Hiring the wrong staff is one of the most influential reasons for startup failure. Whilst growing your team is an essential part of growing your business, the quest of finding the right people can become long, tiring, frustrating and expensive, when done inadequately.

Bringing in the wrong people can impact the day-to-day workflow, affect the company culture or have catastrophic implications on your branding and reputation. Here, we reveal seven crucial tips to ensure your team, and therefore your business, is top notch.

1. It Starts With You.

In the process of finding good people, disproportionate attention is often placed on the candidate when, in fact, it’s far more crucial that the employer unpeels their own persona and values before even considering the acquisition of staff.  It’s all too common for business owners to find themselves with a staff member who is under-performing and yet, the employer is totally unaware that their own behaviour is essentially being mirrored. Self-awareness is the single most important ingredient to hiring the right people. Once you understand your own beliefs, managerial style and personal shortfalls, only then can you scale your business.

2. Listen to Your Gut Brain.

Similar to a first date, interviews are conducive to both parties falsifying, glorifying or completely disregarding their true personality and beliefs. When employer and employee are bluffing, it becomes quickly evident that the relationship won’t last. So, how do you decide someone is the right fit for your company in 30 minutes? The gut brain, as Mags Bell explains, will tell you. When the heart, head and gut align, hiring the right people becomes easy. Just be sure to that your gut brain isn’t actually impacted or limited by your subconscious bias.

3. What is Your Company Ethos?

Julia from Julia Sandler In-House Recruitment explains, “In the interview process, it’s important to ask the candidate, ‘What are your values?’ Does this person fit into your company values and will they be a cultural ambassador? For example, if your company ethos is ‘Don’t Wait, Innovate’, communicate this in the interview and ask the interviewee for an example of a time when they may proven this value in a scenario.”

In the instance where the wrong person has already been hired, the business owner is usually aware that the person doesn’t fit with their personal or company values. The flow on effect is undeniable; the team builds a brand in the wrong direction, communicates the wrong message to the customer or kills the brand before it even stands a chance for survival.

Regrettably, this problem circles back to you; while a person may seem consistently absent-minded, clumsy or downright incompetent, it may be that they have little understanding of the ethos on which your business is bulit. As soon as you provide open access into the big picture, the employee has the opportunity to buy into it.

4. Don’t Focus Solely on the Past.

While a glossy CV evokes a promising future, it won’t mean anything unless the person in front of you is whole-heartedly passionate about your product or service. A certain level of skills can be taught, but passion will ignite a level of commitment that simply cannot be trained. When you find someone who is excited about what you’re doing and believes in everything you’re saying, you not only have an exceptional employee, you have a company ambassador, and that is fundamentally different from a person who turns up for a pay cheque.

5. Be Honest About The Future.

Imagine a scenario where a company has no processes or procedures in place. Now imagine throwing in a new candidate who thrives on structure but has no capacity to implement them.  It’s a sure bet that their chance of survival is little to none.

Being open and candid about what you’re offering from the beginning will not only forge trust going forward, it will also establish a true understanding of what’s to come. Whether it’s the company culture, environment, daily tasks, responsibilities, expectations or upcoming changes in the business, be clear about the foundations of your business and the role itself, or you’ll find yourself trawling through CVs in three months time, when the employee realises they are living a life they never signed up for.

 6. Continue to Communicate.

One of the most powerful business tools in your back pocket is the ability to maintain lines of communication with each staff member. Checking in every three months to ensure that you’re both synchronised in thoughts will not only offer comfort and stability, it will give you insight into any gaps in the business. If a problem is unveiled, you’ll have the chance to address it.

While it’s important to continue the flow of communication, if the issue is a core personality trait or a set of values that don’t align, it’s time to let that person go. There are 7.4 billion people in the world; you’re going to find someone who fits.

7. Get Good at Firing.

There are going to be times when it becomes clear that you have hired the wrong person. Once this realisation sets in, get good at firing. When someone isn’t right for your business, you’re doing them and yourself a disservice by not letting them know. It’s probable that the feeling is mutual and the employee already has some awareness that their own values or authenticity are also being challenged.

So how exactly does an exit meeting unfold? Don’t drag it out; it’s a three minute conversation. Gracefully explain that the role isn’t the right fit, the role no longer exists, or the company doesn’t have the finances to keep them on board. Whichever the case, be honest, kind and brief. Offer them an opportunity to absorb the conversation and provide them with the freedom to move on.

We unpack these steps further in the Navig8Biz Business Foundations Course. Check it out here. 


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