Should you hire during a recession?

By Michel Privé, a Silver Fox Advisor


Recession is top of mind for every business today.

Business owners will need their “A game” during this period of change. 

What is your plan?

Aggressively chase growth or play defense? 

Well, here are some strategies that are easy to implement and worth considering.

-1- Play defense or try to dodge the crisis or bury your head in the sand? 

Stay close to your customers and manage your cash flow. At the same time, you are putting yourself in a position where you hope your customers, your markets will not vanish, and your staff will stay.

-2- Play offense. You never want to waste a crisis! 

This crisis will end and lead to a new normal. With good planning and a solid strategy, your business can be more robust and ready to thrive in the new normal. 

My advice: keep control of your destiny. Use this period of changes to align your business direction:

– Invest in your clients. Support them in their new product development efforts and continue to work with them when the crisis ends. Become their partners. Offer them solutions they need now to help them gain market share.

– Actively hunt for business from your competitors (the ones who play defense). 

– Develop solutions that meet prospects’ and clients’ needs now and in the future. 

– Be present and over-communicate.

You will need a strong sales leader on your team to help guide your efforts to strengthen the company during this transformation and the negative impact of the recession. 

Do you have this leader today on your staff? 

If you don’t, you need to hire one. Don’t waste this crisis.

One more gut punch to add: Inflation has negatively affected hiring.

Many employers have struggled to fill vacancies for months, and the strain is starting to show. 

Half of the small and medium businesses across the country reported they have open jobs they cannot fill.

Hiring the right sales leader is mission-critical.

Start answering these questions before the hiring process:

  1. What’s the biggest sales-related issue you need to solve now?
  2. What does your business specifically need right now? What about a few months or two years from now?
  3. What are the market and your customers telling you?
  4. What stage is your business – where do you plan to take it in the next few weeks, months, and years?
  5. What do the next two years look like?

Make sure a candidate’s expertise and experience fill in the gaps of what your team lacks but desperately needs.

Additionally, look for a sales leader who:

  1. Is aligned with your mission and the work that needs to be done to succeed
  2. Is resilient
  3. Puts people first
  4. Holds themselves accountable
  5. Doesn’t crack under pressure
  6. Is multi-dimensional
  7. Has solid emotional intelligence
  8. Knows how to hire, onboard, support, and retain their team
  9. Demonstrates GWC (Gets It, Wants It, Capable of delivering It).

 Once you know why you need to hire a new sales leader and the attributes you are looking for, you don’t want to fall into a common trap: 

I have seen too many business owners with unrealistic expectations when hiring a new sales leader. It can lead them to look for a unicorn – the perfect candidate.

Unrealistic criteria turn their hiring initiatives into a chase for the mystical white unicorn with red wings. 

A long, costly hiring process has several adverse outcomes. It unnecessarily puts added pressure on existing staff, and worse – lost opportunity costs accumulate rapidly.

Since this is not a zero-sum game – speed matters.

 • Adjust candidate skills and experience criteria to focus on the most critical responsibilities of the job
 • Focus on potential instead of capabilities or experience. 
 • Match or raise the compensation package to compete with current market demands
 • Do not limit the search to your industry and reach out to those outside your industry or geographic area

Now you are ready to recruit, and candidates are getting interviewed. Be prepared to make a fast move. To help you to select the sales leader and to allow you to make an offer within 24 hours, always use a hiring scorecard during interviews to help your recruiting team to make a fast decision.

A hiring scorecard is an unbiased system that helps you evaluate candidates based on the standards and qualifications you need.
When you create your hiring scorecard, list all the traits and experiences you want your ideal hire to have (see above). Scorecards will be your “North Star” to ensure you stay focused during your interviews. It will help you evaluate and score each candidate on how well they meet those qualifications.
Scorecards also allow you to ask deeper, probing questions to dig well below the surface during your interviews.
They are a powerful visual to help you uncover which candidates make the most sense for your business, not just those who look good on paper or interview well.

Using a hiring scorecard narrows down exactly what your business is expecting. And because you’re vetting each candidate thoroughly using an unbiased system, you’ll naturally reduce your hiring time.

