Biz Tip: How to NOT recruit the wrong people for your team

Have you ever had the experience of having recruited someone for your team, just to then work out that they are just not right for you? I bet you have. I bet you have also extensively blamed yourself for making that mistake? Great, because the first thing you need to realize is that as the person doing the hiring it’s always going to be your fault, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should beat yourself up over it. Blaming yourself doesn’t help. Everyone makes decisions at some point, that seem great at the time and don’t work out further down the line. It’s ok.

This is a mistake I have made on my team plenty of times and today I’m sharing a quick tip with you. I’m going to start by using the words of Gary Vaynerchuk that inspired me to share this.

I was watching the Daily Vee (Episode 266) when Gary briefly spoke about recruiting and he said: “I couldn’t find anyone for Vaynermedia. I just hired people, ran them through, some worked and some didn’t.” – and that’s just the attitude I have personally found best when it comes to building a team that works. So the headline is actually misleading, it is partially about recruiting the wrong people, but it’s also about letting them go.

Your Attitude

When you’re building a team, you need to let go of perfectionism to a certain extent. I know we all have our dream employee that is often ideally a perfect clone of ourselves, but that person you are looking for may not exist, may be out of your price range, or currently not available. You are going to need to let go a little and be prepared to take a small risk.

You also need to be not just good at hiring but also at firing. There is nothing worse than holding on to a team member that is absolutely not compatible with you or your other team members. The bad attitude this will cause is likely to have a bad impact on your other team members and that’s not something you need.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should just invite anyone onto your team and then throw them out, if it doesn’t work out. You still need a solid process for adding team members and follow through on it, but in the end, no amount of interviewing and trial tasks is going to give you as much information as the person doing the actual job you need them to do.

I shared my tips on recruiting your first or next team members in my workshop: Build a Remote Team. You can read more about the workshop here.

Your Induction

As part of your new team member’s induction, it’s important you spend plenty of time with them. I don’t mean micro-managing everything they do and pointing out every mistake (that will make the best team members run for the hills) but actually supporting them, providing instructions and letting them ask questions – without being annoyed! The more time you spend with the person now, the quicker you’re going to work out whether or not they can be part of your team in long term.

The Duties

Sometimes you will recruit a team member that works really well with your team, is a lovely person and totally reliable – but it turns out they are not really good at the job you are needing them to do. This isn’t the end of the world. I have different team members with different areas of responsibility and different strengths and it’s my responsibility to work out how to use everyone’s strengths most effectively. Wherever possible I try to re-deploy people rather than letting them go.

Saying Good-Bye

When you notice however, that the person is not working out for you (and re-deploying is not an option) then it’s time for you to cut to the chase and let them go. You are doing them and yourself a disservice by holding on to them and stringing them along. Just be kind and be honest. Imagine how you would like the message delivered.

I hope these quick tips are helpful for you in the team building process. Don’t forget to check out the workshop here.



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