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It’s no secret that the key to a successful business is the people behind it. Hiring talented, committed individuals who are able to work together toward a common goal and think outside the box to accomplish that goal can be invaluable to an organization. No matter what you hear, no business is a one-man show – every entrepreneur and business owner relies on the input, creativity and support of others to propel their vision further. Finding people who are great workers can be challenging enough, but finding the right staff who share your passion and are willing to commit their time to help your business achieve its goals? That can be a whole different story.
So, how do you choose the right people to carry out your vision and propel your business forward? It comes down to more than hiring capable people. It’s about hiring for “fit.” That means finding someone that embodies your values, believes in your mission and, most importantly, is someone you can trust.
Beyond bringing on the right people, it’s also about keeping them. I hear from my colleagues and fellow business owners all too often about their challenges in retaining top-tier staff. So, how does a relatively young small business like TWT have such low turnover? Like most businesses, we’re motivated to grow and push ourselves professionally. We also like to believe that we’ve come up with a unique strategy – a secret sauce to hiring (and keeping) great and talented people. Here are just a few strategies that have helped us bring on, and keep, the right people for the long haul.
Ask the right questions.
When I began to look for staff, I first had to identify what my business needed to succeed. For me, that thing is curiosity. Everyone has questions when starting a new job, but it’s important they are asking the right questions.
The ideal candidate should be driven to solve problems on their own. So, in order to ensure they ask the right questions at work, you have to ask the right questions in the interview. Give them a few scenario-based questions, and listen to how they solve the problem. Ask them what their work style is like or how they deal with adversity. Our organization is very value-driven, so I like to ask about how their values would align with ours.
I previously wrote about why I like to hire lazy people. It sounds counterintuitive, but by lazy I mean solutions-based people – team members who value efficiency and find the quickest, simplest ways to accomplish difficult tasks. Proactive, not reactive. One of my favorite questions to ask potential hires is for them to tell me about a time they had to work from home and how they kept themselves accountable. It gives me a glimpse into their integrity and brings it back to the importance of being able to trust one another to get the job done.
Recruit from within.
When searching for people to join our organization, I typically rely on word-of-mouth referrals. Sure, we post on the typical job sites and push the listings out on social media, but I also ask my staff if they know anyone who might be interested in the position. Going back to trust, I trust my employees to be driven and motivated, and in turn, I trust they would recommend the right people for the job.
Create a positive environment.
After you’ve hired the right people for the job, you want them to enjoy coming to work every day. Internal culture is by far the biggest driving force of business. You want each person to feel appreciated for the work they do, and feeling comfortable and secure is a big motivating factor in this.
For example, we offer unlimited vacation time because we consider each person an adult who can make their own decisions. We expect them to get their work done – but we’re flexible about when and where they do it. Any great employee would take this opportunity and run with it. At the office, we also have regular team lunches, and we keep a keg in the office. We also allow our employees to bring their dogs in on a regular basis. All these factors help the work environment feel a little more like home, making it a more enjoyable place to spend time.
People want to know they are moving forward in their careers, and rightfully so. Make sure every person within your organization has adequate training to feel competent in their position and a secure plan for their future to keep them motivated.
Everyone who starts at TWT is shown our vision for the business, including where we want to be in the future and how they are an integral part of making this vision a reality. We then provide them with the training necessary for their current role and for advancement in the future, as well as work with them to create structured, attainable goals. This enables us to create an environment where people strive to succeed, no matter their position or experience.
When you think about it, it all boils down to being invested in the people who invest time in you. Create an environment in which people want to work. Communicate your vision effectively, and ensure you hire the right people who won’t take your business for granted. A lot of the hiring process comes down to that gut feeling.
The people you hire are brand ambassadors for your business, so be sure they believe in what your organization is trying to achieve. As cliché as it sounds, it really is about treating people the way you want to be treated. Wouldn’t you want to work for a company that cares?
March 11, 2019 at 09:43AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs