Small and growing businesses struggle daily with the task of finding the right people to join their teams. The smaller you are, the more critical that new hire can be.
Just as all companies are different, so are all employees different. They bring different skills, different quirks and different attitudes. Some of characteristics are hard to see initially – they seem to ooze out over time instead of presenting themselves immediately. Hiring and onboarding employees during each entrepreneurial stage requires diligent effort to first know what you need, and then to identify, recognize and attract the "right" type of employee.
You can do yourself a big favor if you refine the recruitment process so that you can assure a steady stream of the people with the "right stuff" to fuel your venture’s growth. If you really “know thyself” then “thyself” can understand what the business needs in its next teammate.
At CloudWyze, we look for the following characteristics:
- Results-driven. There is not enough money in any small business’s budget to pay an employee who doesn’t add to the bottom line. The “right” employee, however, is so busy delivering on tasks that the thought of her as “overhead” literally never crosses your mind.
- Risk Taker. You’re taking risks every day – sometimes even to the point of not knowing if you’ll make payroll. Find yourself an employee who can tolerate the risks of an entrepreneurial environment, and is able to meet objectives and make decisions even when they don’t have access to data that would normally help them.
- High-energy Team Player. Employee enthusiasm can take you a long way. You can feel his commitment to the company’s goals and to its success – and so can your potential customers. He’s accountable for his actions, and applauds the contributions others make. You want to be around him – and so do all of your employees (and customers!).
- Growth Potential. In early stages of a company’s life, you want to hire people who are perfectly suited to the current task – but who also are ready to take on more as you grow. Ask yourself if you see this person as next year’s manager, a role model for future hires, and the kind of supervisor that you, your board and your customers would be proud of.
- Creative Problem Solver. Sometimes (not often enough), we see this trait right upfront. Someone comes to us, having already studied the company, and says “I want to be a part of your vision … and I think this is how I can help: ___.” We know it is a match when they say things like, “Give me a chance to prove my value,” and they’re willing to even take that to the salary level. We win, you win.
So look beyond the mere facts of the resume and ask yourself about the fit. You are most likely interviewing the person because of the resume, so move beyond that during the interview process, and get straight to the questions that let you know if you’ve found the teammate.
(This article was inspired by the former President of the MIT Enterprise Forum, Joe Hadzima, who is now with Main Street Partners in Boston.)
Shaun Olsen is the CEO and President of CloudWyze. CloudWyze was created to help businesses focus and perform at their optimal level by crafting and executing custom technology plans for businesses of every type and size. To learn more about CloudWyze, visit www.CloudWyze.com. Shaun can be reached at [email protected] or 910-795-1000.