A championship team requires a cohesive group of individuals put in positions that highlights their skills and enable them to contribute to the team dynamic. There are many people involved in a winning team, from players to coaching staff to administrators. In order to win a championship, each of these individuals must be hired methodically.

I take the same view when structuring our team at Turnkey. I often wonder if we have the right people playing the right positions, and spend a lot of time thinking about whether or not we’re placing our people in positions that will allow them to succeed. When Turnkey was a much smaller firm (5 employees), the hiring of new employees was an excruciating process. Making a bad hire could potentially put 20% of our company and 20% of our clients at a disadvantage. Now, at 25+ employees, I’ve found that the hiring process to be no different as we try to grow our company and client base.

Turnkey hires for positions that require specific skill sets. For example, candidates applying for a position in our market research division should have experience in psychology, statistics and/or econometrics. The ability to understand how a consumer thinks is essential when formulating effective research methodologies and delivering insights to our clients. We look to hire individuals who can objectively look at large data sets and exhaust themselves to find the best insights. Often, that means putting on your headphones and spending a lot of time staring at your computer screen. I need to hire individuals who thrive in that environment.

In contrast, when hiring for our sales team, we look for individuals who excel in creating relationships and have extreme comfort in presenting our message when given 2 minutes or 30 minutes. I look for individuals who have had to build or expand their networks in the past. This could have been in high school, college or in another profession. Prospective clients need to quickly gain trust in our sales team. Sometimes, that trust is earned by telling a perspective client that we are not the best option for their specific need. So, for sales positions, I look for employees who have had to build relationships from scratch, and are expert communicators.

There are a few intangible characteristics required of all candidates interviewing for positions at Turnkey:

  • Willingness to be a team player: I need to know that a candidate will thrive in a team environment. This means naturally supporting your teammates, celebrating wins together, and picking each other up when times are tough. Each individual we hire has the ability to help drive this company. I want a candidate to have experienced winning and losing as a teammate.
  • Ability to self-start: Employees at Turnkey do not need direction at every turn. At Turnkey, we empower our employees, and allow them to make decisions on their own and continuously push forward. They need to know that they will be supported even when they make errors. Not everyone is comfortable being empowered. We hire individuals who thrive in that environment.

I am a firm believer in hiring individuals who are better than me. Finding and recruiting the best employees is something that keeps me up at night. I want to hire those individuals, put them in the right positions in the field, and let them succeed. If we all have a clear vision of our goals, we will be successful together.