If you say to yourself:
“All this advice on hiring and finding the right candidate is excellent, but I can’t wait. 
This crisis will weaken us, and we will die if we don’t act now”. 
“I want to keep my current sales leader on staff,  but I know her or his skills are not strong enough in change management or simply not aggressive enough for this required transformation.”

I Need Help Now!

Consider using a fractional VP of sales with the right skills and experience in leading or organizing a sales team during changing times. A fractional VP of Sales can help business owners grow sales in a cost-efficient low-risk way. They have been through multiple change management events during their careers. They know what to do and typically achieve desired outcomes quickly.

They are expert sales advisors and practitioners and can address challenges across the spectrum of activities related to revenue generation, including finding your next sales leader or grooming your current leader. 

Interview and select them for the mission described above. Check if they will be a good match for the work to be completed and your company culture. 

If you like your current sales leader’s attitude and potential, you might not need to hire a new one. 

Let the fractional VP of sales lead and execute the required changes. Upon completing the repositioning and transformations of your business, your leader will have learned a lot and be able to take over and let the fractional VP of sales go to save another company.

Never waste a crisis.

If you have questions or would like a more in-depth conversation on sales strategies and tactics in a fast pace changing environment, please contact:

Michel Privé

Power Consumers in Texas and the US Faced the Impacts of Natural Gas Price volatility, Weather Issues, and Demand Uncertainty in 2022.

A winter of price discontent becomes a season of uncertainty

As Texas and the United States approached the fourth quarter of 2022, there was every reason to believe that power consumers were facing a winter of discontent over prices. The country had just sweated through one of the hottest summers on record, demand was surging while output was declining, and domestically produced liquefied natural gas was being shipped to Europe as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted global energy markets. So it was no surprise that conventional wisdom concluded prices that were already surging in 2022 would show no sign of letting up entering 2023.

So much for conventional wisdom.

Benchmark Henry Hub natural gas prices – a major driver of electricity costs, especially in Texas– have plunged. Storage levels in both the United States and Europe have grown and now provide a comfortable supply cushion. Despite a December freeze, moderate winter temperatures – January got off to its warmest start in almost 15 years, analysts said – have kept demand in check.

Does that mean the record natural gas price swings that defined 2022 have evaporated? Not at all. “It’s looking really volatile here to start the year,” said one analyst. And there are expectations that power prices in Texas may climb even higher this winter. So the state’s businesses and organizations should consider collaborating with an energy procurement partner to help them navigate the uncertainty, save money, and keep their operations productive and efficient.

Record high gas prices marked 2022

The wholesale Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged about $6.45 per million British thermal units last year, according to the Energy Information Administration, the highest annual mark since 2008 and 53 percent higher than in 2021. On a daily basis, prices were all over the map, ranging from a peak in August of $9.85 per million British thermal units to a low of $3.46 per million Btu in November. But they started creeping up in December as heating demands grew.

The price performance was both consistent with and in contrast to EIA’s previous outlook. In early 2022, the agency forecast that Henry Hub natural gas prices would average about $9 per million British thermal units in the fourth quarter of 2022 before retreating to roughly $6 in 2023 as production recovered. It scaled back those estimates in October, to about $6 per Btu in the fourth quarter of 2022 and holding that level in Q1 of 2023. Still, that was sharply higher than the $3.32/MMBtu in 2021 and $1.86/MMBtu in 2020.

The higher-price expectations weren’t without reason. Prices had begun to creep higher in early 2021, when a brutal winter storm battered Texas and Oklahoma, causing a spike in February. They kept rising through October as the economy strengthened and caused an increase in demand, which hit an annual high of 2.97 billion cubic feet per day. The cold weather extended into spring 2022, pushing prices even higher, leading to below-normal injections of gas into storage in advance of the approaching heating season, and gas already in storage had been withdrawn to meet winter demand. Drillers were raising production, but available supply was still lagging.

Demand was showing no signed of abating, either. In January 2023, EIA said it expected consumption of natural gas settle at an average of 88.7 bcf/d EIA last year – a new high and up 6 percent from 2021 – and that power sector usage would average 33.3 bcf/d, another record and 8 percent over 2021. Meanwhile, the agency noted that in 2022, liquified natural gas exports continued to climb and storage inventories were at historic lows.

