Is it time to hire? Finding the right person requires a strong understanding of your needs today and your needs in the future, the culture of your organization, what skills will be required to accomplish the work, and how you will define success.

Start with defining the culture of your organization. It is vital to control your culture and be sure the people you hire will embrace it and maintain it. There are many factors that indicate culture but some of the easiest to think about include:

  • Is your company task focused or relationship focused?
  • What is the dress code like?
  • How do you feel about people socializing at lunch or after work?
  • How are decisions made?
  • How are they communicated?
  • How do you want problems resolved?
  • What tools do employees have to solve problems that way?

While some of these things may feel trivial, they help define your culture.

Once you have your culture in mind, look at the skills needed to do the work required. For many small companies, it is easy to make a laundry list of all of the tasks you would like to see done and end up creating a job that no one individual could possibly accomplish. If you see that happening, be sure to work it down to a manageable level.

Many managers tend to hire people just like them. Take a hard look at both yourself and what skills would be appropriate for this new position. For example: if the owner of the company is strong in sales and customer relationships, but needs to hire an accountant, it may be necessary to look for someone more task-oriented and high detail. While you still want someone customer-focused, when interviewing, it will be necessary for that owner to find value in traits not like themselves.

The next area to look at is the position requirements. What are deal breakers in terms of experience, education, background or training? Each time you identify a requirement, play devil’s advocate. What if a terrific person walked in who had everything going for them but that one requirement? Is it a deal breaker? If not, don’t list it as a requirement. If it is, include it in the position.

Finally, take some time to identify now, before you even start interviewing, what defines success. If in the first six months the following list is accomplished, you will be thrilled with your decision. Knowing this going into the process can help you find a person who will be able to achieve those results in the time frame you lay out. If it turns out none of the candidates could do that, it gives you an opportunity to amend your expectations before you make a costly hiring mistake.

Below are some additional resources on how to hire:
Paying Employees
Hiring Veterans