How SOP Culture Can Help You Learn To Hire Great Technicians
May 07, 2016
Do you have trouble hiring technicians that can do the job, add value to your company, and grow as a member of the team? You’re not alone. Hiring, training and managing an employee is a time-intensive and costly undertaking that often ends up netting very little return on the investment. We can help you develop an unbeatable process for finding the best applicants for your position, and then setting them up for success in the job once you start training them. First, here’s a little more information about Brainlink.
What is SOP Culture?
SOPs are your way to document any given process in your business’ operation, from macro tasks like budget development, to daily rudimentary duties like sales pitches. By documenting every single possible aspect of your business, you develop a culture of SOPs that will minimize your time and money invested in a given action, and maximize the quality, and therefore, profit.
How Do You Hire Great Technicians?
- Know who you are. The first step to hiring great technicians (or employees in general) is to know who you are as an employer, executive, and company. Only then can you really know who you’re looking for.
That’s why we use the DISC personal assessment tool. This is a great way to determine and address behavioral differences and how they affect a business setting. They’re not cheap but they’re one of the best investments we’ve ever made as a company. Twice a year like clockwork we take DISC tests, which take about 15-20 minutes. Using the data with a really good trainer or coach is absolutely mandatory because this is like learning a whole new language. Use the results to determine what type of people with what particular strengths you need in certain areas.
Initially, we took our DISC’s about every quarter, but we’ve increased the frequency because we want to avoid hiring wrong people. The bottom line is, bad hiring is expensive; a bad hire isn’t just expensive because of the money you pay them, and separation costs, but also because of damage it does to your team. Three and a half years ago I used to hire people based on my gut feel, but I soon learned that my gut is a liar. So by moving to a more rigorous, systematic method we have reduced our misfires.
- Explain who you are. The next step is to record a short video clip explaining what you company does and what your culture is (you can see the Brainlink video here). This video works for us because it shows who I am (in a somewhat exaggerated fashion in order to prepare applicants and scare off the timid ones), and it shows what I look like, what I wear, and what our clothing standards are. This is a key value that you might overlook; before I shot this video I’d go through thousands of resumes and hour-long interviews only to have the applicant turn down the position because they prefer to work in jeans. This video addresses that from square one.
Given the huge number of applicants we receive, this video is designed to scare away the cowards. Also, keep in mind that the video should be specific for the position. If I was hiring a CFO or for a marketing position, I’d have a different video. This is strictly for my tech team, because I know what I want in my tech team, and I know what kind of person does well on the tech team.
- Look for hires like you look for clients. Brainlink used to have a typical job ad like everybody else, but after I read the Rockefeller Habits, we realized that hiring a new employee is no different than getting a new client: It’s a marketing exercise. Therefore, our job ad is a marketing exercise to our future colleagues. Furthermore, one of our key objectives is to make this job ad better and better. The current one is performing well, but not as great as we would like, so we’re going to redo it.
- Be clear about your expectations. We tell the applicants exactly what we’re looking for. They need to have certain certifications, training, and experience. We tell them that the first thing they will work with is ConnectWise, and therefore if they hate ConnectWise, they shouldn’t bother applying.
We tell them that they will be trained on writing and using SOP’s, and then we send them to SOP Culture. All my new hires are asked to watch some of these videos and read some of the articles.
- While everybody gives health care, dental, etc., what can you offer beyond that? What will benefit you as well as an employer and company?
A particular benefit we give that most others don’t is an education stipend. My employees each get between $5,000 and $20,000 per year for their training, and we fire people who don’t take advantage of it. We want employees that want to learn, and that can see the value in it, especially when we’re footing the bill.
- Verify your results. Lastly, we have a pre-hiring test, which costs about $1,200 a year to use. The technical portion is only 10 minutes, and the other 80 minutes are all cognitive. English, math, logic, spatial reasoning, memory, etc. Just as we have our DISC-baselines and DISC profiles, we have our cognitive baselines as well. The reality is that people can be too dumb OR too smart for you. We know what our valley is and we guard the borders jealously. If you’re below our minimums, go away; if you’re higher than our maximums, go away. We only want people in our cognitive valley for the CCAT, the MRAB, the other tests and the scores that we care about.
If you think this is a lot for just the application process, you’re right. In fact, that’s the point. We got tired of sifting through thousands of resumes just to hire a handful of people and then let most of them go within a year. If an applicant can’t spend two hours in the hiring process, then we don’t want them. If they want to work with us, they have to earn it.
Take this process, design it for your company’s unique culture, expectations, and positions, and see what it can do. You’ll waste less of your own time, spend less money on hiring, training and firing, and you’ll build an undeniably valuable staff of technicians. Here are a few more general tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t bother with recruiters. At best, they perform a version of the process listed above, but more often they do much less. Don’t pay for something you can do on your own.
- Expect more from your staff. IT is the only industry where people think, “I can turn a computer on. I must be competent.” That shouldn’t be the case. Members of the financial, medical and legal industries are all expected to train and grow on their own time, and they’re rewarded for doing so with raises and promotions. Build the same culture in your business by expecting staff members to learn on evenings and weekends if they want to get ahead.
- Build your SOP Culture. Good techs become great techs when you give them good SOPs to start with, train them in creating and using SOPs, and incentivize them to build your SOP Culture. No great brand thrives without SOPs.
The Brainlink International SOP Library Can Be Yours!
Interested the licensing? Current pricing is available at http://www.sopculture.com/pricing/
There is a one-time fee for one-time setup, which includes:
- Setup of your Confluence server (on your equipment or ours)
- Three years of run book plugins
- Three years of semi-annual upgrades to your library
- Access to future SOPs (we are increasing licensing rates every quarter)
- The means to build your own SOP culture!
Who Is Raj Goel?
About Brainlink International
Brainlink by itself, we were created in 1994. We’ve been profiled in numerous media. I am very, very, very passionate about SOP’s, SOT’s, Process, and most importantly Profitability. And we recently won the 2015 SmartCEO award for SOP Culture.
Your first step is to bookmark SOPCulture.com. This is where I publish, promote and announce webinars and other resources. A lot of things I’m writing about regarding SOP’s and Processed are published on SOPCulture.com, and brainlink.com, RajGoel.com, and LinkedIn, etc., so there’s no way you or your staff can say you don’t know how to find this information. We make it public, and we’re loud and proud about it.
To see how SOP Culture can improve your team’s productivity, get in touch with the Brainlink team today by calling us at 917-685-7731 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.