Small Enterprise

People you hire make or break the venture

Start the hiring process by listing down all the qualities you want in the employee. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Start the hiring process by listing down all the qualities you want in the employee. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

In entrepreneurial journey, one of the “blackspots” that every business manager must tread cautiously is the hiring of employees.

Whether you are running your own business or are employed as a manager most of your success and failures will come directly from the quality of employees you work with. Your fate is heavily dependent on the worker you inherit or the employees you hire.

In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins singles out the first and foremost job of a manager as to “get the right people on the bus, get the right people into the right seats on the bus, and then get the wrong people off the bus.”

Essentially what he means, and some of us in management, private practice or any form of entrepreneurial activity will attest is, success of any entity almost entirely depends on getting the right people on board.

If you hire the wrong people in your business, it does not matter the market conditions, the strategies and techniques you use or the resources you employ. You will never succeed.

Hiring is one area that most people are prone to get it wrong. That is why it is advisable to be slow to hire and quick to fire. If you make a mistake and hire the wrong person, find the quickest safe way of getting rid of them.

Don’t be quick to hire people just because they have an impressive CV, have appealing personality or an impressive track record of performance from previous organisations.

Past performance is not necessarily a proof of future performance. Start the process by listing down all the characteristics and qualities that you would want in the employee you are looking for.

Ensure the person can demonstrate that they have the basic skills to get the results you want. Hire people with basic skills and not those who promise to get them after getting the job.

But most important consider the person’s ability and willingness to learn and increase their basic knowledge and skills.

In addition to basic skills and ability to learn consider attitude, personality, and character. Those are three pillars that makes employee fit well within the changing business environment.

Employees with bad attitude, personality and character are toxic to the whole organisation.

Finally do not conduct interview alone or hire after interviewing only one person for the job even if you are convinced they are the best.

Always constitute a panel of interviewers. If you don’t have enough qualified staff to form the panel you can enlist assistance of your experienced friends who understands your field.