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A Different View of Hiring

March 16, 2010
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When I asked a group of carpet cleaning company owners how they felt about hiring, every single one said that it is not a pleasant experience. But if you want to have a turn-key business, you are going to have to have employees.

When I asked a group of carpet cleaning company owners how they felt about hiring, every single one said that it is not a pleasant experience. But if you want to have a turn-key business, you are going to have to have employees. Today, I want you to look at this issue from a unique perspective that may take the fear and anxiety out of the hiring process.

Although he was certainly odd and far from mainstream, Andy Warhol had an amazing description of what business was all about. He said, “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” If you are a business owner or aspire to be one, you are an artist.

I look at my business as a symphony and I am the conductor. All the instruments must be in synch and I am in charge of making the music sound beautiful. Hiring the right people plays a huge role in the symphony production and I take it very seriously and with an aura of anticipation and delight. That’s right, delight! Knowing that who I hire is the face of the company and the source of my income, I understand that having a positive and excited outlook concerning the process is essential to my hiring only great people.

With that attitude, I have managed to hire fabulous people, enjoy the process and have a turn-key business. Let me give you a few more details and tips on hiring.

1. Expect to hire the best
What you think about, comes about. If you think that there are no good people in the hiring pool, you will probably be right. In this economy, there are plenty of great people looking for work and it is up to you to find them.

Recently, my operations manager and I decided that we need to hire a full-time water damage technician. The very next morning I received an email from a man that had been a golf pro for 17 years and who was looking for a new career and wondered if I was looking to hire. Jim was exactly the type of person we needed for that position and he has been fantastic.

The great thing is that I am not all that surprised because I expect events like that to happen in my business because that is how I think.

2. Be the best in the business
When you have a reputation as a good company and a good place to work, people will come knocking on your door seeking employment. Be the very best and reap the rewards of doing things the right way.

3. Know when to hire
At seminars, I am often asked, “When do you know it’s time to hire someone?” The obvious answer is, when all the work is not getting done and the business is suffering because there are not enough people to accomplish the work.

I cannot remember the last time I hired someone and it was a mistake because there was not enough work for the new hire to do. Quite the contrary, almost every time I have hired someone I wondered why I had not hired them sooner.

Let’s look at one common example: You are a one-man operation, work 9 to 5 and do bookwork in the evening. If you hired a part-time bookkeeper to send out “thank you” letters, do follow-up calls and do the bookwork, you would probably increase your business because the chance of you consistently sending the thank you letters and doing the follow-up calls yourself is remote. If you hired a part-time tech to clean, this would enable you to do marketing and visit referral sources and other potential clients.

Once again, by hiring someone, you are making more money, not less. Have a written plan describing the new hire’s duties along with what you are going to do with your new-found free time. Not scary, it’s exciting.

4. Use online testing
My good friend Bob Hawkins of Hawkins and Associates introduced me to his online employee testing company five years ago and it has worked wonders for us. When you think that you are ready to hire someone, give them this tailor-made test which you can adapt to the position you are hiring for and find out more about the potential employee than you could ever do through an extensive interview.

For example, when I hired my office manager I made sure that the test found out about her math skills, social skills, ability to cope under pressure, etc. When I hired my sales manager, I was able to discover his ability to close a sale, his creativity, his aggressiveness, etc.

Decide that you are going to embrace this piece of artwork that you are constructing and have a fabulous time doing it. Do you think the conductor that enjoys his work has the potential to make a better sound than the one that conducts because he has to, not really enjoying the process? The hiring part of your business ought to be perceived as another piece of the orchestra that you are leading.

Enjoy all the instruments and then sit back and listen to the beautiful music.

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