GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: Finding and hiring the right people – part 2

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

Hiring: It all starts with the right process.

“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not strategies.” – Lawrence Bossidy GE

“I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way.” – Lee Iacocca

I have heard you loud and clear. The hardest thing about owning a small business is finding, hiring, and keeping good people. It has always been a problem, no matter the condition of our economy. The problem with so many small business owners is they don’t take the time to do it right. They are just too busy managing day by day affairs to lift their heads long enough to make the time to hire the best people. Often, they need a person, and they needed her yesterday so they are just appreciative when they can find someone, anyone. And this of course, leads to a great deal of frustration for both the owner and the people he hires.

Look, as Larry Bossidy said in the above quote, nothing is more important than hiring the right people.

With that in mind, here are six tips to make sure you hire the right people

  • Hiring is a process: have a plan: To be successful you have to plan ahead and that means having some kind of idea where your company is going and what your employee needs are going to be when you get there. These factors can be as straight forward as you, a contractor, need more people in the warmer months. You run an ice cream parlor or a ski resort, your hiring is based on your specific needs. Plan for those needs in advance. That will also give you the right amount of time to hire the right people.
  • Know exactly what you want. What is the job and what kind of person do you need to fill that job? No matter the job, full or part time, you need to have a well-thought out job description. Describing not only what the job is, but the description of the right person for the job.
  • Hire slowly and fire quickly: Take your time. Here, if the old adage applies, “you don’t have time to do it right, but you have time to do it over.” Take your time and hire carefully. It will save a lot of time in the long run.
  • Keep the application form simple: Make it very clear. Use the job description you developed in item three as the format for your job application.
  • Develop good interviewing skills: The interview is where you really get to know your candidate. You can tell much more from an interview than from what is written on the job application. Think hard about your interview process. Develop a set of questions that will help you discover exactly what you need to know about the candidate.
  • Show them the future: If you are serious about your company, then you have a vision for that company. Share it with the candidate. Get her excited about working for your company and most of all show her that this is not a job, it’s a career, it’s a future.

Probably the most important piece of advice here is to be thoughtful, take your time to do it right.

In the words of Jeff Bezos, “ I’d rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone, than hire the wrong person.”

Hiring the right people is the best way to grow your business.


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1 reply
  1. Deborah Walker
    Deborah Walker says:

    I loved a column weeks ago about customer service!!!
    I also enjoyed this one. The simplest of training can help the most.


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