“We all want to save the world…” is a great line from a great Beatles song. And I get it. You decided to become a business owner to, among other things, help the next generation step up. Maybe to give another human the chance you never got while working up the professional ladder. And you believe...you believe SO HARD that your interview candidate COULD be the next “you”. Or the next Manager in your company. Or the next most talented “FILL-IN-YOUR-INDUSTRY’S-SPECIALTY”. It all started at the interview.
As you sat across from your candidate for the customer service role, you saw the foreshadowing of future success skills. You easily pictured them networking with your customers. You dreamed of how much you would enjoy spending time with them working on growing the business. Sure, they were inexperienced in the EXACT area, but they could grow into that over time, right? And you would love to have someone to teach all the tips and tricks you acquired over the years. This time, someone will learn to do it all the right way. Your way.
SNAP OUT OF IT!
I know that social media and business magazines are telling you how to promote from within and give your team the chance to expand internally but I am telling you that your business does not have time for teaching anyone. Well, unless your business offers teaching as a solution. But I digress.
Let’s break down why a small business owner MAY NOT hire for potential…ever! The Boss Actions rules are included to help you save time and energy!
Misuse of Cash
Hiring a person that can grow into a leadership role “later on” is using the funds and space of a role that your business needs today. Very rarely are your future needs going to be addressed by fully meeting today’s requirements.
Now, Right Now
As to the requirements, your future wunderkind must be able to match the needs of a successful team member as defined by the role you created. Hire only the people that can successfully perform the JOB! If they cannot do the job, then the work is not getting done and your clients suffer. Remember what prompted you to start this hiring process in the first place.
Teaching is Not Training
Your business does not have the time to be teaching for any length of time. Hiring is initiated by a need for more time to be dedicated to a result. In fact, most hires are driven by a time-sensitive need. You may TRAIN a skilled or experienced match on how your company does a certain task. You may not TEACH a match on how to perform the task.
The example I give is crossing a T. You can train them how high you like a T crossed within your business, but they should be hired already knowing that a T needs to be crossed and how to cross a T.
Future Needs Do Not Align
This is the heartbreaking one. And those that have been down this road already feel the pain renewed. As you have spent time, energy and trust to pour all your best mentoring, guidance and experience shares into this person it is almost guaranteed NOT to time out. Either your business will have a need sooner than they are ready… and they will fail to the possible disaster of your company’s reputation OR they will be ready for the promotion BEFORE your company is ready to add in this layer in your organizational structure.
This last piece hurts so much because you trusted that they would wait until you were ready. You had high hopes - probably unspoken, but maybe not - that they would wait around with their newly attained expertise. Waiting until your business had the time to acquire the necessary customer base to expand all the roles, profits and workload that would be necessary to support promoting anyone into the pre-destined role.
In today’s business culture, more than ever before, people are looking to be acknowledged for their current value and value less the longevity of being with a company. The security of corporations keeping people until retirement has shifted the business world. We see that with the explosion of the “gig economy”. For small businesses, that means that the most loyal person still reasonably expects to change positions every 2-4 years.
Some consider this bad news. When you are a successful business owner growing over the next 2, 5, 25 years, you will always need the skill of knowing how to hire for your business. Even if you want to hire someone to handle the HR, you will still need to be able to identify who will be successful, attract the best possible people and be confident enough to never hire “good enough”.
The good news is that hiring IS a skill a business owner can learn. It is not innate. It is not a talent that will be singular to a few. YOU can do it.
Business owners are better served by hiring the people that will excel at the roles your business needs today. Whether that is hiring vendors, independent contractors or employees, or the normal practice of a fluctuating mix for your team, hire based on the correct experience, education and skills needed to perform the role successfully and immediately.
Then, build your “Hiring Triggers” into your strategic plan for recruiting that leadership role ONLY once your business has the need. A boss is always building to meet today’s needs to allow for the successful changes that will affect your company’s needs 3 years from now. Your boss move? Hire for what your business needs today!
Talmar Anderson is a hiring strategist and Boss best practices expert teaching business owners to build, lead and scale kickass teams with her 25 years of experience. She is the founder of Boss Actions and the creator of the ground-breaking program Escape The Hiring Loop and Better Boss Mastery membership.