High prices don’t materialize, but volatility still reigns

But as the United States entered a new year, the market had begun to shift dramatically. From mid-December 2022 to mid-January 2023, prices plunged 48 percent and, according to Rystad Energy, demand could hit record lows if abnormally high winter temperatures continue. On top of that, production is poised to outstrip demand: EIA projected natural gas output will grow 2.4 percent this year, to a daily a record daily average of 100.3 billion cubic feet per day, while demand remains basically flat. Others, including East Daley Analytics and RBN Energy, forecast an even higher output increase.

The falling costs of natural gas, combined in part with the expansion of new renewable energy, were projected to drop wholesale U.S power prices by 10 to 15 percent this year – though customers likely won’t see benefits in 2023. On top of that, storage, which had fallen to 12 to 13 percent below the trailing five-year average, was on the upswing in both the United States and Europe. In the EU, it was at 83 percent of capacity, up sharply from the year-ago level of 51 percent. In the United States, inventories rose by 11 billion cubic feet in mid-January – the Wall Street Journal called that “unheard of” – bringing domestic stockpiles to just 1.4 percent under the five-year average and “erasing any doubt that there will be enough of the fuel to get through the winter.”

Price volatility is not likely to abate in 2023, but isn’t expected to reach the record levels of last year. “It’s looking really volatile here to start the year,” said Steve Blair of Marex North America. “We have a lot of factors at play – production, LNG – but ultimately weather will rule.” He added: “If we get more Arctic blasts, the direction of prices could change quickly. If we don’t, and production holds up, we could see new tests to the downside.” For its part, EIA forecast Henry Hub prices will rise about $5 in late January and stay around there for the last three quarters of the year behind falling temperatures and the restart of operations at the Freeport LNG terminal. But it, too, hedged all bets, saying there is a possibility of lower prices.

State of Play In Texas

Despite the plunging cost of natural gas, power prices in Texas are high and, said an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, could go even higher this winter. Part of this is due to the state’s reliance on gas-fired power – 44 percent of generation compared with 37 percent nationally. Exports are expected to jump with the start of the Freeport facility, and three other Gulf Coast terminals are being built. “Those exports,” the Fed’s Jesse Thompson said, “are likely to keep pressuring higher the amount Texans will pay for heat and power through the winter.”

Additionally, there are the ongoing effects of Winter Storm Uri, which knocked out electricity for 5.2 million homes and businesses in 2021 – the large majority of them in Texas. The state’s power customers are still picking up the cost for the grid’s collapse after the legislature approved about $7 billion in ratepayer-backed bonds to deal with the financial repercussions of the disaster.

Also related to the storm, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has since been managing grid operations more conservatively. ERCOT now wants plants to be online and available when needed. That translates to paying generators a set price to operate, no matter what the conditions. The result? “Conservative operations add costs,” a top energy lawyer told The Texas Tribune.

Your Market Ally

It goes without saying that in a market like this, where the only certainty is uncertainty, businesses and organizations can use an ally. Albireo Energy is your partner in not only managing price and supply volatility, but also in finding opportunities that others might not see.

Albireo Energy is the largest independent smart buildings provider in the United States, and its energy procurement division is a Top 10 utility management firm in its own right, handling over 30,000 commercial and industrial accounts.

We have helped customers country get deals that have them paying less than half of the local utility default service rates, and have helped secure those rates for the longer term. Thousands of businesses have enjoyed lower energy costs by enrolling their electric and natural gas accounts with us. We group these accounts together into large energy aggregations, and those businesses get the same purchasing power as major energy users. Enrolling is simple and effective and provides a long-term solution for your energy purchasing while delivering the peace of mind that comes with knowing your energy expenses are being professionally managed.

For larger businesses, Albireo’s proprietary reverse auction software, supplier management portal, and market-leading supplier network drive sophisticated and proven results. That’s why heavy users such as data centers and blue chip global brands trust Albireo to help them navigate the complexity and risk of energy purchasing.

