It is safe to assume that every business owner’s dream is growth in revenue and, more importantly, profit. The truth is that as these two numbers grow, so does the need for systems, processes and, inevitably a larger team so that time is freed up time to continue growing sales. This transition from ‘founder to boss’ can prove to be a major stumbling block if one is not careful in hiring the right people!
The first few hires in any new business are of vital importance because they determine the culture of the organisation for good.
1. Have Clearly Defined Company Values
As cliché as it may sound, the process of hiring, much like looking for a co-founder, is like searching for a life partner. It goes without saying that an ideal hire would have the required skill-set for the job, however they must also be a good fit with the values of the company.
This relates to an interesting concept, being that of the human operating system, which states that the shared values of people working within a company influence the corporate culture towards alignment (or misalignment) with the company’s values.
This means that without clearly defined values, it is impossible to tell whether a candidate will contribute positively to your company’s human operating system, or not.
2. Hire for Attitude, Retain for Skill-set
Although an already existing skill-set is vital for some positions, there is room for learning on the job in many instances within the context of a small business.
Attitude is everything in this regard, because the extent to which employees are able to tackle new problems with enthusiasm and fervour, will greatly influence them formulating creative solutions as efficiently as possible.
3. Hire People Smarter Than You
Instead of hiring people to tell them what to do, you should be hiring smart people for them to tell you what to do. It is said that if you find yourself being the smartest person in the room, you’re probably in the wrong room; and it follows that your business can only grow in leaps and bounds with smart people working towards making your shared vision a reality.
4. Nothing Beats Vested Interest
The only thing more difficult than finding smart people with the right attitude, is ensuring that they consistently perform. People perform best when they are emotionally invested in adding value to any endeavour, and are well-incentivised to do so.
No matter how talented or motivated a potential hire may be, nothing beats the vested interest of directly benefitting from any gains made by the company. This is why it is important to think long and hard about incentive structures to ensure that employees are truly engaged through an emotional investment in the company consistently performing well.