What I’ve Learned: Hiring Talent

The first time I hired someone I was 23. The first time had to let someone go I was 24. I used to hire fast and fire slow, now it’s the other way around.

Hiring…

There is a lot that goes into it. Like where to recruit from, how much to pay, outlined job explanations, how much to pay, what training looks like, who’s doing training, how much will this employee really cost, what to ask in first second and third interviews. I can keep going but you get the point. When you are hiring, be selective. There is someone out there with the skill set you are looking for that also wants to be at your company. I recently filled an Executive Assistant position at my company. It took 78 resumes, 23 interviews, 11 second interviews and 1 job offer. An important thing to remember here is that although the first applicant I extended an offer to did take the position, I had 2 others lined up just in case. You may be very analytical when making this decision, I am the go with my gut kind of guy. I just get a feeling. The items on the resume are important, but I also am aware of the way I feel about the person beyond their skill set. For example, is my company’s mission something that has affected them personally in the past? Or will it in the future? Is it something I know they can get behind? Applicants will look for a benefits, salary and culture in deciding what job to take. I believe it should also be personal. Someone who doesn’t believe in your mission is just looking for a job. As business owners we are looking for more than that. Hire slow.

Letting go…

Have you ever seen the movie Moneyball? If you have then you know what I am talking about. If not, then watch this scene. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTjhHrcyiQI  Like Brad Pitt’s character, my advice is to rip off the band-aid. Letting someone go has never irked me, its a part of life. It happens in our professional and personal lives and at some point we experience both sides of the coin. My first time letting someone go was awful. They didn’t blow up at me, they didn’t take it like a pro, but they did weep inconsolably for about 20 minutes. I remember having to walk them out of the office and into the parking lot where her husband was waiting to pick her up. There had been a lengthy period of underperformance and absenteeism. While they were struggling I tried to help them as much as I could. Whenever they asked, I was there. We would get in early or stay late, rehearse scenarios, create scripts, you name it. The problem was that no progress was being made. There is never a good time to do this but you must do it before it begins affecting other things You cannot help everyone, every person you hire will not retire with you. You must be able to recognize when you want it for them more then they want it for themselves. At that point, let go. You cannot help them.

Fire Fast

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