Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
I’m fairly certain he wasn’t referring to hiring people in a small business, but the thought applies well.
When a small business owner or entrepreneur makes the decision to hire someone it’s a big one. It should not be taken lightly. Especially if you’re growing your staff (although if you’re replacing someone, the same concepts apply.)
Why is it such a big deal? Two reasons:
1. Hiring people is expensive. Employees are almost always the biggest cost: salaries, health benefits, office equipment. All combined (but particularly the salaries), each employee costs a small business a lot of money. So there’s always some risk involved.
2. Each person is critical. In big companies, people float. We all know that’s the case. You’ve got the good workers, the so-so workers and the downright lousy ones. And plenty of downright lousy workers thrive in big businesses, hiding under rugs, shmoozing their way through. In a small business each person is critical. “You’re only as strong as your weakest link,” applies very well in a small business.
With that in mind, what is the most important thing to remember when hiring someone?
Simply put: they have to fit in.
Call it “corporate culture”, “the way we work”, “being a team player” … it doesn’t really matter. What’s important is that you, as the person doing the hiring, recognize the importance of the new employee fitting in.
This doesn’t mean we should hire people who are identical to one another (although I know some might think it tempting to say, “If we could only hire robots…”)
When a team is small, and each person is critical to the success of the small business, everyone has to mix and work well together. They don’t have to be best friends, but they have to work as a unit.
Stay tuned in the next few days for some ways you can help ensure the new person fits in…
A great blog on careers and hiring is Career Intensity by David Lorenzo. Have a look!