Your Next Hire: 5 Things That Matter Most

At Trifecta, we operate like a startup, and so do many of our clients. Today, we’re sharing our experiences and suggestions for hiring. When you are breaking new ground, you won’t find someone who’s done it all before. What should you do?

1.       Articulate your culture

The most important tool you have in helping prospective hires accurately imagine working for your company is to help them understand the culture, by documenting and discussing it (early and often).

It’s not just about happy hour or wearing jeans at work – imagine your culture to be the invisible framework around your team members, guiding them through decisions each day. From routine office interactions to the complexity of helping a client through a challenge or making the tough choice about priority, your company culture sets the bar.

2.       Define the skills your business needs

As a startup or a small business, each person you hire has the opportunity to wear many hats. Understand and document those hats across the company, both today and looking ahead for the next 12 – 18 months. Sooner or later, the skills your latest hire brings could be shared across several areas. Not only does this allow you to pace your hiring down the road, the additional complexity may also motivate this hire more than if she were just focused in one area of the business.

3.       Identify the skills your current team has (and what they are missing)

It can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to be good at everything, especially as a small company. Be honest with yourself and with the rest of your team about what you love to do the most AND what you are best at doing, so you know what to delegate among your existing staff and the most critical gaps to fill with a new hire. Consider a team effort to identify your zone of genius and your tendency as a starting point.

4.       Consider teachability

What do you value as a company? How do those company values translate into the expectations you have for each member of your team? How teachable is each expectation? You may value coding experience, but you may also value experience communicating with client executives. Consider how you will mentor and teach the skills your new hire will need to successfully meet expectations and prioritize each gap from your pool of candidates accordingly.

5.       Sweeten the deal

Once you identify candidate who brings the skills you need and will align with (and constructively develop) your company culture, be specific about the benefits of taking this job. As a small business, you might not be able to offer the same kind of financial compensation as a large, established company…but benefits stretch further than just dollars and cents. Whether you offer schedule flexibility, skill development, leadership opportunities, creative outlets, or other intangibles, make sure you can fulfill any promises you make.

Have you had any hiring success stories or stumbles? We’d love to hear about your experiences!