“You had me at hello.” This phrase from the movie Jerry Maguire came to me the other day while shopping. Imagine you are shopping with a girlfriend and stepping into a store to browse and perhaps try on a cute dress, blouse, or ooh and aah over some jewelry. I immediately found a dress that had me at hello. I picked out my size and a sales associate asked if I would like to start a fitting room. Of course, I agreed and spent a few more minutes picking out some other items.
The dress that had me at hello apparently failed to return my love because it was a bad fit. As I expressed my disappointment, the helpful sales associate stepped in and offered to bring me a different size. That dress really wasn’t on board with me because the size I needed was out of stock. I told the sales associate I would go online when I got home and try to buy it that way. The associate immediately told me she could do that for me while I shopped. If it was online, she would add it to my order and have it shipped to my home so another trip to the store could be avoided.
Now, the sales associate “had me at hello.”
How can this story help you recruit using core values? Hint: it will be something that will surprise you. This store hired the right people as demonstrated by the care the associate showed by helping me, and more importantly, the company had embedded their core values into their recruiting and hiring.
What do I mean by embedding core values? It’s simple. Most companies have a core value around customer service. It might be something like building long-term relationships with our customers or having a customer-first mindset. Often, those are just words on paper because the reality is much different.
Have you ever walked into a store and the associates ignored you? There were no friendly hellos, welcoming smiles, or a “how can I help you today?” Instead, the associates ignored you while continuing a conversation with a friend or scrolling through texts on their phone.
My shopping experience made me feel valued and respected. The sales associate went beyond my expectations to help me. In the process, she also turned me into a satisfied customer who will keep coming back. This sales associate embodied the store’s core value: “We are customer-centric: passionate about our amazing personal service.” Maybe the store didn’t have me at hello when I walked in, but they had me before I left.
Imagine for a moment if every person in your business lived and breathed your values? What difference would that make in your business and your life? To recruit using core values requires a few simple changes that will produce amazing results in the quality of the people you hire.
Here are three changes you can make today that will produce some amazing results for you.
1. Show the Big Picture
When you recruit using your core values, you attract the people who fit your business, bring you the freedom to grow your business, and meet your goals. If you want team members who are committed to your business, you must show them how the work they do fits into your bigger picture. Give your employees a clear line of sight from their daily work to the end result. My shopping experience represented what customer-centric meant in this organization. That core value created a loyal customer who will return again and again.
2. Include Your Culture
Many small businesses ignore their culture in their recruiting process. Like people, your business has core values and beliefs. Your business is different from your competitors’, and when you understand your unique value proposition, you can recruit using core values to attract people who share your values, beliefs, and mission. In this store’s case, the sales associate clearly shared the core values and understood what they meant as part of the big picture.
3. Get Clear About Your Ideal Employee
Take the time to clearly define your ideal employee. A common mistake I see is rushing to hire the first available person in hopes of lightening your load, rather than waiting to hire the best available candidate. Often, this approach costs you more time and money than carving out the time to think strategically about your ideal employee and waiting to hire the right person. Resist getting caught up in choosing the “best” from the first available. It’s better to be understaffed than to have a bad employee who will affect the performance and morale of the rest of your team.
My shopping experience is important because whatever your core values are, they should be ingrained in the mindset, attitudes, and personalities of every member of your team, so they are creating an experience for your customers that keeps them loyal and returning for more.
If you or someone you know needs some help embedding your core values in your recruiting, call me, send an email, or text MOMENTUM to 480-418-1411 to get more in-depth, step-by-step recruiting help by becoming an advance reader of my upcoming book, The YOLO Principle: The Ultimate Hiring Guide for Small Business. And, the best part is that it’s FREE!