If you aren’t consistently hiring people who can perform your company’s billable hours better than you can, there may be some gaps you need to bridge in your hiring process.
It’s natural to focus just on performance, cost, capability—but only if you’re buying a piece of software or office equipment. Hiring someone is (supposed to be) the start of a long and beneficial relationship with another human being. When things don’t turn out this way, it’s probably due to a gap in one of the 3 following key areas. These gaps swallow a small business owner’s time, gulp down company money, and reduce an owner’s ability to Make More. Work Less.
Get a Culture. You already live by one, you just haven’t formalized it.
Very few small business owners have any patience for the “touchy-feely, warm fuzzies” in the company, but the fact is: these fuzzies exist. It’s called your company culture. It needs to be created and managed as consciously and diligently as the company’s cash flow. At RCC, we capture your company culture during our Game Changing Goal Planning! service and generate a culture page during our 4W Program. Many HR experts are convinced culture misfit is the #1 reason for new hire failure. The growing number of job candidate personality tests being offered indicates culture and candidate must match, even in small companies.
Employees Beget Employees. There’s less than 6 degrees of separation between you and the perfect employee!
You’re probably not tapping your experts. If you already have a few good employees and you aren’t encouraging them to recruit candidates (or at least give you some names), you’re missing one of the most successful recruiting sources. Your best employees understand the culture and the boss. Odds are, their friends are a close match to your culture. You’ll run into some resistance when you first approach employees for recommendations, but persist. Be sure your employees know you are not looking for someone who has all the skills and experience necessary. Unless you’re filling a new position doing something the company hasn’t done before, as a rule of thumb you want to hire attitude over aptitude. If you are looking for a new position, then RCC’s Candidate Search service will facilitate the hiring process.
Use Training Wheels. You really do need to formerly onboard your employees.
Whether bringing on a new hire or promoting from within, most small businesses drop the ball. We want our companies to grow and our employees to take on more so we make more (and work less), but we have no system in place for teaching the necessary new skills. Many of us follow an “organic” training method: the newbie learns from whatever is happening each day. This classroom of chaos obscures priorities, increases learning time on the more complex duties, ignores or rushes through critical items, and keeps the new hire in a constant state of stress and confusion. RCC’s ONBoarding with Ease program is more than just employee handbook review, it is 30, 60, 90 days of transition into the company and into the position with performance outcomes attached to each month.
It’s not much better for employees who are promoted. Ever hear of “The Peter Principle” or “rising to the level of incompetence?” An employee is promoted based on how well s/he’s doing in the current position, not on any abilities to meet the demands of the new role, so the owner promotes to failure. You need to know what to train (your company’s processes, the systems, tools, and especially, the outcomes you’re expecting) and how to train (no, being able to do something extremely well does not translate to being an excellent teacher).
Close the gaps, and you’re much more likely to hire an employee with the potential to do a better job than you. (Whether s/he stays is another article from RCC!)