top of page
  • Writer's pictureDennis Sullivan

A solution to the #1 challenge facing small business owners

The real secret to finding more employees that will help you grow

When Kevin Plank began Under Armour he always carried two business cards. One said Kevin Plank, Owner, that he gave to owners so they knew he could close deals on the spot.

The other said Kevin Plank, Sales Manager. He used that business card to give him more leverage in negotiations so he had someone else to blame at the corporate offices in Baltimore when he couldn’t drop his prices any lower. Little did his customers know, he was also the owner.

Every business owner should also carry two business cards. One card should describe you as the owner to help you close deals. The other, however, should list you as Director of New & Emerging Talent. This is the card that you give to those people you run into every day and you find yourself saying, “Wow! That’s the type of person I would love to have work in my business!”

It could be someone you are so impressed with over the phone, on an airplane, at a restaurant or giving you a lift as a driver for Uber. It could be someone working at the grocery store or at Costco who made a special effort to get the answers for a customer. It could be someone you meet at a conference or seminar who you feel could contribute to a company like yours. Hand them your card as Director of New & Emerging Talent and tell them…

“I just have to say I was so impressed with how you handled yourself. You obviously have a passion for delivering excellent service. I am sure you enjoy your work. But if you are ever interested in considering a different type of career, here’s my card. We are looking for people like you to help us grow our business. Feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I would be glad to talk to you more.”

How would you like to be approached like that?! Wouldn’t you be excited? Sure you would.

You’ve heard the phrase ABC – Always be Closing, right? Well, add the phrase – ABR – Always be Recruiting. Who knows when you will stumble upon that impressive person who could make a difference in your company.

Recruiting is the #1 challenge facing small business owners right now. The current unemployment rate is at 46-year low. I have clients telling me, “We don’t need sales. We can’t handle any more customers because we don’t have the employees to serve the additional business!” That’s crazy!

The secret to recruiting is not a clever ad on or a magic job board that will suddenly deliver job prospects to your inbox. The real secret is building a pipeline of recruits that you have already identified as having the “right stuff.” Half of all jobs are found through informal networks and as many as 27% of new hires are generated from referrals, according to 2015 research published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. You can create your own informal network and referrals every day with nothing more than a compliment and a new business card.

Here’s the kicker: Once you’ve got them excited what will you say next? What will you say that will make them want to leave everything behind and take a chance working for you? This is where most business owners fail miserably.

Here’s the solution: Develop an Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Your EVP is a 30-second pitch that tells candidates why they should come work for you. Your EVP should include these 3 ingredients:

  1. How is your company different?

  2. What does your company do?

  3. Why would some want to work for you?

You have a Value Proposition for your products or services, why not have one for your most valuable asset -- your employees? Some of the most successful EVPs we have created for clients include tuition reimbursement plans, training programs, clear paths for advancement, an opportunity to make a difference, and a unique culture. Just like your Value Proposition is more than just about price, your EVP is more than just about the money.

Southwest Airlines, Zappos, Starbucks, Apple, Chick-fil-A, and Under Armour have plenty of top-quality candidates lining up to be considered for jobs when they could work just about anywhere else. But they WANT to work for those particular companies because they offer an EVP their competitors don’t.

What can you offer potential employees in your EVP that will make your business stand out? Boast about it in your business card as Director of New & Emerging Talent. Describe what makes your business so much more rewarding and fulfilling at your business that people may not find anywhere else. Add the same features, advantages and benefits (sound familiar?!) to your website for potential employees.

What can you offer potential employees in your EVP that will make your business stand out?

Here are 8 bullet items we included for an insurance agency on a 4-panel card that folded into a traditional-size business card that the owners used to help grow their business in just 2 months…

Top 8 reasons to consider working with us:

1. Be your own boss.

2. Earn $83,000+ annually within 3 years.

3. Make a difference in the lives of others.

4. Grow a book of business – without the risk.

5. Learn best practices and skills you can use, always.

6. Work with a family-run agency that truly understands the importance of balancing work and life.

7. Grow your career with one of America’s most recognized brands since 1931.

8. Work with a Fortune 100 company.

 What is your 30-second EVP? What would you say to a potential employee that would grab their attention and make them say, “Tell me more!”

31 views0 comments


bottom of page