Home > Uncategorized > Hiring Mistakes by Startups – Nice one to read

Hiring Mistakes by Startups – Nice one to read

A startup needs a good team to succeed. Build great teams is never an easy task.

Unfortunately, startups don’t have that cushion of profit to cover up a hiring mistake.That’s especially true in a small company, where one person who is not the right fit could mean that 25 or up to 50 percent of your work force is now a big problem. Most hiring issues occur as a result of looking to keep costs down or not having a clear vision about what the business is and where it’s going. Another element is admitting that there are things you don’t know, and identifying what they are. Too many executives let their ego stand in the way, either in admitting that there might be things they don’t do well, or in identifying and communicating specific job requirements.

A key success element is to start by avoiding the known list of interviewing and hiring mistakes that have been documented many times over by human resources professionals.

1. Hiring someone just because you know them.

This means friends, former co-workers, family members or your own children. For a husband, this means hiring your wife. For a wife, this means hiring your husband. Even part-time. There needs to be a certain sense of objectivity and accountability in the workplace. Friends and family expect to be treated to a different standard–and they should. Away from your business, but never in it.

2. Hiring someone to “help them out.”

Some owners have loads of empathy for workers on the rebound, or people in trouble. Being a “savior” to help someone may not help your business. Instead, hire someone who can add value to the company and its operations. Those are people who are eager and willing to go the extra mile. They also won’t be in trouble or looking to take advantage of what always turns into a bad situation.

3. Taking someone on as a partner because you can’t afford to hire him.

Business can be hard enough as a sole proprietor, but don’t think it’s an advantage to bring on a partner, especially if you can’t afford to hire him as an employee. If you do, you give up 50 percent of your company to someone who may or may not thrive in an entrepreneurial setting.

An alternative is to outsource projects or work on a fee basis. Better yet, work out an arrangement at an advisory or coaching level. Then 100 percent of your company remains yours. Plus, it’s easier to walk away if something goes wrong.

4. Hiring someone to do a bit of everything.
A “jack of all trades” approach is fine–for the owner. But the specific functions of a business need to be staffed with people who are specialists.

Instead of hiring one person to do the accounting and administrative work, think of this as two jobs for two different people.

The reality is most people simply don’t have the skills or expertise to do a variety of jobs. The key is to find people with skills that complement your own, and put those people in specific jobs with specific roles.

5. Top-down hiring vs. bottom-up hiring.
This method of hiring also leads to getting people on the team who are generalists vs. someone who’s the right fit for a single job.

Hiring from the bottom up means filling specific roles with specific skill sets with people who will be doing jobs that are typically lower paying but take up large amounts of time. This frees you from having to do time-consuming tasks. It also gives people an opportunity to add value and expand their roles, which ultimately helps grow the company.

6. I’m not quite sure what we need, but this guy sounds like a miracle worker.

Just hiring for the sake of hiring, or hiring a generalist to bring some order to your internal chaos, is not a hiring strategy–it’s just more chaos.

Clearly define roles for any new hires. Not only will you avoid hiring a non-productive person in an ill-defined role, you’ll start attracting people who’ll add real value to their role and your operation.

Do your homework on a proper job description, and make sure the applicant credentials on the resume are a fit before you proceed to interview.

7. Hiring for the job you hate.
Earlier I said you should hire people with complementary skills. This doesn’t mean you should hire someone to avoid doing what you may do best. In short, don’t hire a bookkeeper when you know how to do the numbers–especially when your top line sales may be suffering.

8. He’s not quite what I’m looking for, but I think he is trainable.

This is the inverse of the problem – you know what you want, but you are trying to force fit the candidate into the position.


9. I’m confident this candidate can learn a lot from me.

This is the arrogant position that you know more than anyone you could hire, so all you need is a helper, not help. Helpers are expensive, since it often takes longer to jointly do a job than it would take one qualified person to do it alone.

10. I didn’t have time to read the resume, but he has great answers.

Some people talk a good story, but can’t produce results. Resumes won’t give you the positive conclusion, but they can highlight negatives, like job gaps, bad writing, and minimal experience.

Hiring is all about finding the right skills, personalities and attitudes to fit your overall vision and mission for your company. Having those two guideposts in place will make it easier to make good hires that will benefit your business in the long run.

 

Regards,

Venkatesh.K

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