I was recently asked “How can I ensure I build a great team?”. After a bit of thought I summed it up as the following:

Recruit great people, train them well, set clear goals, motivate and lead them.

A great team with great leadership will achieve great things.

No company with a poor team of people will achieve as much as one with a high-performance team. Your ideal employee should have a great attitude, be eager to learn, eager to impress, tenacious, and competent. They also need to be reasonably confident in themselves, so that they’re willing to stretch and learn and improve without having to be pushed. Read “Recruit Based on Attitude and Behaviour” for a more detailed description.

Now put yourselves in the mind of your ideal employee.

Where are they, what do they want, why do they want it, and how can you reach them. I’d suggest that few of them will be unemployed because the best people don’t stay unemployed for long, but it’s possible. Chances are they’re employed and being paid rather well – because they’re good. So first of all it stands to reason that they’re not looking for a pay cut – if you offer a job that looks as if it pays a lower salary, you won’t hear from them and you’ll think no one’s out there. But money isn’t everything.

A great employee probably wants to work for a great company.

Does your job advert, website, Twitter, Facebook page and LinkedIn page look like a great company? If not, why would they consider even getting in contact if their current company is pretty good?

I’d suggest that your ideal employee will also want to be treated well, to have a decent set of benefits on offer, a nice work environment, interesting people in your team and an interesting charismatic leader. They might check LinkedIn and read about you, look at your company page, look at who else works for you, and see how motivated they appear to be. They’ll definitely look at your company website.

Do you have a section about what a wonderful team you have, with pictures of everyone and profiles of the key players? If you looked at your website and LinkedIn and any other sources – would you want to work for your company? If not, start fixing the image (and the reality!).

Probably your ideal employee wants to work for a business that provides a good and meaningful service.

They want to be part of a company that is growing and going places and talks about their successes and ambitions. Face it, no one leaves a decent job to join a company that looks boring, complacent, pointless or even desperate! Actually that’s not true – you’d attract the employees who are even more desperate!

To attract the best people, you need to look like an exciting place to work with good career prospects, and that means growth ambition. It’s great if you have an ambitious five year plan, but it needs to be visible – prospective employees need to see some evidence. So as you’re advertising for your ideal employee, or better still using a great recruitment company to find them, be sure to make it clear why your ideal employee should want to work for you.