Archive for May, 2014

Hiring A Contributing Employee Is Key To Small Business Growth

May 9, 2014

Choosing the right employees is often the key to long-term small business growth.

In a recent series of interviews Information Strategies, Inc. conducted with the founders of successful enterprises, this was often cited as a key element of their success.

There was also a common thread to what they looked for in a new employee.

These characteristics boiled down to Passion and an unbending will to succeed in the face of significant challenges.

Honesty, an ability to be flexible, and above all a Commitment to the company were the other key factors highlighted by these owners.

The most used words were Passion and Commitment.

Most said they faced adversity and were sustained by the loyalty of their employees.

Many reported they had employees who sacrificed along with the owners during the hard times of establishing and growing a new company.

How they identified an excellent hire varied but evolved from their own past experiences and outlook.

Some of the comments they said included:

  • “The three primary tenets we focus on are Self-Awareness, Situational Awareness, and Empathy. We want someone that is aware of their strengths and weaknesses and then position them in roles that align with their strengths.”
  • “Personality and positive attitude are key factors for us when finding both employees and franchise partners. We want to find the people who are passionate about the (our) brand coupled with a willingness and desire to learn and improve daily.”
  • “First and foremost – I look for passion. Certain things can be taught, but love for what you do is the most important asset to any employee in any business.”
  • “Values. Do they align with the values we have set forth as a company? Is family important to them?”

It is interesting, experience and qualifications, while important, are not the overriding concern of many successful entrepreneurs.

As one respondent said: “The operations of the business can be taught, but a person’s personality and positive attitude cannot.”

Which leads to the final point about hiring: a new employee needs to have the same positive outlook as the founders who by ‘jumping off the cliff’ of starting a new business are being extremely optimistic.

Referrals and recommendations from business associates, family, and friends were the preferred way to identify potential hires with 90% saying this was their preferred method of sourcing candidates.

A majority admitted they had made mistakes in hiring but felt the worst part of such an occurrence was keeping the bad hire too long.

When a bad hire is made, end it quickly.

Another major shortcoming they pointed out was hiring against their “gut feel” against moving ahead.

Hiring in their image was also a major cause of a bad hire.

“Find the right person not someone who is very much like you but does not have the passion, dedication, or willingness to accept the ups and downs of small business,” said one entrepreneur but echoed by others.

Hiring a new employee is always important but never as important then in the early stages of any new business.