The Secrets To Attracting The Best Talent With George Brooks
Accelerating Sales to Scale your Business
Having the best team on board is the key to success, but hiring is not an easy task. George Brooks is here to save the day. He is the CEO of Crema, a digital product agency specializing in design, technology, and innovation culture for the world’s most creative-thinking organizations. In this episode, you will learn how to recruit amazing talent in a tight marketplace, what roles you really need to recruit, and how content works for sales and attracting high-quality talent.
03:11 – What are the problems George’s company help to solve? They built products that allow big organizations to hire at scale.
10:38 – Learnings when hiring high-quality talent. A balance between your top and bottom talent.
15:53 – What’s changing in recruitment? “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.
18:38 – How do storytelling work for sales and recruitment? Become an expert in your craft.
22:59 – What social media platforms are working best at the moment? LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
24:47 – Lessons around YouTube. You don’t have to be a superstar to have a meaningful impact on content.
31:20 – What tools Crema is using to help with the organization’s culture? The principles stay no matter what tool you're using.
36:20 – The Sales Deep Dive. George’s sales habits.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.
Learnings when hiring high-quality talent
We see organisations hire a wide range of skills and experience. But there’s so much demand for work to be done, and everybody’s going straight after senior roles. George agrees that companies need those senior roles to match the skills you need today and look for the upcoming talent. Any organisation cannot be too top heavy or too bottom heavy. The challenge: How do you build that relationship between investing in the future and also making sure that you can get things done right now with experienced talent.
But you also need to ask yourself what roles do you need? A lot of people think by default that they need salespeople and developers. But George’s team has found some missing positions that people forget about. Especially when you’re in a technology space, whether you’re building your own custom technology or implementing technology, several different roles come into play. Yes, they need developers of a different kind, but also a creative role, a product designer, a product manager, a test engineer, and so on. In Crema, they call it a product team.
What’s different in recruiting high-quality talent?
You need an incredible culture inside your organization, where you want to keep your people happy so you can retain that talent. And if you’re not doing that, as George said it, you’re in a world of hurt because the workforce has all the options. They can go anywhere. The real deal is how you present both a culture with a strong purpose and a culture that practices what they preach.
Now, the challenge when you’re recruiting people is they assume it’s bait because they’re trying to be sold. So, as you recruit people, you need to be honest that it’s not going to be perfect, but it’s going to be great. And on the inside, you better be great. So you have to create an organization where people thrive and flourish.
George also believes in storytelling as a part of the recruitment process. As soon as you have a great story to tell about the teams you’re creating, you will capture that and tell the world. That looks like having a YouTube channel, a podcast, an active blog and social media accounts. And these serve the two sides of the coin for you. One side of the coin is sales, and the other is recruitment. And both of those are sales.
Using storytelling for sales and recruitment
All the roles we mentioned above, Crema calls them craft teams, and they are experts in their craft. And the content comes from them, so other people become experts in those roles. We are talking about dev content, product design content, best practices, and so on. They’ve seen that people go from “I learned from you, now I want to work for you.” And they also see people in other organizations say, “I learned from you now; I want to hire you.”
George’s advice: Share what you’re doing as much as possible. We often overthink how to create content, and most of the time, it is as simple as answering what did you do today and why did it matter? Think of different ways to have fun and create entertaining and informative content. The goal is to humanize the work that sometimes we make overly formal.
The Sales Deep Dive
What are the sales habits that help you accelerate your sales?
I get really comfortable with just putting ideas out fast. So, if you follow me on LinkedIn, you’re going to see me post an idea. It can be very simple. It’s my coffee morning thoughts every single morning. And that discipline makes me way more comfortable creating lots of other content. I’ve got my little warm-up in, and I’m ready to produce content for the rest of the day.
What are some of the tech tools you use to accelerate your sales?
We do a lot through platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. As for the CRM, we’re using AirTable, where we created our own custom CRM. We couldn’t find a sales tool that met the way that we made a lot of referral-based sales because ours is a very relational sell. So we found that having our own custom CRM was a great way to make sure that we’re following up with people on a daily basis, that we’re providing value, that we’re sending them ideas, that we’re showing them the content that we created so that they can’t forget that we exist.
What’s the best source of leads for your business?
It’s always relationships. It’s always referrals. And so, I mean, I think the reality is we want people to trust us. And what referral does is it brings some level of trust to the table at square one. So what we try to do is build referral networks. We try to build referral relationships. We try to find partners that are willing to send us work, and we’ll send them work. We obviously are using our content as a tool to build trust, but the number one thing in sales, in my opinion, is trust.
What is one action that someone can take to 10 X their sales today?
I do think that the number one action is always thinking that every interaction you have is a seed. It’s like you’re planting orchards of potential future relationships. Plant seeds that are going to be harvested in three, six months, 18 months, or three years from now. So leave that seed as watered, fertilized, and ready to grow as possible. So every conversation I have, whether it’s networking, whether it’s set an event, a conference, a piece of content, or a reaction on responding to a comment on our YouTube videos, every single interaction is planting a seed. And so if I can plant the seeds and then water the seeds, then I’ve got a harvest.
About George Brooks
Entrepreneur, podcast host, and product strategist, George Brooks has combined his passion for creativity, technology and culture into the award-winning digital product agency, Crema.
George and his team take software innovation, design and development to the next level alongside clients like Top 5 Global consultants, IPO’d tech organizations and other scaling enterprises. His passion for how people work has led him to invest into what allows small design, innovation, and technology teams to do the best work of their lives.
George is on a mission to empower all teams to embrace a more humane way of doing work. His teams unlock new perspectives, increase contribution from all team members, and remove unnecessary barriers to constant innovation. This approach attracts, retains, and develops talent and creates cultures that accomplish more than was thought possible.