If you’re in the business of hiring and firing people and you don’t have a background in HR there’s one basic thing you need to keep in mind. In order to hire the right people you have to know what to talk about during the interview and you have to make sure from the very beginning of the process that the people you hire will care about your business.
When things don’t work out out with a new employee, it’s not because they’re bad people, it’s more likely that you just didn’t ask them the right questions at the interview.
Most of us don’t know the first thing about hiring because we don’t all come from an HR background. When you start your own business without any experience you have nothing to go on but your gut instincts when you start interviewing job candidates. Sure you might throw in a personality test or something but for the most part you’re basing your decision on how much you like the person.
That’s fine and good but if you want really great employees you need to be clear on the position you’re hiring for before scheduling interviews. It’s your responsibility as the business owner to flesh out the position and what you want in a candidate.
During the interview, be up front about your expectations and after you do the hiring, continue to be clear on what those are. For example, I always tell my employees that I want them to contribute. I always say, “Look, if I’m the only person that loves this business more than anything, that’s great. I’m pretty powerful. We’ll get stuff done. But if I have ten people besides myself who feel the same way, the sky is the limit.”
Let’s go back for a minute to the blog post I wrote about looking at your business as your child (if you didn’t read that post, click here to get yourself up to speed). When I take my children to my nanny’s house and my mom is there and my brothers-in-law and my sisters are there and there is a grand total of eight blood relatives in the room, I don’t worry about my kids when I have to leave the room. That’s because there are eight people in the room who love my children just as if they were their own.
That’s how you should feel about leaving your business with your employees and that’s what you have to communicate to them. You need to make the people you hire understand the bigger mission and make them feel connected to that. The easiest way to do that is to talk to them and get them involved in things.
I often tell people, “I can’t want your job for you more than you want it, but tell me what I can do for you to help make your job easier.” I always ask my employees what they’re struggling with and I feel it’s very important to have that type of open dialog. I’m not a perfect boss. I don’t love having employees because I don’t love being the bad guy – when I say bad guy, I mean making rules that people get upset about like Monday morning staff meetings and little things like that. But the more committed your staff is to your business, the more they’ll trust the direction you’re leading them in and the less you feel like everyone who works for you hates you.
Do you have any suggestions about ways to make employees feel more committed to the business they work for? Please share, comment away!