A different hiring process is going to unfold each time you need to bring a new employee on board. One of the most crucial things to consider is the personality type you can manage best.
As someone who is 30 years old and owns a fast-growing business, I have had only one other job out of college in which I was not a manager of some form. Therefore, I’ve learned by mistakes and still do every day.
While many simply associate the job of a manager or leader with a bigger paycheck and a job that is more mentally engaging, those who do so are (just like I was at 25), very off base.
I don’t think there is a certain personality type that fits everybody. Entrepreneurs and managers alike have to understand that an employee, regardless of what you’re paying him or her, is a foundation that with the manager’s help can either become a skyscraper or an undeveloped lot.
The hiring manager has to determine what personality foundation best suits him or her for building on. What background and personality type can that manager leverage to build a “skyscraper”.
Over the years, my biggest internal hiring mistake was hiring people solely based on their background and educational credentials.
As a kid from Fordham University with an okay GPA, I thought it was cool to have employees from Columbia, UVA and NYU who graduated with honors.
For a small business, that policy turned out to be a bust. As a manager, you want people who are willing. I will take someone half as effortlessly talented and turn them into three times the producer if they care, are engaged and want to learn.
I just don’t have time for people who fight growth and fight learning, whether because they believe there is only one way to grow (such as academically), or because they feel they have already finished with their learning, or for any other reason.
You want to find people who are going to respect your work and your authority as a boss. The secret to successful management is staying away from the Sirens when recruiting. These are the people too concerned with themselves to ever make a true impact by giving 110%. Unfortunately for many these are too hard to spot until you’re in mid-dive off of the boat. Time, patience and consistent learning will help any manager spot these individuals from a mile away.
Despite the fact that you will have to figure out (probably through trial and error) the personality type and background that you manage best, and whom you can best help progress in a career, there are definitely a handful of tried-and-true rules to apply across the board when hiring.
Think A-type personalities. Anything less will drive you nuts when attempting to achieve goals, regardless of the person’s position in your company or your team.
That is not to say that every hire you make must be a metaphorical pitbull: not everyone comes across as relentless, and that’s a good thing. But thoughtful, introverted hard workers come across very differently in an interview process to people who will be content putting in an average-level effort and just going with the flow, rather than ever contributing above and beyond.
I used to hire theatre graduates as interns years ago. They drove me up the wall. We were a recruiting firm and it sucked the air out of the room (we worked out of an apartment) when there was audition talk.
Complainers are very difficult to deal with as well. I tell my clients to stay away. The best way to spot these individuals is that these are job seekers who will negotiate the smallest, most trivial aspects of their offer.
Even if they are good, hard negotiation prior to coming on to a job (unless you are at the C-level) shows that they are your typical complainer and fail to have empathy for the plight of a leader or manager.
It is best that you begin to understand the mentality of employees. This is a steep learning curve for many entrepreneurs and failure to do so can result in a consistent turnover rate, which only stagnates a company.
Employees think differently than entrepreneurs and, although they like upward mobility, they cherish stability, a good paycheck and respect from their boss. As an entrepreneur, you must understand that employees are not going to get as excited about your business as you and this is something that you will have to deal with.
I have made as many mistakes with employees as times I have been correct. True leadership is learning from your mistakes and doing your best to have nothing short of pure empathy for your employees.
As a leader, understand that you work for your employees just as much as they work for you. Treat them with respect and take it as your responsibility to grow them as both individuals and employees of your company.
If a potential employee’s personality doesn’t mesh with yours, then you should probably stay away from them, especially during the start-up phase when you have daily involvement with them. Job seekers who have a type of demeanor that clashes with yours – whether good or bad workers – should be avoided.
Not every date turns into marriage, but that doesn’t mean that you should continue dating the same type of people if it doesn’t work out.
Follow the above rules and you’ll have a growing business with loyal, effective and happy employees.
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