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Building a team of great employees who are all sitting in the right seats and rowing in the same direction can be the single most transformative thing that can move your business forward. A great team not only breathes life and growth into the firm, it also builds wins on top of wins. It is a self-sharpening saw. But how do you get from where you are now to having a great team in place? Fire quickly and hire slowly.
I’m always a little hesitant to suggest that a firm fire quickly when I am faced with those owners who are short-tempered or can get annoyed easily. Being quick to fire does NOT mean you should fire any of your employees when you are annoyed or when someone makes a mistake. Do not make an emotional decision under the guise of being quick to fire. However, when you can sit down and evaluate an employee honestly, and you conclude that the employee does not have the skills, ability, personality, and/or mentality to set you apart from your competitors, it is time to begin the process of moving that employee on. I have written before about knowing when to let a legacy employee go. Letting go of any employee who has not done anything wrong, but is clearly not the right fit for their position, can be very difficult. The sooner you can let go of the wrong person and get the right person in place and up to speed, the sooner you will see how drastic the impact is of having the right person in their place.
Being slow to hire is a function of making sure that after you let the wrong person go, you don’t make the same mistake twice. Our hiring process is listed on our website and we are adamant that every firm we work with follow that process. It takes longer and requires more of candidates than most other firms’ processes. This is because we have found that the system works and finds great people. Part of our hiring process is that any candidate has to pass all of the hurdles to get an offer – no exceptions. If a candidate really wows the team in an interview, but does not score well on the assessments, that candidate must be eliminated.
Being slow to hire also involves knowing the difference between the best of the candidates you have gotten and a truly great candidate. This is where having an outside consultant can provide great value. We are looking at resumes and assessments, conducting interviews, and processing candidates every week. This experience has taught us the difference between the best of the worst and a shining star.
One caveat that I must mention is that “slow to hire” does not mean that you should go through your hiring process slowly. With the hiring market so tight right now and the unemployment rate at 4%, you will risk losing great candidates if you do not move them through your hiring process expeditiously. I can tell you that the only thing in hiring more painful than not being able to find the right person is losing a great candidate because you didn’t move quickly enough. Candidates don’t always tell you they are currently considering other offers. I have gotten emails from candidates one or two days before we planned to send an offer where they tell me that they have accepted another position. You must move candidates through your hiring process with a sense of urgency and intention.
If you know you will need to hire a new team member in the next nine months, you should start looking now. We are seeing longer lead times on hires across the entire industry.
When asked about how TSI has helped to find and integrate several new team members, Rachael Bellah, COO of Wade Financial in the Bay Area said:
“Working with TSI has helped us tremendously in being very deliberate in our hiring. Candidates are thoroughly vetted and put through a series of compatibility exercises before they are ever presented to us. The hiring process has been more focused and in-depth, resulting in new hires that are excellent fits both for their role, and our organizational culture.”
If you are interested in hearing about how The Strategic Implementer can help you manage this process, we provide complimentary calls to discuss what we do, how we do it, and how we can bring you a great new employee. You can schedule a call here: https://calendly.com/brianluper/30min
Brian Luper, Partner, is an attorney licensed to practice law in California. Brian joined The Strategic Implementer in 2014. Brian graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2006 with a degree in Economics and after obtaining a JD from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles in 2009, he went on to start his own law practice with two partners. Brian acted as managing partner of the firm, obtaining millions of dollars of recovery for his clients. He left the law firm life in 2014 to join The Strategic Implementer because his true passion is working with business owners and helping them achieve their goals and he wants to share that passion with other firms.