Any organization that is feeling the pain of high energy bills, or is concerned about where prices will go next, should reach out to Albireo Energy to see what our business-class service can achieve for them. Through intelligent buying patterns, you can enjoy the advantages of structured and longer-term purchases. And even if you are locked into good rates, you can still benefit from an account review. Even beyond matters of rates, Albireo employs thousands of professionals who can help your buildings reduce usage and improve comfort and efficiency through leading-edge technology.

If any conclusion can be drawn from the market today it’s this: No one really knows what will happen next, and price volatility is not going away. But you can still be prepared. Albireo Energy is here to help you do it.

Dallas Morning News – Electric bills are likely to keep climbing, Dallas Fed economist says
Energy Information Administration – Average Cost of wholesale U.S. natural gas in 20922 highest since 2008
Energy Information Administration – U.S. natural gas consumption forecast to increase in all sectors in 2022
Energy Information Administration – Short Term Energy Outlook
Energy Information Administration – Natural Gas Weekly Update
Financial Post – More oil and gas volatility in 2023 to keep producers focused on shareholder returns
Natural Gas Intelligence – Average Henry Hub Natural Gas Spot Price Shoots to 14-Year High in 2022
Natural Gas Intelligence – Volatility Laces 223 Natural Gas Price Outlook Amid Robust Production, Demand Uncertainty
Natural Gas Intelligence – Henry Hub Natural Gas in Q$ Likely to Average $9, with Brent $98, EIA Says
Natural Gas Intelligence – EIA slashes Natural Gas Price Forecast, But Potential Remains for Winter Spikes
Natural Gas Intelligence – Henry Hub Natural Gas in 4Q Likely to Average $9, with Brent $98, Says EIA
Reuters – U..S. natgas price volatility hit record highs in 2022
Reuters – U.S. natgas output, demand hit record highs in 2022
Texas Tribune – Texans face skyrocketing home energy bills as the state exports more natural gas than ever
Wall Street Journal – Made in the U.S.A.: Natural gas prices
Wall Street Journal – It’s Basically Spring for the Natural Gas Market

Annual Sales Goals

SALES TEAM members are heavy lifters contributing to the success of their companies.

Therefore, it makes sense to prioritize an annual sales goal process as part of your business practice. These meetings offer a time to share the Company’s VISION MISSION, allowing TEAM members to know where they stand within the organization’s established benchmarked goals and objectives. And know if they are at Performance Standards, Below or a High Achiever.

Also of importance, it offers time to review the salespeople’s motivational desires they strive for before management cast out annual goal expectations.

This meeting process helps assure sales and management personnel on reaching obtainable revenue numbers they forecast and expect to achieve that alight with Company goals.

Need a process? Here’s a summary outline you may find helpful.

  1. Start with Group Messaging
    • Communicate the company’s current year-end (YE) results compared to goals. What went right and opportunities to capitalize on.
    • Review of the company’s longer-term Vision and Career Opportunities that avail. Include in careers, “What’s in it For Them” talk, facilitates retention plans and helps to attract the right people into the organization.
  2. One-on-One Meeting
    • Review with each salesperson their current YE sales revenue and personal income results.  Start now, project out to YE if necessary.
    • Compare their results with the goals forecasted to be achieved for this year.
    • Discuss in detail the metric measurements, controllable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that produced their sales revenues and income results.
    • Take time to define what they feel went well and what they would do differently to improve results.
    • Compare their contribution standing to the Company’s resulting Performance.
    • Goal Setting.  Discuss the income the salesperson wants to make for the coming year.  Tie the KPI metrics required to produce the level of sales revenue to generate their income goal.
    • Explore how sure they feel about the metrics required, and HOW they expect to accomplish.  Establish that both of you agree the sales revenues, KPIs, and income goals are obtainable.  If you or the salesperson feel they are too high or low, collaborate to reach a number you both believe is real.  It’s KEY for the salesperson and manager to agree on the income to sales revenue ratio and KIPs required are achievable.
    • Understand WHY the Income Goal is meaningful to them.  Knowing how they plan to spend their income provides a self-managing motivational tool.
    • Career Opportunity.  We all want to BE learning and growing.  Ask the salesperson what they want as the next step in their career.  Review with them the company’s projected growth and the Performance Standards representing this opportunity.
  3. Probe the commitment level they have for their goal ambitions.
    • Remember, people do things for their own reasons.  Knowing these reasons helps manage the process through the year.
  4. Support.  What will they need from you?  Be clear.  Is it training in sales, leads generation, product and/or service, greater depth on knowing the customers’ business, other?  Get specific.
    • Be sure to understand what THEY personally feel vs. what you feel they need.
    • This feedback clarifies what you are committing to when providing the needed support requirements.
  5. Check-Ins.  Standardize a Report Form they fill out to review Results Expected/Result Achieved.
    • Establish a time, weekly preferred.  If a new salesperson, daily.
    • Review successes and/or variances in the metric numbers and discuss strategy and tactic adjustment requirements of KPIs to achieve desired results.
    • If continually missing their metric KPIs, find out if their financial income goal priorities changed.
  • Note
    • This is a TEAM effort.  It’s important to stick with regular review meetings the salesperson and manager establish. 
    • Write and keep accurate notes of conversation agreements and commitments.
    • KPI metrics are controllable factors, must do requirements to achieve desired goals. 
    • Numbers can be readjusted during the year if they are off track.

