Team Building – Hiring to build a strong team

Building a great team is never easy. The challenge when hiring staff is to find people with the right skills, personalities and attitudes to fit your firm’s culture that are aligned with your vision, values and mission.

Most hiring issues occur because you look for cheap people and you don’t have a clear understanding of your vision, values and mission. Cutting corners will undoubtedly cause bigger issues downstream. Here are some things to think about:

  1. If you can’t afford to hire someone don’t hire them. It is always better to outsource projects and pay contractor rates for the duration. Hiring someone means you have a commitment to pay them even if the work dries up!
  2. Hire specialists to specific jobs rather than generalists. Specialists are good at what they do. Generalists are not! If you are looking to grow your business you will need people that are capable and credible.
  3. It is not always a good idea to hire someone just because you know them. There needs to be objectivity and accountability in the workplace and friends/family almost invariably expect a different standard of treatment. Think about it, how difficult would it be to discipline or fire your spouse, one of your children or your best friend?
  4. Never hiring someone because you feel sorry for them or because you want to “help them out.” Being a “Good Samaritan” probably won’t help your business so look to hire someone who can add value to the firm. Experience tells me that they will end up looking to take advantage of what will inevitably turn into a bad situation.
  5. Always hire from the bottom up. Again, this is about hiring capable and credible people to do specific jobs. Hiring top-down will tend to lead to you on-boarding generalists.
  6. Make sure you have clearly defined roles for all new hires. By doing so you will avoid hiring non-productive people in badly defined roles and you will start attracting the kind of people who will add real value to the firm.
  7. Always do the jobs you are good at even if you simply hate doing them. Never hire someone in to a role just because you don’t like doing it. There will always be other roles that are more important and will provide a better return on investment. Always look to hire in to those roles first.

Clearly, once you have hired your star team, growing and retaining them will become the next issues. I will address these issues in a future article.

About Peter Borner

Peter is an entrepreneur and successful business leader. Currently leading a consultancy firm specialising in technical diligence for M&A and advising global firms on IT consolidation and migration to consumption based costing through the use of Cloud Technologies.

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