It’s been 5 years since I started New Republique and I’ve recently come to understand what our business is all about. Most agencies say their business is about ideas. I’m not sure I agree anymore. Ideas are what we sell; however the essence is actually talent. We are in the talent business. Just as Domino’s is in the time business, we are in the talent business.So what does talent actually mean?For us, it’s not only about people at the top of their game, right here, right now. It’s also about finding people who have talent that we can grow and nurture.A recent article in a leading business magazine explored the likelihood of exceptional talent failing when they change jobs. This phenomenon was seen to occur because many talented people are only talented because of the people around them. What this says is that talent is about the team and how people work together for a common goal.So, let’s talk about how we find, nurture and grow talent at New Republique.It all begins with how we look for people. Like any business we put ads on jobs sites. We make sure our ads have personality. When people read a job ad they are looking for a company that appeals to them. A company that reflects their personality, values and self-expression. That’s why we try to make our ads reflective of our brand and personality.We have a 4 step process for employing talent. (We’re sharing some serious IP, so we hope you appreciate it.) We’ve developed this process from years of learning and working hard to get it right.Step 1: Always do a phone interview first:All interviews start with a 30 minute phone conversation about the role; who we are and what the candidate wants from the role. At the end of the call we ask the candidate to email us with what they took from the call. The reason for this is to test active listening, preparedness (most people don’t take notes on a call or interview) and most importantly – spelling and grammar. You’d be surprised how many people can’t spell.Step 2: The face-to-faceIf the candidate makes it through the phone interview stage, we invite them in for a meeting to get a sense of each other.Step 3: The testIf our candidate makes it through step 2, we then test their skills. The test is for proof of experience and attitude. No resumé or referee will ever truly validate skills as accurately as this activity. So, we test to see if they can walk the walk and to see how close they are to our approach and expectation.Step 4: Cultural fitOnce they pass this test, we ask them to come in and meet the team in a non-business related environment. The aim is to make sure they fit in with the team. We firmly believe that talent is about the team not the individual.Step 5: The offerOnce all boxes are checked, we make a formal offer. Once someone accepts the role, we shift focus to his or her first day. I genuinely believe that the way someone starts a new job is a strong indicator of how successful they will be. So what do we do? On the first day we put up a welcome sign and have a celebratory champagne breakfast with the team.Successful setup and welcome for that 1st day also includes having everything in place – from where the newbie will sit, to having all logins and email organised. You would be surprised by how many companies don’t do the simple stuff.We then begin a week of induction into the role, the people and culture. Later we support this with our regular Monday team breakfasts and Friday ‘Greatness’ sessions where we gather to talk about what worked for us during the week and what could have been done better. We do this to identify what we should do more of and what we need to change to make our business better.Quarterly reviews ensure our team hits their goals. It is an agency value to make sure our people succeed, because when they succeed we succeed and it’s our duty to work together for that success.Although we are still growing and improving, we have focused on creating a framework within which all our team will thrive and succeed. You see it’s not just about finding amazing. It’s about finding talent with the drive and desire to be amazing.