Junk in Junk Out - Systemizing Your Recruiting Advantage

Posted by Walt Brown on Nov 4, 2020 7:45:00 AM

Employees can be like Data: Junk In = Junk Out.

Fix this with the Recruiting Marketing Strategy checklist below. At a minimum, every business has two Marketing Strategies.

  1. We have the obvious one, how do we market for new sweet spot customers or clients? and
  2. How do we market for sweet spot employees?

We will be focusing on #2.

Sweet Spot Employees

Your strategic advantage starts with a robust, focused, repeatable Employee Recruiting Strategy that leads to you interviewing and hiring only sweet spot candidates who are a good fit for you and your company.


Think about how long it takes to train and bring a new employee up to speed, think about how long it takes to fold someone into your culture. Think about how painful it is to hire the wrong person who never gets up to speed and disrupts your great folks, interferes with your mojo, i.e. Junk.

Are your Recruiting, interviewing, hiring, job, culture, engagement and training methods systemized, self-serve and automatic? Is it part of who you are, do they reflect who you are?

Strategic Advantage

Getting really good at Recruiting the right folks makes interviewing, hiring, job training, culture fit and retention something you can control and predict. When you have a focused definition of your sweet spot employee marketing strategy your focused systems and processes will follow, the bonus is you will not be distracted by system and process changes to fit a variety of targets, you will be focused on only a few and you will hit them.

Unfortunately, turnover is a statistical fact forcing us all to be really good at recruiting employees to backfill for the ones we are going to lose, so let’s focus on getting it right.

Symptom that we have it wrong

I see/hear this symptom all the time when I start working with a new client. A person with “hiring and training manager” as a role / position complains about not having enough time to hire and train new employees.

  1. Cause 1: Their frustration comes from a poor retention batting average that is not their fault. Their retention batting average is low because you recruited the wrong person for the wrong job and now you have turn-over. I.e. Junk in Junk out.
  2. Cause 2: Companies do not see time as a conveyor belt that employees ride into the organization and out of the organization. For some reason, they see hiring and training as a one and done event and stop recruiting for sweet spot people, this on-again, off-again creates “supply” issues and manifests as Junk in Junk out.

In my client’s world, and everywhere, this is the general flow: Recruit, vet, interview, offer/hire, orient, on-board, train - Then run the wash / rinse / repeat cycles of listen - develop - engage forever. (See 7Q7P, OCM and EOS where I focus most of my time.)

Recruiting Marketing Strategy

Almost always overlooked is that companies need a marketing strategy to constantly fill their sweet spot employee pipeline. Just like they have identified their sweet spot customers and understand what makes their company unique and desirable in the minds of these customers, they need to do the same thing with their employee recruiting. Just like they have a Proven Process for working with clients to make them successful, they need to document and name their Proven Process for making sure employees are successful. If they have a guarantee for customers, they need to think if they have a guarantee for employees. (See checklist outline below.)

In the work we do with our EOS® clients through the 7 Question 7 Promise Framework™ and the Organizational Cognizance Model™, our client’s checklist for their “marketing for sweet spot employees strategy” is laid out like this.

Employee Recruiting - Marketing Strategy outline / checklist

(Hint: it follows the EOS® VTO™).

  • We need to define our sweet spot target employee.
  • We need to define the three things these sweet spot employees typically love about our company.
  • We need to graphically draw out / diagram our Employee Proven Process and name it.
  • We need to name our Guarantee if we have one and share it freely.

Let me help you with more detail inside this checklist so you can get moving.

Employee Recruiting - Marketing Strategy Outline with some details

  • Define our sweet spot target employee: (example)
    • They want to be surrounded by people who bring these Core Values to work. Be sure to outline your Core Values.
    • They are interested in our Core Focus and our Why. Be sure to clearly articulate what you are all about, your why, and your strategy (EOSers, share your VTO™).
    • They have a certain level of education, > job by job.
    • They have a certain level of experience, > job by job.
    • They are within a certain geographic area.
    • They want a certain level of flexibility.
    • They want THE well-defined Job you lay out. = Using the Org Cog Model and the 14 Point Checklist map. Not some wishy washy job description that is subject to change. The sweet spots want you to do the work of creating Job clarity.
  • Define the three things these sweet spot employees love about our company (examples)
    • They are into our Why - Want to be part of our vision and mission.
    • They see how we develop and train them for the future.
    • They love the clarity and consistency of our Culture, how we Operate and how we are Structured.
  • Draw out your employee success Proven Process, name it.
    • The Proven Process our clients use is called the 7 Promise Method.
    • Create a graphic, a flowchart, a yellow brick road drawing that shows them: You will be oriented, on-boarded, trained initially, given the Org Graph to navigate, and then you will drop into our cycle of quarterly conversations… and enjoy our consistent Organizational Operating System.
      7Q7P Process
  • What is our Guarantee
    • We promise to surround you with others who will be saying yes to the 7 Questions. I Belong, I Believe, I’m Accountable, I’m Measured, I’m Heard, I’m Developed and I’m Balanced.

When you get on the same page using this checklist then you can guide your marketing and recruiting efforts to echo these messages. If you do it right, your junk will self-select out before applying - you can run the junk off before they take any of your time. When you do it right you will hire only sweet spot, engaged employees who will get up to speed quickly and will stay with you longer. = ROI.

You can break the Junk In, Junk Out cycle, just follow the checklist above.

Topics: Cultural Clarity and Consistency, Structural Clarity and Consistency

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