Are You Trying To Grow Your Business?
Does The Thought Of Hiring Someone Fill You With Dread?
Maybe you have tried to hire in the past and hired the wrong people? Perhaps you have had sleepless nights worrying about your underperforming team. Possibly you have left a position open that needs to be filled because you are just not sure you have the right person, and it is starting to affect your business, your profits and your sanity.
You know what its like – one bad apple can spoil the bunch. Maybe you had a neat little team – 3 or 4 of you, all going in the same direction, all putting their most in to making the business succeed, all working hard and getting along. And then you hired Mr Incredible. Well, you thought you had. Your business was going well, it needed someone in it to do what you are not very good at – whether that be sales, or finance, or marketing. And so, you sat down and devised a job spec and you interviewed and then hired someone who came over very well in the interview.
Your whole team was very excited to have this person start – I mean – their credentials were fabulous. They had all the experience you were looking for that was lacking in the current team and you felt very lucky that they were interested in working for your little company if you are honest. They seemed to be perfect in every way.
And then they started work. And from Day One it didn’t feel quite right. It was hard to put your finger on though and you had so much hope and excitement riding on their contribution, that you ignored that niggling feeling. Slowly, silently, and insidiously, the business started to suffer. Your team started to pull apart from each other and from you and the aforementioned and promised results were not happening. Hopefully, you realised quickly that you had made a mistake and ‘failed quickly’ – letting the person go before too much damage had been done. Maybe you didn’t realise or act until serious collateral damage had occurred.
What went wrong with this hiring process?
Well – the clue is right there in the above. Go back to the paragraph about Mr Incredible and re-read it. It’s right there. Can you spot it yet……
Well, if you haven’t spotted it let me tell you. You were suffering from a very common syndrome in recruitment. It’s called – starting at the wrong place.
What most business owners do when they need to hire – is they sit down and write a job spec. And sometimes it’s not even that good – they don’t write a job spec at all they just think, we need another Jane/John – and so they go looking for a Jane/John. But let’s say you wrote a job spec. ‘What is wrong with that?’ you might be thinking. Lots. You have started at step 3.
You see there are 4 steps you need to take before you even consider going finding someone to interview. These steps are all essentials and they go in a specific order. Think of it like this. You are standing before a 4 step staircase. Each step is maybe 2-3 feet high – you can only just climb on it. Now imagine that the lid of each step is up apart from step one. So you can step on that one, but you cannot stand on step 2 until you have stood one step 1. The lid does not come down until you have completed the step before.
So NOW can you see that there is a problem starting by trying to do step 3 first. It is just going to lead to disaster.
Step 3 is compiling the Job spec – but before that there are 2 crucial steps that you must take. These are steps that are vital to all aspects of your business – not just hiring the right people.
So what are they?
Regarding step one – let me tell you something interesting. When I ask most business owners if they can tell me in 1 – 3 sentances, what their business stands for and what their mission is / why they exist – they can’t. For example – my mission is to help small business owners grow their business through Profile, People, Profits and Processes. Our values are innovation, creativity, giving value and giving a shit about our people and our clients.
My public speaking coaching and business mentoring, my social media business Strategy Social Media and my recruitment and HR business, carolefossey.com all relate to helping people grow in these 4 areas. My Leading Women in Business Group and the ‘Dream Board’ Mastermind I am launching next month – are all about those 4 areas, specifically for women.
So – Step One is to be able to clearly and concisely articulate what it is that you are here for, and that is important to you. If you cannot do that, then how can you HOPE to hire the right people, let alone to make the right marketing or financial decisions, or anything else in your business for that matter. Most of the businesses I speak to don’t have that clarity. And that is the first thing we teach in our workshops. We have a process we go through to help people get clarity around that, and I recommend you go through that process and take some time to think about what that means for you and your business.
OK – so you have done that. What is next?
Identifying the Exact Right People to Hire.
Step 2 of the 4 step process is coming up with a person spec. This can ONLY be done when you have done step one. This is looking at ‘who will fit in around here?’. This is all about the values of the business. If one of your core values that you uncovered in step one is innovation, then everyone in the business needs a sense of innovation. They need to be people who love innovation, not people who fear change and are happier in a very stable environment where not much changes and any change comes very slowly.
The type of person is KEY to all recruitment. SKILLS CAN BE TRAINED. KNOWLEDGE CAN BE TRAINED. Core values, beliefs and competencies – not so much.
Now – there are a few caveats here. Firstly – if something is life or death – surgery, plane flying, HGV driving – then I want you to KNOW what you are doing and have the relevant skills and qualifications. But in almost ALL other cases – hire on attitude FIRST and skills and experience second. I would rather have someone with less experience and perfect attitude over someone with poor attitude and perfect CV every time.
The other caveat is when you are time poor. As a business owner you may not have time to train someone up from scratch and may therefore be looking for a high level of experience. This is dangerous, and expensive, and especially if the area you are hiring for is not your core skill. There are things you need to do in this circumstance – which we don’t have time to go through in this blog – to make sure you are hiring the right person. However, this might be a time where not having the right experience would rule someone out. But please NEVER hire someone with the right experience but the wrong attitude / core values. And how do you make sure of that? Well – that is step 4.
So – does that make sense to you?
If you have first – real clarity on your business mission and values, and then secondly – you have a proper person spec which is in line with your business mission and values THEN – and only then – should you move on to step 3 – the Job Spec.
Step 4 is potentially the most important step of all that you need to complete before you go on to even looking for the candidates you might want to interview, but steps 1,2 and 3 should stop you from wasting as much of your time in the hiring process.