Steps to Management Success – Step 39: Hire People More Talented Than You

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 31st, 2010

STEP THIRTY-NINE

Hire People More Talented Than You

What is the best way to deal with problem performers? Don’t hire them in the first place! Both poor and superb workers were probably already that way when you chose them, so why not make the smart choice in the first place? Believe me, it’s well worth the effort!

WHAT IT MEANS: Finding and firing outstanding employees is one of the most important things a business owner or manager can do. Employees help set the tone, do the work, and deal with customers, and they’re the ones on the front line. If they blow it, your business will suffer. Conversely, if you hire someone who’s bright, ambitious, reliable, and self-starting, that not only makes your job easier, it frees you up to focus more on leading and growing your business. The hiring process involves three stages: preparation, searching for qualified applicants, and interviewing.

ACTION PLAN: As much as you evaluate the background, education, skills, and intelligence of a job candidate, you must also consider personality and compatibility. After all, you and your employees will be spending much time together. “Chemistry” is sometimes hard to articulate, but it’s critical to consider. Make a list of the twenty most important qualities you need in the next person to fill the job, so you have a clear and comprehensive idea of what you’re looking for.

EVEN BETTER: Many people rush through interviews because they’re too busy or uncomfortable with the process. Don’t be one of them. Develop your interview skills by reading some guides or taking a course. Take the time to prepare—and the time to form a meaningful impression of the most impressive candidates. Write down your questions beforehand, and make sure to take notes—it may be the only way you will remember the difference between Candidate A and Candidate G. Also, don’t tolerate mediocrity! If you happen to make a poor hiring decision (and you will), cut your losses short by letting the person go ASAP. There can be a learning curve and some “positive intervention,” but if you’re not reasonably impressed with your new hire’s performance, he or she is probably doing more harm than good.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)


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