Right now as business owners, we’re all assessing and re-assessing key elements of our operation - from our business model to our marketing, from our team to our own role in the day to day. We’re thinking about what we’ve missed during lockdown, and what we’ve loved, and wondering if we will be able to build what we’ve loved into our new normal.
But while many of us are thinking about the individuals in our team, what we may not be considering is that they are also thinking about themselves.
Our team will be thinking about the quality of life they are enjoying - or not - during lockdown. Maybe they’re really missing their team mates and the buzz of your work environment and are raring to get back. But there’s also a chance that they’ve loved not having that journey to work - joining rush hour every morning, wasting all that time in the commute.
Many will be relishing the precious time with their children - the chance to have family meals three times a day - the time to help with home-schooling, or making things and doing things they’d never normally have the chance to do. And there’s no doubt that some will be considering their future in a very different light, and may soon be knocking on your door - figuratively speaking of course.
I say all of this because a couple of clients have already had these conversations with team members who’ve taken the opportunity to reconsider what they want out of life, and the business has found itself with a hiring need they really weren’t expecting - and you might too.
So let’s make sure that you’re ready - that you’re in the right mindset and have everything in place, to hire the right person for you and your business. Because the sad fact is that businesses are full of people who were never right!
You know what I’m talking about.
People who take your time and sap your energy.
People you talk about all the time - your family and friends know them very well and get sick of hearing ‘what Brian did today!’
People who the rest of your team are desperate for you to sort out.
Of course you didn’t intend to hire the wrong people, so how did it happen?
Well, chances are, you didn’t stick to the 3 Golden Rules of hiring.
Rule 1. Never hire in a hurry.
Tempting as it often is to rush into hiring someone to fill an immediate need, or to plug the gap from an unexpected departure, don’t! When you do things in a hurry, you make mistakes. So take your time, plug the gap with an interim contract, a temp - or share the role out between you and the rest of your team, until you can find the right person. Temporary pain while you carry out your search, versus long term pain from hiring the wrong person.
Rule 2. Always hire to your values.
We’ve all been there - looking at a great cv, thinking how the individual’s skills could help the business, but having a gnawing in your gut that’s telling you to think again. How often have you ignored your gut and hired the great cv anyway? And how has that worked out for you? Hiring to your values is chief among all rules of hiring. You absolutely have to have people who believe in what you believe in, who share the same principles, who want to live their life to the same values that you do.
Of course first of all you need to work out what your values are - get really clear about what’s important to you about the way you want to operate your business, the lines you won’t cross - and then ask questions in your interviews that uncover those values.
‘Tell me about a time when you…’
‘If you were faced with [this particular] challenge, how would you deal with it?’
‘What’s the best leader you ever worked with, and why?’
‘And the worst?’
Get them talking beyond the skills and achievements listed on their CV, and uncover the real person behind it.
Rule 3. Don’t settle. When you’ve waded through loads of CVs and spent hours interviewing, there’s a real temptation to go for the best person you spoke to. That’s great if they’re the right person, but what if they’re just the best of a bad bunch? Remember: you get who you settle for, so don’t settle for anyone who isn’t the right fit for you and your team.
As big a priority as your hiring may be right now, it’s important to understand that it’s only the first, albeit crucial, step to building your high performing team - a small piece of a proven framework that we use to help motivated business owners like you, to free themselves from the day to day of their business.
After hiring, come those first vital, but all too often muddled, first 90 days of your employee’s journey with you - their probation period. And that’s what we’ll look at next. How to build an effective probation system that gets to the right stay or go answer for you and your new employee.
See you soon!
Marianne is the author of three books, and is currently working on her fourth, whilst regularly writing her blog, we hope you enjoy it :-)