affected by the success or failure of the new hire, work through the key performance indicators, core functions and selection criteria. Who do you need to hire? What is their work ethic? What values should you honor? What non-negotiable competencies, behaviors and emotional intelligence levels are required in the role?

Step 4 — Hold your hiring team accountable for selecting the best

Create a process and stick to it. All too often, a great process is defined and then a decision-maker meets someone who strikes their fancy, yet clearly does not meet the selection metrics required. The decision-maker ignores the process he or she implemented and pulls the trigger only to discover that a slick talker with a good story has bamboozled the business into paying far too much money for far too little in return.

Step 5 — Build your brand during the hiring process

Create reasons for the right people to choose your organization. Continue creating points of engagement. You’re asking a great deal of the candidate throughout your hiring process, so think about what you can give in return. “On-boarding” begins with the first “hello.”

Step 6 — Make an astute selection

Use tools and multiple dimensions to assist in choosing the right person for your team. Tools include assessments, competency and behavioral-based interviewing, top grading interviewing modalities and group presentations. Conduct your due diligence (background checks and behavioral references), and ensure your hire will maximize your brand. Get down to the top three candidates and then choose wisely.

Step 7 — Effective on-boarding

From the beginning of the new relationship, make sure your new hire fully understands the responsibilities and accountabilities of the role. In some circles, this is called “up-front contracting” of expectations and performance parameters.

Assign a mentor or a new “hire buddy.” Give the same credence to selecting the mentor as you did with hiring the mentor.

Start creating their future on the first day.

Know why your new employee chose you. Uncover what they need from you to stay engaged in the role and with your company. Learn what they need in terms of development and how they preference to be managed, recognized and rewarded.

Establish a 90-day new hire integration plan. Include a session outlining the purpose of the company—its mission, vision and values, and how employees emulate those in their day-to-day activities.


Margaret Graziano is the CEO and Sr. Managing partner of Keen Talent Management, a recruitment & talent management solutions firm that partners with growth bound companies to maximize their people ROI. Graziano’s specialty is in advising business leaders on building high performing, mission driven and profitable teams. More contact information for Margaret:

Twitter: @keenmargo

Or sign up for her newsletter today –