If you have questions or would like a more in-depth conversation on framing a goal setting session, contact:

Jim Iden, CPC


Cheers and Happy Holidays!

How to Sell Your Business to a Buyer You Like

By: Herb Kalman, a Silver Fox Advisor

June’s job out of college was with a distribution company selling small widgets.  After a few years, thinking that there was more money in large widgets, June approached a large widget manufacturing company to represent their products in her market area. 

Twenty-five years later, with the business thriving, June started to receive inquiries regarding her interest in selling the business or selling part of the business.  She had discussions with prospective buyers, investors, and with colleagues who had sold their businesses.  The common theme of the sellers was regret.  Regret about selling too soon.  Regret about the changes to the company.  Regret about how the employees were treated.

The Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”) was designed to allow business owners to sell stock indirectly to their employees by using a trust.  The initial ESOP occurred in 1956 in which the Profit-Sharing Plan of Peninsula Newspaper in San Francisco received a private letter ruling allowing it to acquire the Company’s stock from Company shareholders.  ESOPs are now part of ERISA and provide tax benefits for sellers in some cases and for the Company owned by the ESOP. 

June learned about ESOPs from her financial planner.  After consulting with the financial planner and her CPA, she decided to sell one-third of her stock to an ESOP.  Because the corporation was a “C-Corp,” she was able to defer taxes on the gain on the sale to the ESOP. 

June investigated the sale of 100% of the company to the ESOP with her team of a financial planner and CPA and an investment banker that specializes in ESOP transactions.  However, June decided to sell a minority interest and continue to grow the business.  Key managers have stepped up and assumed more responsibility.  The Company’s productivity has improved, and the annual value has been increasing.

June is now considering a second transaction to increase the ownership of the ESOP.  She has complete flexibility as to the number of shares she wishes to sell.  This transaction could be 100% of her remaining shares, which would make the ESOP own 100%.  Or it could be a smaller number of shares so that she could remain in control.  Or she could transfer control to the ESOP.

June has recently received calls from colleagues seeking an exit to learn about her ESOP experience.  She answers that she is selling the business to people she likes and has no regret of her decision.

Increasing the Pricing of Your Products and Services

Over the past several years I have written articles regarding product and service pricing and have made recommendations to my clients regarding the pricing of their products and services. These suggestions were based on my belief and experience that most businesses can pass on at least a 2 to 3 percentage price increase in their respective products and services to their customers each year and should do so annually at the same point in time, say January 1st.

Few customers if any will even notice that small an increase. If you are not doing this type of systematic pricing increase, your bottom-line profitability is going to suffer because the costs associated with running your business are increasing. If you don’t increase your pricing, you are simply absorbing the increases in your expenses (wages, insurance, rent, utilities, taxes, office supplies, advertising, and, the list goes on).  

