Talent Countdown to Payday

One of my favorite principles we’ve developed is the Countdown to Payday, and today we’re going to use it in a different context: the Talent Countdown to Payday.

One of the most consistently challenging areas I’ve found to coach people in has been talent acquisition, and this is generally a problem that comes from rainmakers simply not applying the skillset they use as a lead-generator and converter in listings to the process of finding talent. It’s the same process and by using the Countdown to Payday approach, I’m going to show you how to go about it.

Clarify your needs

When looking for top talent to augment your business you need to be very clear about two things. The first are the traits you are looking for in a team member. What you are really hiring in a person is a value system. You want this individual to not only share the values that you desire in others you work with but to exemplify them. A common analogy that I use to illustrate this is to imagine that you’ve lost a dog and you need to make some posters or go on Facebook and let everyone know that you’re looking for it. You wouldn’t say “lost dog” and just leave it at that, you would list all of the recognizable traits that would identify that specific dog from among all other dogs, from color, to breed, to behavior, all the way down to the name they respond to. Be that specific to yourself about what you are looking for in a candidate so that you can clearly communicate that to your local marketplace and in job postings so that you’ll get the correct responses. Identify clearly the business mindset and values you want in your organization, otherwise, you’ll be hiring people who cannot execute the roles you have in mind and you soon you will be looking for ways to end that relationship, either consciously or unconsciously.

The second thing to be clear on is the job description. If you aren’t exactly sure what your new hire would be and should be doing, they aren’t going to be either. 

Lead Generation

The potential candidates for your position are just leads, and they work on the same principles. Just as in client leads, you’re going to want roughly five lead sources and you’ll need to rely on marketing and prospecting. If you are marketing through jobs forums like Indeed or Linkedin, I recommend you write a minimum of three ads for each role so you are casting the widest net possible and appealing to a broader market.


 Once you’re getting resumes and referrals, you need to begin screening them so that you aren’t wasting your time and theirs in interviews and communication that will ultimately go nowhere because they don’t match the criteria you laid out in the first step.


After you’ve screened your candidates and you’ve sent the best matches the KPA, you’ve shifted into the interview stage. Your interviews should at the very least cover the candidates KPA verification, thought process, life story, and motivations.


Before hiring anyone, it’s important to get other people involved, whether it’s people in your organization or the references they have provided. Getting a group interview put together, checking their references, and setting up a defense panel are all important steps to further explore whether your candidates are the right fit.


Once you have followed all of the steps above and have identified someone as an individual that you want to go into business with and are confident that they exemplify the traits and values you want to add to your team, it’s time to make them an offer to bring them on board.

And that is how to apply the Countdown to Payday principles to talent acquisition. Now, if you’ve followed these steps and you still are not finding the sort of talent that you are excited to bring into your organization, you simply need to ask yourself where the countdown is breaking. And this is the real gem of this process, if you are not finding success with it, you simply need to look at which step your candidates are having trouble passing through and you’ve already identified where you need to focus your efforts, rather than flailing, starting the process over and over, and never finding success.

Try this process out, I’d love to see how it’s benefitting you and where you would tweak it for greater effectiveness. Now, go find your new top talent!