You’re in a tricky situation.
Your company is growing fast. You need someone in that Account Manager role as soon as possible.
You get a few interviews on the books. You find someone who fits the bill–kind of.
You hire them.
Okay, first of all, that’s a mistake. Hiring someone is like inviting them into your family. You’re giving them a seat at your dinner table.
Is this even someone you’d be able to have dinner with for longer than a week?
Most companies make a tremendous amount of mistakes when it comes to hiring, but there are a handful that take the cake for wreaking havoc on your culture, your time, and your company’s overhead.
For your own sake, don’t make any of these 5 mistakes:
1. Hiring someone to fill a role–instead of hiring someone because the role fits them.
You know that scenario I’ve painted above? That happens on a daily basis in most growing companies around the world.
Managers get overwhelmed and say, “We need to hire someone immediately.” Massive amounts of stress are put on the situation. Everyone is on high alert. Applicants pour through the doors, and then voila, there’s magically someone new sitting at the desk next to you.
What they do though, you’re not entirely sure.
The reason so many companies end up with poor or even nonexistent cultures is because of this, right here. Hires are made out of desperation, instead of with foresight and care. And the roles the people are placed within aren’t matched with individuals who truly care, but rather the first person who shows signs of being competant enough to understand their job responsibilities.
It’s no wonder, then, how a company grows to fifty or one hundred employees and then sits back and asks, “Why don’t I know anyone’s name here?”
2. Hiring based off GPA instead of proof of work experience.
Do they teach Facebook advertising analysis in college now? Because if that’s the role you’re hiring for at your agency, how on earth does a person’s GPA give you any indication as to whether or not they can execute that task effectively?
And I know what you’re going to say: “Well, a strong GPA shows they have the desire to…”.
I practically failed high school, and I studied creative writing in college. Pretty sure my GPA is about the worst indication of my ability to perform work well. Truthfully, I’ve never even had anyone ask what my GPA in high school or college was. Probably because they’ve been too busy reading through the long list of things I’ve done on my own, proving I know what I’m talking about.
And whenever I make a new hire, the last thing I look at is the person’s GPA.
What I ask them is what projects they’ve done on their own that prove they can execute on the job responsibilities we’ve laid out.
What I ask them is what they’re currently reading, what they’re doing to improve themselves in their free time.
I look for someone who has work ethic, and who is teachable.
Not someone who can take orders like an obedient dog.
3. Hiring because it’s a friend of a friend.
“My friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s uncle is the Vice President, I’m sure he will give you the job.”
This is a massive mistake.
I’m all for considering friends, or friends-of-friends for work-related positions, but just know what other challenges you’re welcoming into the equation. Especially if you go and hire someone who is related to or friends with someone very close to you. What if they don’t live up to your expectations, and then you see them out at dinner once a month?
That’s a problem you don’t want to have.
You should never make a hiring decision based solely off personal relationships. That’s a favor that will only end up coming back to haunt you down the road.
4. Hiring because you want to “do someone a favor.”
Business is a game, and a competitive one at that.
If the opportunity makes sense, I’m all for giving the underdog a shot. But if you hire someone because you feel bad for them, or you feel like they don’t have any other options, you’re only putting your company (which you’ve worked so hard to build) at risk.
Giving someone who deserves the opportunity is one thing.
Giving an opportunity that isn’t warranted is a mistake.
5. Passing the hiring off to someone who doesn’t understand your culture or vision.
As the founder, CEO, and leader, you made those first few hires yourself.
They were incredibly important. And you only wanted the right people walking through your door.
As you’ve grown, however, you’ve passed those responsibilities off to someone else–as you should.
The problem arises when you’ve passed them off to someone who doesn’t have a firm grasp of what it is you’re trying to build, from a culture standpoint. Or worse, you’ve removed yourself from the hiring process altogether, to the point where you no longer care who becomes part of your company.
This might be the biggest mistake of all.
Culture is everything. And that’s such a cliche statement these days, because truthfully, most people don’t even understand what “company culture” really means.
Pool tables aren’t company culture.
Summer Fridays aren’t company culture.
Your culture is the collection of the people, and the attitude they all share. The way they approach the work. The way they handle conflict. The way they pick each other up (or put each other down) is what defines your company culture.
Put that power in the wrong hands, and you’ll wake up one day not even recognizing your own company.