An Example

One example I like to use to demonstrate this point is to take any year-end income statement for your business and add 3.0% to your revenue figure; see what that does to your gross profit margin and your net profit margin. Most business owners I ask to do that exercise will come back and tell me they are amazed, and they all wish they would have done something like that sooner.

What prompted me to write this article about increasing pricing for products and services is the present inflationary market we are experiencing. With the last published inflation rate of 9.1% (a 40 plus year high), if you are not increasing your product and service pricing right now by at least 9.1% your bottom line will be greatly affected in a negative way for 2022. I would almost guarantee you that you are experiencing increases in almost every expense item, like the ones I mentioned earlier.

Avoid the Wait

Further, if you wait until next year to increase your pricing, we could be operating in a much different business environment, perhaps a recession, and then it will be very difficult to pass product and service pricing on to your customers.

I recently heard of one business that decided to do a 25.0% increase in its service fee and add a 5.0% monthly fuel surcharge to its pricing, and it experienced had no questions or complaints.

I know and understand passing a double-digit price increase on to your customers might not be possible in every situation due to differences in competitive environments. But I would guess you could pass the inflationary rate of 9.1% on to your customers as a fair increase.

Lastly, I also know and understand that by increasing your product and service pricing you might feel like you are adding to the inflationary spiral. However, if you don’t increase your pricing as stated above, you will be simply absorbing the increases yourself in the goods and services that you have to pay. A simple saying, I have stated over the years might apply here: “Do you want to pay your mortgage payment, or do you want to pay someone else’s”?

Event Sponsorships Are Available

If you would like to sponsor an upcoming Silver fox Advisor event, like our Lunch & Learn program, opportunities are still available.

As an event sponsor, you will be provided reservations for a table of 8. And your company will be featured in all promotional announcements surrounding that event.

At the event, you will be introduced from the podium as well as afforded the opportunity to display your marketing information throughout the hall.

If you would like to know more, contact Doug Thorpe at or Don Baird at

Highlighting Rich Hall

Silver Fox Advisors is proud of our members and would like for you to get to know them better.

Rich Hall has been a valued member of Silver Fox Advisors since 2020. He currently serves as a Board member, Chair of the Membership Committee, and Facilitator of two CEO Roundtables (The Woodlands area and in partnership with Houston’s Better Business Bureau).

As the founder of Rich Hall Group, he works with small business owners and leaders to help them achieve their vision of success for themselves and their company. He has extensive experience with family-owned businesses looking to grow, transition to the next generation, or prepare for a successful exit.

In addition to his advisory and coaching services, Rich is the proud father of 3 boys, Jeremy, Mark, and Daniel, and husband to his beautiful wife, Jamie. They’re active members of The Woodlands Methodist Church, and parents to pandemic puppies, Bucky and Riley.

If you would like to learn more about Mr. Hall, or Silver Fox Advisors, see our website at

Top 5 Mistakes CEO’s Make When Trying to Grow Their Company

I work with a lot of CEO’s and a common trait is the desire to grow their company. Instead of reviewing how to grow, I thought I’d highlight some approaches that DON’T WORK!

Hire more sales people!

I was leading a CEO peer group when I heard a CEO say the solution was easy, “Just hire more sales people”.

If it was ONLY that easy.

Increasing revenue must come from an expanding market, new product or service, new form of lead generation, etc. Simply adding to your sales force will not ensure increased revenue.

Build it and they will come

This is not a baseball field.

Careful thought and planning should go into the product features, market demand, market research, buyer profiles, competitor analysis, etc.

Don’t build something new and hope.

Just work harder

I’ve heard owners say “we’ve got to grow and you’ve got to work harder”….as the CEO departed for happy hour.

How you grow is the responsibility of the owner/CEO and leadership team. Be very careful when you ask team members to work harder. That’s rarely the right answer.

Focus on increasing demand, not working harder.

Buy more social media ads

There are LOTS of gimmicks out there. People will promise leads through Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. by hiring them. Don’t fall for it. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Can you generate leads via social media? Absolutely. It should be part of your growth strategy, depending on the industry you’re in.

If you’re unsure how, hire a reputable advisor to help you better understand how it works and to make recommendations.

