A Small Business Tool to Recruit Championship Caliber Employees

Yesterday my favorite hockey team signed a new player. The past two seasons we’ve been close to actually winning the NHL’s Stanley Cup championship.

This new player is not someone who will put us over the top by himself, and he comes with some baggage (don’t we all?).

From all indications the team engaged in serious due diligence before bringing him to the team.

He was attractive to the team because he offered two important qualities.

  1. He has contributed to two championship teams over the past four seasons, and
  2. He has a particular skill the team lacked last season.

My team was clear on what they were looking for.

When your organization looks to bring on new hires is it always as clear as it needs to be? Most are not.

Here’s a 5-Part Model you can use to define what you need (not surprisingly, it has a sports theme to it):

The SKATE Hiring Mode:

  • S = Skills:
    What specific skills must this person bring with them that are most vital to success in the role that make them a high-value addition to the team?
  • K= Knowledge:
    What knowledge must they have and in what general areas of business and what specific areas of your industry?
  • A= Attitude:
    What type of attitude must they possess that will make them a great contributor and team player that will add to a positive work environment?
  • T= Talents:
    What innate talents must this individual possess that will allow them thrive right from day one?
  • E= Education/Experience:
    What formal education must they have for this role and what professional experience must be in their background?

In the explanation for each of those 5 categories there is 1 common word that is vitally important to this process, can you pick it out?

If so, leave a comment below as to what it is an why I say it is “vitally important?”

’til next time, “communicate with power!”

skip-weisman-professional speaker-small business championship coach


7 thoughts on “A Small Business Tool to Recruit Championship Caliber Employees

  1. Francisco Avalos says:

    Hi Skip,

    Is it “What?”

    Also, regarding #2 – “He has a particular skill the team lacked last season.” What is the skill the team lacked? Just curious. Was it that they didn’t have specificity roles and this individual has it to get them over the top?

  2. Skip Weisman says:

    Francisco, Welcome Back! Good to see you here again.
    It’s actually “MUST” – the “MUSTs” are the vital ingredients that too often are overlooked and become “would like to have’s” or “shoulds” – when if they are truly MUSTs we become frustrated with the new team member because they’re not performing as required, yet we let them off the hook in the hiring process (for lots of different reasons, e.g,, they’re nice people, they have a pulse and we need a warm body, we think/hope they’ll acquire the the trait after hiring, etc.).

    The skill the team lacked was an ability to win faceoffs. It was identified as an issue all season long and no one on the roster was ever able to step up and become a reliable faceoff centerman. I think my NY Rangers finished somewhere between 27-30 in a 30-team league in winning faceoffs. With roster structure and salary cap issues, etc. there is only so much you can do to adjust your team’s makeup as the season goes along and they were never able to acquire someone with that skill.

    This new player over his career has averaged about a 54-55% winning percentage, which doesn’t sound like much but it’s among the best in the league. Overall we were probably about 46% as a team. We still made it to the NHL Conference Finals, but didn’t get to play for the Stanley Cup. So, we’ll see. There are other issues with this guy that may get in the way of him being a valuable contributor and that’s what training camp will be for, to test him out.

    Thanks, for asking.

  3. Michael Garrity says:

    The key word for all (5) areas of the SKATE acronym is “What?”
    I believe you are referring to “What” they must bring with them that is productive in all (5) categories from the beginning.

  4. Skip Weisman says:

    Well, I guess I have to give it to you because you got it right, technically. The key word is “MUST” which you referred to although you opened with the “what” as the focused word. It’s actually the MUST that is MOST important. You can see the explanation in my response to Francisco’s comment above.

  5. Femi Adeyemo says:

    Brilliant as always, Skip.
    Thanks for always.
    The word is ‘Must’.
    And it is vitally important because the SKATE of that team member must (that word again) not be compromised. They are inalienable requirements that should not be sacrificed on the altar of sentiments and the like.
    Kind regards.

  6. Norman Eckstein says:

    Your keyword is MUST. But it is not true. The only category that is vitally important is Attitude. All the others can be taught/learned. If you are looking for someone to make an instant contribution, like the hockey team was, that is one thing, For a long term contributor, however…

  7. Skip Weisman says:

    Thanks for your comments and I appreciate your thoughts on this subject.

    I don’t agree that even attitude can’t be taught. It absolutely can be, it just is more involved and the individual must have some self-awareness for it. If not, how is it people develop emotional intelligence? Additionally, I’ve been reading a book called “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” suggests we can change our mindset just by being exposed to a new way of thinking.

    I would argue all five of these all can be learned. The greater issue is the time frame and the lag time one is willing to tolerate for the development of those things before needing someone to be able to adequately fulfill the desired role.

    Even a long-term contributor needs to be able to contribute something upon stepping into the newly hired role. An employer cannot operate with the approach they can hire anyone and train them all to do what needs to be done, that is not efficient and profitable.

    That’s why the assessment I am suggesting is to take those 5 categories and create a “MUST” and a “SHOULD” list. The musts are the things the new hire must be able to do out of the gate, the shoulds provide a framework for things they could develop over time.

    I welcome your thoughts in response.
    Thanks for being part of the conversation.

Comments are closed.