Hiring is difficult and to be completely honest, I am still really bad at it. In my last post about reasons your business is failing, “They hire the right people” was one of the reasons. A few months back, I had a tendency to cover up inadequacies because I felt that the person would change. In many ways my empathy was working against me. I was not only putting myself in their shoes but being them and then justifying why they were unable to do the task. That being said, here are 5 things I wish I knew about hiring last year that would have made my life much easier. It is short but it contains everything I know to be true.
1. There are always people smarter than you
I had a tendency to suffer because I felt that I needed to be everything for everyone. I am now starting to believe that there are people who are smarter than you in areas where you are weak and you need to allow them to do the work that is necessary to move things forward. It is small minded to believe that you do and see everything.
2. Don’t look for people that make you uncomfortable
During times of desperation it is easy to take the first person that comes your way because they are good enough. The problem is that you will end up paying for it in some capacity because you WILL inevitably have to end up cleaning up after them. They make you feel uncomfortable for a reason and you can not overlook that.
3. People do not change but they can grow
Unless the person has an EXTREME growth mindset, you will he had pressed to find someone who is perfect. Most of us have characteristics that are deeply embedded and do not change much that are upsetting. The only good thing is that we can change them along the way. It is more valuable to have one person who has a growth mindset than 10 people that have a fixed mindset. Everyday will fell like you are pulling out your teeth.
4. Nobody is the perfect hire
Each person is deeply problematic. That said most people who are committed to growth will make an effort to change. Each place of work has a different culture and we must all make efforts to make sure that we properly reorient anyone that is brought on board to assist. We all need a gentle nudge.
5. Do not hold back when you give feedback and be open to feedback
This is where I failed the most. I give feedback to other people in my mind. That leads to a situation where the person feels comfortable and happy now knowing that you are deeply dissatisfied. I now take it upon myself to start by saying “I am going to be honest with you” so that I feel better about giving harsh feedback. The other side of this is that I also have to be open to listening to what others have to say.
This video also does a good job of summarizing how I go about trying to lead the teams I work with.
What are some things you wish you knew about hiring? How are you learning those skills now?