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Hiring Heavy Hitters

Service Playbook Part 4

This article is part four in a series designed to help service companies simplify their operations and grow their business. Each part will focus on a unique aspect of the service industry with tips and strategies for navigating common challenges. From networking and customer experience to scheduling and dispatching, this playbook is a great resource for new companies and those looking to grow. This week we are focusing on growing your team and hiring heavy hitters.

Hiring heavy hitters is how businesses separate themselves from others. If you bring a heavy hitter team member into your organization, they will raise the bar with everyone they interact with. If you remember the last time you played a sport with someone very good at it, you know what I mean.
As a 3.5 tennis player, stepping onto the court with a tennis player that is a 4.5 or 5.0 is a different experience. The last time I played doubles with a 4.5/5.0 tennis player, and walked away with many lessons to improve my tennis game. As I recall warming up before the match, I immediately noticed their focus. They were trying to find their rhythm. So many of us are playing the other person on the side of the court, even during warm-ups, instead of focusing on ourselves.
Heavy hitters are competitive and driven to win and improve continuously. They will immediately focus on what they must do within the organization to succeed. They focus on how to help their team members to the organization’s clients. As the match started, they immediately had the strategy we would use to open the game against our opponents. Heavy hitters are great communicators. They understand that what works now might not work later and are ready to adjust. We all can agree on all the benefits of having a heavy hitter in our organization.
The question is how to find them and bring them onto your team. Heavy hitters are always working for another team. In my twenty-six years of running teams, I have not seen a heavy hitter that applied to a job ad. Typically they are crushing it for another company. So the question is, is that other company serving their needs? I have always found the heavy hitter always quits the company. If a heavy hitter is fired, they might have been good at their job, but they do not fit my definition of a heavy hitter.
Here are three ways I have located heavy hitters for my business team.

Leverage your business network

First, you can start with your Business Network. Whenever I need to find myself a heavy hitter, I always start with my business network. Going back to tennis, yes, I love tennis, but the same is true in almost any sport. If you genuinely want to compete, who do you play with? 4.5/5.0 tennis players play against other 4.5/5.0 tennis players. Unless it is a social game, from my experience, they will not play with a 2.5 or 3.0 player. The same is true in business from my experience. Heavy hitters hang out and work with other heavy hitters. I will immediately start sharing whom I am looking for with my business network. I share this need through emails and phone calls. I have heard something like, “you should call Sarah, she is an outstanding team member, and she was just telling me how unhappy she is.”
Winning at work order management requires a combination of effective communication, proper prioritization, and technology.

Search your personal network

Second, I also use my personal network. Growing up in WI, everyone knows everyone. If you live in the Midwest, you know what I mean. I come from a large family that all have different personal networks. I pass the word that I am looking for the best of the best, a true heavy hitter. It is incredible how often a family member has introduced me to a person who has become part of the business family.

Try a recruiter

Finally, I use an external recruiter. I love professional recruiters as they typically stay very close to heavy hitters. I will generally call the recruiter and share what I need, from experience in the job to the goals this person will need to achieve. I will ask them who do you know that is looking for a change, a new challenge, or a new industry. A professional recruiter will never run an ad but always use their network.
During these uncertain economic times, the fastest way to “shore” up your business is to bring in a heavy hitter. They will not only raise the bar within your existing team, but they also will bring other heavy hitters as you have the need.

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