Do you make this mistake when hiring a new employee?

It is said that small business owners waste more time and money on poor recruitment decisions when hiring a new employee than any other area of their business.

There is a huge cost in advertising the position, reading through C.V.’s and conducting interviews. Then there is the wasted salary of the employee who fails to stay.  And it is not only their salary but the salaries of the other staff who have trained that person and helped them settle in combined with the time it took and loss of other work being completed during this time.  Then there is the negative impact of employee churn on existing staff.  If they see people coming and going it is bound to affect their own faith in the company and may leave them feeling unsettled.

I have sat through many recruitment processes and seen the results of a the right person being taken on who goes on to be a valuable asset to the business and the inevitable bad mistake that leaves frustration and upset behind.

The secret behind hiring a new employee

So what is the secret to taking on an employee that has the best chance of working out and becoming an asset to your small business?

I believe it comes down to getting the balance right of knowledge, skills and attitude.

Too many employers read C.V.’s and rely solely on the skills and experience or knowledge the applicant professes to have.  And this is where I believe they get it wrong.

Yes, of course, an applicant has to possess certain skills and knowledge dependent upon the role, but I firmly believe the first and foremost attribute a new employee requires is the right attitude.

They can have the best skills in the world but if they have the wrong attitude, they are doomed from the start.  I have seen the most skilled of people join businesses I have worked with but it is apparent from the outset that they do not share the passion for the business and quite frankly, I believe some have had a personality bypass!  They have no intention of trying to build relationships with existing staff and are just there to take their salary and run.

On the flip side, I have in the past come across individuals who did not possess the skills required to join the business but had such a fantastic attitude, I took the gamble and employed them.  In the three instances that firmly stick in my mind, all three became top employees and performers in the business.

Why?  Purely because they had the right attitude, they wanted to work for the business and were willing to learn without bring along their own pre-defined opinions and ways of working.  They soaked up all the training required and soon had skills that far exceeded those of their peers.

“I rate enthusiasm even above professional skill”
Edward Appleton

Of course, this cannot work in every environment.  It is no use employing an airline pilot purely because they have a great attitude but have never flown before.  If you are in an industry where you can take some time to nurture an individual who really wants to work and is willing to learn, the time and effort to bring them up to speed with the skills required could be well worth it.

So think twice before being impressed by that well written C.V. when hiring a new employee.  Look beyond the paperwork and find out more about the person themselves to see if they possess the right attitude for your small business.  You never know, you many just find yourself a diamond in the rough.

 

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