Hiring the right people is the most important thing a small business owner does. Each hire is critical, and making a bad choice can cost you thousands of dollars, hours of your time, and potentially harm your business. If you are tired of struggling with hiring, a small shift in perspective will produce big results.
The hardest part of hiring is knowing where to start. As Stephen Covey says, “begin with the end in mind.” That’s why adopting a GPS mindset works. Before we had GPS systems, if you took a wrong turn and got lost while traveling, you had to get out a paper map to figure out where you were and how to reach your destination, or even worse, you had to stop somewhere to ask for directions. Today, GPS technology makes it easier to reach your destination and avoid wrong turns.
A GPS mindset is a navigational tool to guide your hiring process. With a GPS, an exact destination is programmed in using a street number and name, city, state, and zip code. You also enter your specific starting point. If either is too general, the journey may take longer or take you to the wrong place. You can also choose a route to arrive at your destination based on your needs—fastest route, shortest route, avoid highways, avoid tolls, etc. A lack of clarity in programming your GPS can take you on an interesting or a dangerous journey that can be:
- exciting or terrifying,
- fast or painfully slow, or
- inexpensive or costly.
While the risks are generally low for most travel plans, when it comes to hiring, the stakes are much higher. One wrong hire can cause expensive cascading effects throughout your business. These effects include low productivity, lost customers, increased costs due to overtime, and high turnover.
Let’s get to work using your GPS system to map your route to hiring the right people.
Step One: Enter your specific destination. This is your job description. Many businesses either fail to create job descriptions or the ones they have are so outdated that they are irrelevant. A good job description is clear in two areas—skills and attitudes. The job description shows both the outcomes and the skills required of the person to be successful. There is a reason this position exists in your business. Be very clear about those reasons and get them down on paper. Most companies write job descriptions based on a list of tasks—in effect, a “to do” list. If you use a GPS mindset and create a destination list, you can clearly see the skills and behaviors required.
Step Two: Enter your starting point. Take a good look at your business and identify your high performers and low performers. Write down the qualities of each. Be very specific about what those qualities are and how they are used by successful employees. If you are unable to differentiate a high performer from a low performer, how will you know if you are hiring a high performer?
Step Three: Begin following the directions. Occasionally, unexpected events occur. You might experience car trouble, traffic delays, road construction, or any number of other obstacles. Using your GPS, you can locate the closest car repair facility or find an alternate route to avoid the construction or traffic jam. When you are hiring, you also need to plan for unexpected events. You may not need car repairs, but you will need to adjust along the way to accommodate things like your salary budget, availability of qualified candidates, economic or geographical restrictions, and the demand for specialized skill sets.
The GPS mindset gives you a new framework for making the right hiring decisions. It gives you a way to navigate through the hiring process to avoid hiring people you will later regret. If you break hiring down into a systematic process, you can hire with more clarity and confidence that you hired the right person.
Here is a quick recap of everything we have covered on our journey:
- Have a clear destination. Begin with the end in mind and get specific on the outcomes.
- Know your starting point. Be clear about what behaviors, attitudes, and skills constitute a high performer and a low performer.
- Map your route. Follow your route and plan for the unexpected. Be willing to adapt and change along the way to keep on course.
- Hire with confidence. You have a clear starting and ending point with a plan to get you there.
- Enjoy your hiring journey.
You are equipped with the tools and resources to plan your hiring strategy. The GPS mindset provides insights that direct your actions to arrive at the results your business needs. If you or someone you know needs a GPS mindset, call me, send an email, or text MOMENTUM to 480-418-1411 to get more in-depth, step-by-step recruiting help by becoming an advance reader of my upcoming book, The Ultimate Recruiting Guide for Small Business. And, the best part is that it’s FREE!