Lessons on hiring to fill your culture NOT your best friend role.
By Talmar Anderson
I am in the business of helping people build businesses that will be successful. I help them create strong operational foundations so they can go out and grow towards their dream company. A lot of that is dealing with the organizational structure and team building. More often than not, the business owners dream includes the dream of working with people “I like”. That dream of being a “family” working towards a common goal. I am here to challenge that thought today. Really? How many of YOUR family members would you put in charge of payroll? Would each of YOUR best friends make a stellar customer service point person? I am fortunate in that I have a full life with wonderful friends and the best family BUT I am not sure how many I would hire to build a successful company.
Wanting to trust people that we like is natural but during the hiring process, even our family members should be able to prove their skills and experiences. I was reminded of this when reading Grant Cardone’s article on Entrepreneur.com about mistakes the wealthy have learned to avoid. Trust but verify leads to success in business too!
When building your teams, before even considering personalities, it is important to first hire for what the job requires. Skills and capabilities that match the business’ needs right now must be the first thing you check off as a requirement met.
While in this candidate evaluation process, do not let YOUget in the way. Here are a few of lessons that you can learn right now regardless of the size of your company or its stage of growth.
- Quick hires don’t usually work because convenience is NOT a requirement for any job description. Someone down the hall is a nice person to have a coffee with but is NOT your next bookkeeper.
- The lack of time that you spend interviewing is NOT a time saver. You will have to redo the whole process when you find out the new employee on whom you never did the reference checks ACTUALLY can NOT create coherent content for your newsletter and never had for the past employers.
- Paying the lowest possible hourly wage is NOT saving you money. You constantly have to start the process over when employees leave for a better paying job. Or worse, they do a terrible job because they resent the pay and don’t believe you value their contribution.
Lastly, to today’s topic
- Working with a person you really like but whose work you must micromanage or even repair is NOT helping you or your company. This is the most expensive hiring mistake because it will take you longer to come to the decision of letting go of this employee (thus dragging out the suffering of your business) but could cost you their friendship even if handled in the most diplomatic way.
Once we have identified the candidates that match the job workflow requirements, we can look at our hiring candidates with an eye to the culture you want in your company. This is where we get to find “like-minded” employees. Using your core values and the positions requirements, you screen out the skill and capabilities qualified candidates that may not be the best match for you and the company. This is also where understanding personalities and personal motivations will help you hire the right person for the right job.
If after that you still have 2 -3 candidates AND you believe all of them will fill the position and work with the current team equally well, you can NOW hire the one you “like”.
I will add this one thought. The strongest families are the ones that have worked hard to compromise and support each other through the good and bad times. There is an understanding of each person’s strengths and weaknesses. After some time together, strong hires will work as a team. Your team will go through exciting successes and struggle through unexpected challenges. Then as a “family” you will sit back, have a celebratory meal and recall the time that Mike accidentally told a client you could make a widget in less than 24 hours…..