Building a small business team is never as easy as it sounds. When you first got started, you probably thought a lot about your customers and their needs — and how you could help them. You may have just assumed that you could easily find others who care as much as you do. That couldn’t be further from the case.
Hiring for small business can be a crapshoot. Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Sometimes the best candidate isn’t the one actively looking for a job, and you need to learn some clever techniques to hire that passive employee.
The person with the right qualifications isn’t always your best choice. The single most important aspect of your business is your culture, and you should consistently look for team members who evoke, maintain and build your current culture. If your environment is fast-paced, upbeat and communicative, you probably shouldn’t hire someone who is slow to act and lacks social skills — even if he does really good work.
When you really have a team that gets along, they’re happier, and happier teams always do better work. When you’re doing culture screenings, ask questions that get down into their personality. One of my favorite interview questions is “Tell me a story.” It forces people to think on their feet and you learn about them personally. You could also use personality tests to help screen new hires.
People are smart and hard working. They want to succeed. They want to feel they are contributing to something bigger than themselves. It’s your job to lay out a compelling vision and clear expectations.
Make sure each person on your team has individual goals and know how they relate to the company’s overall objectives. Give them your well-defined guidelines and any necessary resources. Communicate small victories, policy changes and company events with all employees so they feel they are part of the team and remain committed to its success.
The best NBA franchises have one goal every season: to win the championship. And everybody on the team, from the front office to the coaching staff to the players and even the trainers, knows it. Are you ready to build your own winning team?
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