LAST MAN STANDING - In small business America, there are all sorts of wacky business practices. Many of them come from people just making stuff up. From people just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. One such practice is what I like to call Musical Chairs.
As small business clients grow the question of outsourcing versus in-source always comes up. When should I hire IT internally? And the answer as always is… Well, it depends. Today I’ll offer up a number. But before the big reveal, there are 3 rules of thumb you’ll need to observe if you subscribe to the Get Your Tech Right Way.
The odds are in your favor. Hiring can be an adventure. It gives you the opportunity to meet new people. It gives you insight into other how other businesses are ran. How they treat their people. And all sorts of other experience, education and exposure. Over the years I have spent a lot of time honing my hiring chops. But one thing holds true.
One bad apple spoils the tree. I once worked with a client that reached 100 employees. The COO was doing all of the hiring and so she decided it was time to hire an HR person. She hired wrong. There is really no other way to put it. The new HR person rude was rude, unprofessional and generally not a nice person to work with.
Back in my Motorola days there were a lot of processes.
It came with the territory.
One of them was dubbed the People Quadrants.
As managers we’d be asked on an annual basis to review and rank all of our staff.
The resulting deliverable would be a diagram displaying all of our staff in their associated quadrant.
From there staff would be managed accordingly, which meant the following.
Staff that landed in quadrants 1,2 or 3 would have an appropriate performance plan created based on their quadrant.
If a staff member landed in quadrant 4 we’d create a plan to replace the person or dissolve the role.
Tough I know. But it's a business.
As I’m in the midst of planning for the coming year I’m doing a similar exercise in my business.
But this time there’s one key element I really want to extract.
And that is...
What is your value add?
Why are you special to me?
We have all hired people into our companies to deliver results.
But the real difference at the end of that day is in the value add.
Those people who bring a little something extra.
We like to think of those people as the keepers.
It’s super important to know what their value add is and how it helps your company.
It’s also important to let those people know what their value is and why they're important to you.
Knowing what someone’s value add is and sharing it with them helps both parties.
Your staff member receives meaningful recognition.
And you build trust into the relationship and increase retention.
Come to think of it.
What’s your value add?
Back in the early 80’s there was a band called Zebra.
They had a song called - Tell Me What You Want.
I've been on the hiring trail lately looking for a few more tech savvy guys to add to our growing business.
I get that it can be nerve-racking for candidates.
I get that people are trying to be the best versions of themselves.
And so I try to make people feel at ease so that I can get to know them.
What is not so surprising is the amount of people who just want to be sheep.
They just want someone to tell them what to do.
There is this tell me what you want attitude.
Just tell me what to do so that I can get a paycheck mentality.
It's a big turn off when I see this in candidates.
Sure many companies are looking for this type of employee.
But I'm not.
I'm looking for people with drive with passion and with a desire to be better.
Doesn't matter whether it's a spark or flame but it needs to be there.
No sheep allowed on my farm.
On the flip side.
If you enjoy...
Telling people what to do.
Keeping track of every last little thing that people do wrong.
Then keep hiring sleep.
My motto is - No Sheep Here.
Hiring in corporate America works like this.
You design a box.
Then you design a people box.
Call it a job description.
And then you hire a person to put into the box.
The problem is that most people don't fit in boxes.
We do this with our personal lives as well.
We create an ideal image of what it is we’re looking for, a box.
And then we go find someone to put in that box.
But once again you can't put people in boxes.
Call them boxes.
Call them cages.
Call them whatever you want.
There's something wrong.
So a little thinking outside the box here. - pun intended.
There is perhaps another way to think about hiring people.
1 - Find people with behaviors that complement you.
2 - Find people that make you better.
3 - Find people that can solve problems.
Putting people in boxes doesn't really work.
At best you'll get a box half empty.
Are your boxes half full or half empty?
Does it matter?
Maybe it's time to get rid of the boxes all together.