Investing in people

As entrepreneurs
forge ahead in new businesses and the endless list of decisions is thrust in
front of them, one of the most important decisions that they can make often
gets put to the bottom of the list…who are they hiring to run the business with
them.  While there is a very technical
side to recruitment of employees, the success of all businesses hinges
significantly on the individuals you have hired to work alongside you, and if
you do not put as much effort into planning what skills and competencies are
required to successfully do the job, then the performance of the business is
already starting at a loss.

It may seem trivial
to focus on the people who work with you over more tangible things, such as
location or the marketing plan – but it isn’t. 
The most accurate predictor of business success can be found in the
employees, their job satisfaction and their motivation to succeed.  Too often when recruiting an employee for the
business, the hiring manager is wowed by their endless experience at
competitors’ companies and their impressive knowledge of the industry. While
this indicates capability, it does not attest to the commitment, passion and
intensity with which the new employee will commit to the new business venture.

Business process
starts and ends with people, period. People effectiveness is a mainstream part
of success or failure.  Regardless of the
technology used, the workflow or the business, each and every single business process
must be initiated by a person.  It starts
with the people who make decisions to design and implement the process or
system, and ends with the people responsible for the result.  When you are starting a new business the last
thing that you want to worry about is if your new employee will be in
attendance at work or will work diligently and effectively at the tasks that
need to be completed.  You need employees
who are in it for the long haul, fit your culture or personality and are as
committed to the success of your business as you are.  So, how do you assess these attributes and
where do you find these people?

Starting with a job
description is paramount. Make a list of all the things that your prospective
employee will be responsible for and then evaluate any skills that are absolutely
necessary to do these tasks.  “Do they
need to use a computer?”  If the answer
is yes, then being computer literate is a critical part of the role.  What level of computer literacy do they
possess becomes the next assessment and this can be easily evaluated with
online computer assessment tools such as Pre-valuate and Previsor.  While many hiring managers have no problem
identifying technical and educational skill requirements, it is often the
competencies that are overlooked. 
Popular buzzwords such as teamwork, leadership, innovation and
creativity often get thrown around as critical competencies for new employees
to possess…but are they really critical for a job?  Often the right person for the job needs to
be able to work independently a majority of the time, not on a team, and while
creativity is great in some roles, it may be extremely detrimental to the
company that is looking for their employees to follow an exact process.  Taking the time to understand the
competencies you are looking for in a role, combined with asking the right
questions to evaluate their capacity in those competencies, will ultimately
eliminate the risk in hiring the “wrong” person for the role.

Evaluating
competencies and the “soft factors” of an individual can be extremely difficult
if you are new to the recruitment game. However, there is always one thing to
remember – past behaviours predict future behaviours.  This means you need to ask the right
questions and do some detective work to ensure that the answers you received
are legitimate.  How many sick days does
the prospective employee regularly take in a year?  What are the aspects of their job that they
dislike the most?  Who are the most
frustrating customers for them to deal with? 
The answers to these questions can provide incredible insight into the
individual you are considering interacting with your customers and relying on
opening your doors in the morning. 

 

 

Krista Pell,is Vice
President of dms Organization Ltd.

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