Don’t chase the pretty penny

Most small business owners are entrepreneurs that get excited by trying new things. Unfortunately, many put their best and brightest on the new “project” while impacting the ongoing, bill-paying operations.

Consider developing a market research team of 2-3 people. Let them do the research and come back to you with a plan.

This doesn’t mean you don’t pivot when the market changes. A smart CEO always looks forward. Just don’t chase an idea without applying a process and logic to the approach.


We could probably come up with another 100 items a small business CEO shouldn’t do to grow their company. If you have additional ideas, send me a note at

Perfecting the Art of Recruiting Key People

Are you prepared when recruiting key personnel into your organization? 

What is your process? 

Are you sourcing, identifying, and choosing the best candidates or simply choosing from the most available?

Should you be using a recruiting firm or are you sufficiently set up internally to handle this function effectively?  If you use a recruiting firm, make sure you are using one that is ROI focused and delivers prospects that can provide a return on your investment.

Here are seven steps to consider before starting your recruiting process.

  1. Yes, you must have a Job Description
    1. It’s important to know the title, duties, and responsibilities of the person to hire and where they fit into your organization chart.  This is a given.
  • An Extended Company Vision-Mission Statement. 
    • Have a clear vision of the company’s mission, including established goals and the required strategies and tactics of who’s doing what by when to achieve projected results. 
    • An accurately portrayed picture story of where you will be in 10 years adds value to your offering by proving growth opportunities and a security factor.  Know clearly and communicate how this position contributes to your company’s success. 
    • Knowing where you are, where you are going, and having a plan on how to get there is a confidence builder in the minds of desirable candidates. 
  • Your Company’s Value Proposition. 
    • What differentiates your company?  Why should someone consider you and why do current employees work for your company vs. pursuing other opportunity possibilities? 
    • Know the reasons your people work for you and your company and know what they are saying about working in the company.
  • Knowledge of your Company’s current and desired Culture
    • What attributes are you seeking in a candidate that match your company’s culture? 
    • Are you wanting a person who fits your current culture or someone who is a culture creator to help establish best practices for the company’s future direction? 
  • Return on Investment (ROI). 
    • When considering an employee’s cost, know what the return expectations are for hiring them. 
    • Having team members involved in specific strategies and tactics that drive mission goals, they become profit centers for your organization. Employees either make or save money for your company’s operation. 
    • A key personnel attraction and retention feature is employees experiencing a sense of pride, knowing their contributions add value to the growing success of the organization. 
    • Promotional Opportunities – Are they lateral or are they expected to move up the corporate ladder?  What are the performance expectations, the contribution requirements, and how far can they go?
  • Established Agreements
    • When recruiting, discuss critical success factors and key performance indicators required to achieve the company’s objectives and goals. 
    • Your best prospects are those you can establish agreements with on your processes. 
    • As an added benefit, this helps eliminate on-the-job expectation surprises, the ….we didn’t discuss that, after they’ve been hired.
  • Compensation Plan
    • People not only want a cultural environment where they can learn, grow, and feel secure, they want to feel competitively compensated for their contributions. 
    • Make sure they know the What’s In It for Me.  Communicate the career/promotional opportunities along with pay and incentive plans tied to performance results achieved when attracting the desired candidate.

For additional information on recruiting key personnel and/or other strategic questions, give me a call. 

Jim Iden, CPC

713 927 3564

Lunch & Learn June 23 Featuring the BBB

At our next Lunch & Learn series event, the BBB will be featured. This year marks the Centennial Celebration for the BBB. To join in the celebration, we will host a panel of three prior Pinnacle Award winners from the BBB.

The Silver fox Advisors are proud of our working relationship with the BBB, serving as the judges for the Circle of Excellence awards each year. BBB member companies submit their stories for inclusion in the annual contest. Winners are then selected in various product and service classes.

At the June 23 Lunch & Learn, you will hear from three of the prior winners. Listen as they describe their journey as small business owners, growing and shaping their brands.

Tickets are on sale now. Visit to buy your tickets.

When – June 23, 11:00-1:00

Where – Houston Racquet Club, 10709 Memorial Drive | Houston, TX 77024