Young Entrepreneurs – Hiring great people

Great employees, friends or foes?

Hiring the best and brightest, even those more gifted than yourself is key to success and growth in any business. Even if you can run a business, it certainly doesn’t mean you are without weaknesses in certain areas. In the early days, you most likely need to be a jack of all trades. As things progress and business grows, embracing delegation is of great significance. (I had a hard time with this in my first company). Once you do delegate, don’t forget the golden rule; You get what you inspect, not what you expect. If you do choose to or are forced to delegate tasks, it remains your responsibility to follow up on them and ensure they are being completed to your specifications or you may be sorely disappointed when the work is “completed” and it is no where close to where it would have been had it been your handiwork.

What happens when you hire great people, they perform well but have greater aspirations above their current role(s)? Do you support and encourage them or stifle them to (as you might hope) your own benefit? This has happened to me more than once and is difference each time, but your core values need to remain firm. Me personally, I don’t have any issue with people pursuing their dreams and am extremely interested in helping them for their sake alone so long as there is no conflict of interest, thievery or competition. I encourage it yet the result is nearly always the same.

What to do?? If you do encourage them and offer support yet they go behind your back anyway, what then? When there is no competition or conflict of interest and their work is still getting done, who are you to care?

Well, I should digress. The interview is where it starts and should be a process combined with intuition. I can say with confidence that there is not an employee at the company that I did not personally interview prior to them starting to work for the company. There are a few past employees that I did not interview and the result was usually the same. Last in line, after HR and management, my interview is not planned without specific questions. Who is this person and why should they work here is all that is of importance. To each their own style, but I’ve got some great people working for the company and many have been there for 6-7 years now without any regret on my part.

The interview:

  • Start with a phone interview, listen to how they represent themselves.
  • Have your management team interview them but don’t ask for feedback until you’ve interview them.
  • Are they on time? Are they dressed appropriately, casual or overdoing it? Don’t over do it.
  • Are they respectful or are they cocky and/or carry a sense of entitlement? If the latter, send them packing, eighth place doesn’t get a trophy anymore.
  • Do they have any questions and did they research you and your company? They should.
  • If they are in sales or a sales related job, shouldn’t they simply ask for the sale (the job) ?
  • ‘Google’ body language and understand what they don’t realize they are telling you.

Everyone hires differently, these sort of things seem to have worked out pretty well for me despite constant re-evaluation.

Leave a Reply