Hiring a new employee is easy when your only goal is trying to fill a seat. Finding someone who’s a great fit for your company—and will participate in its success, however—requires a strategy that works for both your small business and every candidate who walks through your doors.
Whenever strategies are discussed, there are often two camps most small business owners fall into. The first camp consists of business owners who are already stretched to their max in terms of time and energy, making the thought of implementing another strategy a source of great anxiety. While the other camp is made up of business owners who, though they are likely just as busy, have no idea which of the dozens or hundreds of strategies are worth putting into action—and how to go about doing it.
At Evolution, we knew early on that a hiring strategy would have a big impact on our success as a business and as investors. But like those in either camp, we experienced some of the same concerns as other entrepreneurs and business owners when we began developing our plan for becoming a leader in growing small businesses.
After identifying The Five Pillars of Business Freedom, where the third pillar represents the People you have working in your business, we discovered an approach that has become a central strategy for our small business best practices.
Known as The EOS Process ™, the strategy combines several demonstrably successful elements into an easy-to-implement package for business owners at any stage. And with regard to hiring practices in particular, the process became a guide that expressed the core reasons for having such a strategy, as well as how applying some basic hiring fundamentals can help you hire the right kind people for your business.
Distilled down to its most basic components, the strategy involves two key elements for ensuring you have great employees in the workplace. These are:
1. Defining your core values: In other words, the standards and ideals that speak to your company’s mission statement (e.g. a culture of transparency, accountability, and other business-centric principles), as well as how that mission is accomplished.
2. Hiring people who share these values: In their blog article, EOS mentioned using the People Analyzer to ascertain whether or not current employees were a good fit for their organization, but the tool can also be used to make hiring calls on applicants as well.
Really, what it comes down to is making sure that you first know what makes your company strong and unique, then finding these same characteristics in the people who, by design, should help you reach your goals as an organization. And as you already know, your team is integral to your success as a small business, and it doesn’t take more than a few bad apples to spoil the bunch.
In an article from Entrepreneur this concept is echoed, as the co-founder and CEO of Book in a Box, Tucker Max, writes about the experience of having his hiring process replaced by an incoming executive who better understood the strategy of successful hiring:
[O]ur new CEO (JT McCormick) told me and my co-founder: “We need to hire at least three new people…and let’s use this as an opportunity to revamp your broke-ass hiring process.”
How could he say that? I immediately went at him, explaining all the ways our hiring right was great. His response: “Let me get this straight–you’ve had to fire 9 of the first 11 people you hired. And you think you have a good hiring process?”
I actually laughed out loud. The sad part is I REALLY DID think we had a good hiring process! … JT wasn’t against those tools, he just pointed out what we were missing:
“You guys made this too complicated. Hiring is about answers [to] these questions: 1. Do they have the skills? What is the proof they can do the job? 2. Are they going to get along well with the tribe? Will they fit?”
Having a strategy for hiring the right people for your small business, like most successful business strategies, doesn’t have to be enormously complex for it to work. It often comes down to identifying the principles that guide your company culture, and then making sure that connection exists in the behaviors and skillsets of existing employees and incoming candidates. Doing so, you will undoubtedly come to the same conclusion as the author, who said this of the new hiring strategy:
In our case, I can tell you we went from having to fire 9 or our first 11 employees, to now seeing our 5-6 most recent hires being the best people we have (better than me even).
For more tips on becoming a successful small business or taking your business to its next stage of growth, listen to our radio show The Second Stage for discussions with other entrepreneurs who have made it happen.
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