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My Biggest Hiring Disaster Pt. 1

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a fabulous day today. I hope you’re all ready for another amazing blog post. This is going to be a two-parter. The topic for the day is, as the title suggests, my biggest hiring disaster. The first coach that was brought onto our team, well, it was a disaster. It happened really quickly after starting the coaching company in early 2009. I had this huge desire when I started to quickly add coaches to the team, and grow the company, and I had a rosy picture of what business would be like and what our team would be like and it was a rude awakening when it didn’t turn out early on the way that I expected it to.

As entrepreneurs, small business owners, small business leaders, and sales professionals, many of you can probably relate to this on some level. But let’s talk about why this was a disaster. To be completely honest with you, this situation was a disaster because, simply put, I was a disaster. I was the leader, and in terms of what I did to bring this person onto the team, I was a complete disaster. Now, when it comes to what precisely made me a disaster, there are several reasons, and I think it’s important to go over the main ones. I want other people to be able to learn from my mistakes and hopefully be able to avoid them as a result. So, let’s dive right in!

The 5 Mistakes Behind My Biggest Hiring Disaster & the Lessons Learned

1. Mistake 1: Thinking I Knew More Than I Did

Confidence is a wonderful thing, but if it gets to the point that you overestimate yourself and fail to question things, it can be detrimental. In the past, I had led sales teams with great degrees of success while working for a larger organization. I had also served in leadership and presidential roles for various social groups and non-profits. So I had confidence in my abilities to grow a team. The issue was that this confidence was to a point where it prevented me from being humble, I wasn’t really open to learning more. I kind of had an attitude problem, the problem being that I was lacking in both skills and humility in this specific area of business. In short, I thought I had what it took when I didn’t.

Lesson Learned: Stay Humble and Ready to Learn

Humility is hugely important in life. No matter how good you think you are at something or how well you’ve done at it in the past, you need to realize that every situation is different and there is always more to learn in life. Confidence is great, but it’s crucial to temper it with humility and an open mind, which will allow you to stay open to learning and improving yourself as time goes on.

2. Mistake 2: Not Having a Process

Finding, training, and onboarding are relatively complex things, yet I had absolutely no process for any of them when it came to this coach.

Lesson Learned: Always Have a Process

Finding the right person for your company can be hard enough, and training and onboarding aren’t necessarily any easier. Make sure you figure out a system that works for your company in regards to finding, training, and onboarding the right people, then make it official. It should be something you’re able to follow each and every time.

3. Mistake 3: Failing to Establish a Culture or Core Values

I kind of had an idea of my own personal culture, but I never really established a culture for the company or a set of core values for it. It’s difficult to choose someone who fits something that you haven’t established. So, of course, I wound up bringing someone in who didn’t fit within the company’s core values.

Lesson Learned: Solidify Company Culture Early On

Take some time to figure out what the core values of your company are and what you want your company culture to be. Think about it, solidify it, and write it down. It’s so much easier to stick to once it’s clearly established, and you’ll be able to avoid hiring people who don’t fit it.

4. Mistake 4: Lack of Job Description

I didn’t have a job description laid out for the position. That, of course, made it significantly harder to figure out who was the best fit for it. The added difficulty led to hiring the wrong person.

Lesson Learned: Clearly Define the Position

Job descriptions are a must. Figuring out what a job entails and what duties it includes makes it a lot easier to figure out who the best candidate is. You’ll be able to figure out whose skill set, experience, and qualifications are the best match.

5. Mistake 5: Failing to Give Assessments

I didn’t give this person any assessments or anything of that nature. Assessments would likely have clued me in to the fact that they weren’t a great match for the job.

Lesson Learned: Always Give Assessments

Assessments are a relatively easy way to confirm that the person you’re considering is actually a good fit for the job. On the other hand, they can make it clear when the person isn’t as good of a match as you initially thought. Making them a routine part of your hiring process will likely save you a lot of grief.

When you consider all the mistakes that were made in terms of hiring this person, it’s easy to see why everything was such a disaster. However, this experience was full of life and business lessons for me, and I hope it can provide some for you as well. Now that we’ve discussed the mistakes that contribute to finding the wrong people, we also need to talk about finding the right ones. However, I don’t want this to be an overly long blog post. With that in mind, I’d like to save the next portion of this topic for another post. So please join me for the next blog post, where we will have an in-depth discussion about how to find the right people. Until then, have a better than amazing day!