The time is 08:02am so upon balance I’m starting this pretty late in my day. Although I also woke up late as well so ‘hey-ho’.
I was discussing with Pearl (our head of PR) how things are going for her and all and what her parents thought about her progression with Pearl Lemon.
Pearl came on a year ago as our head of public relations and is doing an amazing job.
It’s actually made me reflect upon her journey within Pearl Lemon and the speed at which she has moved up the ranks here.
A year ago she started out as an intern and now she has an office and 2-people that work under her and we’ve discussed a plan for her in two years from now perhaps coming to London and experiencing life here.
We/I think it’d be a cool experience for her – and if we can combine work with being in London then fantastic.
So – I want to – based upon my experience of finding great people – exactly how you can find them.
And it’s something I’m actually going to be giving a TEDx talk about in a couple of weeks.
For me – the things that lead to people that can become brilliant in a way boil down to 1 thing.
Look for people who are determined to be the best version of themselves, give their everything, can deal with very tough feedback and will stay the path.
To find these people (in these times of the great resignation) – I think there are several factors to consider –
Looking for those folks who’ve experienced or been exposed to some degree of hardship is always something that is a bonus.
In Pearl’s experience – as a black African woman who has studied internationally – this has led her to facing many challenges when it comes to being profiled because of her ethnic background.
This in terms of the ‘grit’ she’ll bring to Pearl Lemon is a massive bonus. Furthemore, based upon my experiences of working with people from developing countries – you get (generally speaking) a higher level of work ingrained in them.
They don’t ‘work harder’ as such as if it’s something to recognise – but rather – working hard is just ‘something that you do’.
There are of course many ways to identify whether someone has challenging circumstances or not – it is something you can ostensibly recognise based upon what parts of the world people are from.
We have a core base of people from India, Philippines and Uganda. In all three of these economies I find those who comparatively have a work ethic that stands higher than those in the UK.
However – as this is NOT always the case when it comes to (of course) every individual from said countries – let me add some more context to this –
So this is the second layer to finding rockstar employees.
It isn’t (for example) always the case that grit is self-evident. And assumptions are generally dangerous anyway.
So the way to allow those who ‘have grit’ to shine – is via your placement or onboarding practices.
So at the Pearl Lemon Group when you come onboard – there’s ultimately a boat load of training to get through. Further to this – the speed at which you get through it is expected to be fast.
Even onboarding with the Pearl Lemon Group requires sending videos, voice notes and filling out documentation – which weeds out a lot of people in the first instance.
This is also an excellent activity to focus upon when it comes to trial candidates. There is almost no position within the Pearl Lemon Group within which folks don’t come via a trial period of some kind.
Again the tone, and the expectation this sets is very high.
Framing is very important and getting this right from the outset is very very important otherwise you (as we have had happen also) get left with an incumbent deadweight who has been with the company a long time…..
But just aren’t at the same calibre as some of the newer recruits – and again this comes down to grit and framing.
This is the final thing that comes with finding rockstar employees.
I recently watched an Alex Ferguson interview on success – and he said that the expectation at Manchester United is all of the above.
Or rather – victory is expected at Manchester United.
And for me this is important as well.
Expecting people to work hard, expecting them to be very good at their jobs, and expecting them to be accountable.
Within the first 3-months at the Pearl Lemon Group – we weed out the weak/bad fits or otherwise
And those that are left – are exactly the kinds of rockstars you want to build a business around.