One of the most common question we get from both our business coaching clients as well as from business owners we meet is, “how do I find good people?”
Ever tried volunteering for a community or non-profit group? Whether you’re someone looking for good people or you are a good person looking for work, one of the most overlooked recruiting tools is volunteering.
Find something that interests you and get involved. Some examples might be:
1. Service Clubs: these include clubs like Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions where people get together to improve both their local communities as well as those around the world.
2. Business Groups: think of groups like Chambers of Commerce or even some local economic development groups.
3. School Related: whether you have school-aged kids or not, getting involved with School Boards, PTA groups, or non-profits like Junior Achievement.
4. Faith Based Groups: if you are a member of a faith-based community, chances are there are opportunities to get involved in some of their projects.
5. Other Civic and/or Community Activities: look around your local community to see what is going on and start to get involved. Perhaps there’s a local park or nature center that needs some help or a soccer or baseball team that needs a coach.
Don’t join too many groups at once. Start with the one that has the greatest interest for you personally, that way you’ll be motivated to get involved and make a difference.
The key with these group(s) is to get involved in the group as quickly as you can (preferably at the leadership level). Here are some quick ways to jump start your involvement:
1. Attend all the events and meetings.
2. Get introduced to all the leaders in the organization.
3. Spend some 1-on-1 time with longer-term members as well as some of the newer people outside the scheduled events. This 1-on-1 time is a great way to get to know more about that particular person as well as find out more about how the group works.
A couple of guiding principles to keep in mind when finding good people, whether in a volunteer situation or not:
1. Get introduced: it’s always better to get introduced by someone you know vs. finding someone in a classified ad or through a posting in an online forum. The trusted source who introduces you can provide real insights into the person’s strengths and weaknesses that you won’t find elsewhere.
2. Test drive before you buy: we always encourage our clients to take new people for a test drive before making them a permanent part of the organization. It’s similar to the process of finding a partner in your personal life. Short of being on a reality show like The Bachelor, most folks aren’t making a decision to marry someone based on a couple of interviews and meals alone.
Volunteering gives you the chance to show people how you do things. It also gives you a chance to see how others perform.
Chances are if someone is negative in their volunteer activities, they’ll be negative in the work place as well. If someone makes a positive impact very quickly in the volunteer group, they’re likely to make a similar positive impact with any organization they are part of.
If people overpromise and underdeliver in their volunteering, they’ll probably do the same in their business life. I think you get the idea. So get out there and get involved! You never know what or who you might find!