Hire Top Talent Like a Pro
Who you hire plays a huge role in how your company performs, and ultimately, whether or not it succeeds beyond your wildest dreams, or crashes and burns right out of the gate. Fortune 500 companies get that, and pursue promising talent relentlessly. There’s a reason Google offers up such an absurd bevy of perks ranging from free tacos to in-house yoga instruction, and why Wall Street mainstays will dangle signing bonuses larger than the average American yearly salary. They get it. Attracting and retaining the world’s most talented individuals is what makes their respective companies great.
Small Businesses Need to Play the Same Game
Small businesses need to play the same game. That doesn’t mean that every mom-and-pop in the nation should head for Cambridge, Massachusetts and set up a job fair booth right next to Microsoft. No, rather, it means that they should actively seek to hire the kind of talented, passionate people that lead to business breakthroughs. Rather than hiring your nephew to work for you out of convenience (no knock on nephews), evaluate the requirements for the right candidate and begin a strategy for getting that person. Sometimes you’ll have to take a gamble on a promising prospect that could take your company from good to spectacular, rather than settling for mediocrity. Recruiting the right talent is crucial.
It takes time, money, and an immense amount of effort to persuade the most qualified individuals to make your vision their vision – but it’s worth it. Happy, engaged workers make for a happier working environment, which ultimately leads to higher productivity.
The Wrong Hire
To look at it from a less delightful perspective, making the wrong hires could lead to disaster. The U.S. Department of Labor currently estimates that the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% of the individual’s first-year potential earnings. That means a single bad hire with an annual income of $50,000 can equal a potential $15,000 loss for the employer. Financial losses are further exacerbated by corresponding blows to both productivity and team morale. One wrong hire could negatively affect surrounding colleagues and unnecessarily drains company finances. This is a mistake small businesses want to avoid.
Treat the hiring process as an active pursuit. Job seekers go to great lengths to convince prestigious, name-brand corporations to give them a shot. Startups, however, must first make themselves known to candidates. In this regard, small businesses are typically at a disadvantage to large firms who have more brand recognition (and more money). Or is it? Sure, money and prestige are huge extrinsic motivators – but what really drives people according to Bain & Company, is love. It’s passion. It’s a mission. Make it a priority to find that person who shares your values and has a desire to be a part of your team’s culture.
Of course, while a shared passion is a must, qualifications and talent matter just as much. When hiring for specific, technical roles, it can often be difficult for those outside the field to discern a truly qualified prospect from the status quo. The first step to bridging this potential pitfall, then, is to team with an expert in the candidate’s specific field who can help you make a better hiring decision. This is worth the extra effort, especially when it means consulting with someone from outside your company. If you’re looking to find talent, then consult with a talent expert about what to look for in a potential employee. Working with industry professionals who have the right connections to help you fill your specific needs to begin with, could prevent a lot of headaches down the road later.
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