New business entrepreneurs go into their business with visionary ideas and often make one of the worst mistakes of all business owners right out of the gate: hiring ineffective employees. One of the biggest mistakes new business owners make when hiring their first employees is mistaking enthusiasm for a good fit. Just because someone is excited about your project doesn’t make him or her the best employee for your project. After a new business owner has spent all of his or her resources, investments, and time into creating the perfect business, they just expect it to work. The problem, according to Susan Schreter, 20-year venture finance vet, is that new business owners don’t spend enough time and energy searching out new employees. She highlights a few traits and skills you won’t want to go without when you’re making those first hiring decisions:
Startups that aren’t aggressive will fail. Many creative and talented minds have created the perfect business on paper, but when put into the real world, ideas don’t make up for a lack of action. So how do you gauge competitive edge when all you have is a resume and an interview? Offer competitive scenarios. Ask about instances where the prospective employee has responded to incentives to compete with coworkers and competitors. Find out if they have a history of playing competitive games whether it’s sports or even online games.
Although a competitive edge is necessary fuel for a completive market, an employer may not find the best employees have necessarily ‘won’ at everything they’ve ever done. In fact, it’s crucial that employees have the attitude necessary to weather stormy waters especially in the beginning. Find out about challenges your future employee has faced and ask how they managed to overcome disappointments, roadblocks, and other challenging obstacles. This will give you some insight into which of your employees will be loyal and committed through the bumps in the road.
Schreter suggests offering new employees a probation period during which their performance and monitored and their fit is studied. Don’t put off the inevitable either, she argues: “If a new employee doesn’t fit in with the company rhythm or perform well during the first few months on the job, don’t delay in discussing your dissatisfaction.”
Many start-up entrepreneurs relate to being a jack-of-all-trades and often respond well to prospective employees who claim to be quick studies. But the fact is, you need to hire for skill and experience from the beginning. Your new business can’t endure the learning curve of a new hire without the proper skillset for the job. For example, if you need a copy editor, don’t hire someone who is a published writer to do the job. Even though both include writing and a mastery of the English language, one job requires a completely different brain activity than the other. A beginner at any position in liable to make mistakes that could cost you in those delicate opening months.
Trusting the success of your new business to others is a challenge in and of itself. If you make effective decisions during your hiring process, you’ll find that not only will you trust your employees, but you’ll also find them invaluable in the further development of your creation.
John Acker writes for best criminal justice programs.com. Check out http://mbarankings.net/the-50-most-influential-professors-of-2013 for an interesting article.