He finally admitted, “we were so desperate to find people that our hiring process consisted of simply determining if they had a pulse!”
Unfortunately, this is where many business owners find themselves as their business grows and they become a slave to the soupy chaos of product creation, delivery, billing, payables, taxes, and dealing with employees.
The good news is that regardless of your business or industry, it does not have to be that way. There is hope and that hope comes dressed in what looks like hard work.
You are going to discover the first step in finding purpose-centered and value-fitting people to help you accomplish the mission of your business and it actually has nothing to do with hiring.
In early history, a team of twelve spies were commissioned and sent on a reconnaissance mission to discover a significant section of land in the Middle East to determine if they were fit and ready to take over that land.
As with most group decisions, there was dissension among the spies as to the fitness of their small nation state to annex this land that belonged to other groups.
In fact, only two of the twelve had the confidence to move forward. Their confidence held firm and eventually this tiny nation state moved in to occupy a territory of land that was promised to their forefathers years prior.
Before you hire it is important to have the mind of a reconnaissance spy peeking into your own business and asking your business some pointed questions.
If you’re looking for more resources to work ON your business, we have them.
When in London riding the tube you will hear an automated voice imploring you to “mind the gap”.
When you feel a gap in your business there is an urge to fill the gap with an employee…and fast.
Before you send a new employee into that gap that you feel, it is crucial that you first see the gap, and to sloooow down.
Here are four questions you can ask your business to determine if it is time to fill the gap by hiring employees.
First, have we properly delegated all tasks to our existing employees?
A bookkeeper called me one day in total frustration saying, “if one more client drops off a shoebox of receipts for me to organize for them I’m going to quit!”
Her client abdicated their responsibility and my friend in a no-win situation.
Abdication is the failure to adequately prepare so that others pay the consequence.
Delegation on the other hand is the relentless and thoughtful preparation and training that sets up another person for success, and then the consistent follow-up to ensure that the delegated task is being implemented well.
The tasks that you are looking to be deployed by the new employee…have they been documented and set up for repetitive training?
Second, we need to ask if we have a predictable and consistent habit of agenda-driven and leader-led weekly team meetings so that we can intentionally communicate with our existing and future employees?
I know, you think, “more meetings?!” No. Better, consistent meetings.
Most meetings are inconsistent and rarely have any element of follow-up and accountability.
Ask yourself honestly, do we have a standing meeting every week that has a written agenda, a designated facilitator, and follow-up on action items from the previous week?
If not you are setting your existing employees and any new employees up for failure.
Imagine a marriage relationship with inconsistent and haphazard communication. It doesn’t work!
Third, do we have clarity on what system in our business this person would be serving?
Each business, regardless of industry, is equipped with four major systems; operations, administration (accounting), marketing, and sales.
What system(s) will this new employee be a part of, and then what processes will they own within their system?
You as a business owner have never experienced true entrepreneurial freedom until you have experienced the joy of having an employee fully equipped to own their role and to know exactly what is being asked of them and how that fits within the structure of every other role in the business.
Your Org Chart and a Process Roadmap will allow them to see what parts of the business are fully dependent on them.
Fourth, are we willing to make the time to onboard a new employee and continually lead?
Hiring an employee is the start line of the marathon of working for your business. When you hire a new employee you have simply invited them to ninety days of stretching and preparation. Then after ninety days of intentionality, only then can the starting gunfire and the marathon begin.
Who do they need to know?
What do they need to know?
What tools do they need to learn?
What techniques for those tools are unique to your process?
What does communication look and feel like?
How does culture get intentionally installed instead of being just a cross-your-fingers hail mary?
We have to be disciplined as business owners to resist leading from our feelings because they give us false positives all of the time.
If you cannot make time to ask these four questions then you are not ready to hire because you can not see the gap you feel.
When you have answered these questions, then you are ready to evaluate your answers and then determine if the finances of your business make sense to hire.
Scott Beebe is the founder of Business On Purpose, author of Let Your Business Burn: Stop Putting Out Fires, Discover Purpose, And Build A Business That Matters. Scott also hosts The Business On Purpose Podcast and can be found at mybusinessonpurpose.com.