Hire Smart from the Start

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Finding, Catching, and Keeping the Best Talent for Your Company

 Hire Smart from the Start

Author: Dave Carvajal
Pub Date: January 2018
Print Edition: $24.95
Print ISBN: 9780814438268
Page Count: 256
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814438275

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Entrepreneurs trust their guts, but if they only rely on their instincts when they're hiring, they're bound to make huge mistakes. The rules of recruiting have changed, and one of the changes is the need for a structured, strategic process to complement their guts.

As psychologist Daniel Kahneman points out in his book, Thinking Fast and Slow, we often make mistakes when we rely on our fast mode of thinking--instinctive, emotional, and immediate--rather than drawing on slow cognitive processes which are logical and deliberate. Or, as I just noted, structured and strategic.

It used to be that entrepreneurs had greater margins for error--for making these types of hiring mistakes. In the "old" days--before the startup boom in the first decade of the twenty-first century--company founders might hire by the seat of their pants and get away with it. Some of the time, they'd hire the right people. It was like the frequently cited statistic on marriages: 50 percent work, 50 percent fail. But this was an acceptable success/failure percentage. If someone didn't work out, there were plenty of other good candidates to take her place. Besides, even if they ended up hiring someone who was mediocre or even barely competent, the company could survive. If the entrepreneurial enterprise was built on a strong idea or product and had sufficient capital, it could absorb a lack of productivity from some employees.

Today, the margin for error is rapidly approaching zero. Many entrepreneurs have good ideas and sufficient capital. But people have become the new competitive advantage: Without the right people in key positions, one mistake can be devastating. This is especially true in entrepreneurial companies where the ability to get things done--to get them done with speed, creativity, and commitment--is crucial. If someone isn't executing effectively, the company will lose out to a competitor that is.

Entrepreneurs whose businesses excel understand the new rules and priorities of recruiting. For instance, they hire for more than job competence. Obviously, they want people who possess the skills necessary to do a job well. But they also recognize that hiring the most highly skilled individual is worthless in an age where job mobility is at an all-time high; nor does hiring a highly skilled person mean much if she isn't committed heart and soul to the enterprise's mission. Thus, they recruit with a broader, deeper purpose than entrepreneurs in the past.

I'm writing this book to help you with this broader, deeper purpose. Whether you're running a 10-employee restaurant or a 1000-employee tech company, your business depends on learning that the old mindset of recruiting--that it is important but not vital, and that mistakes are not fatal--is obsolete. In this book, you'll learn to:

Prioritize people over technology/ideas and capital

Reframe your recruiting mindset to custom-fit talent to your organization (rather than settling for skill competence)

Use a tried-and-true process to search for individuals whose values/work-styles are compatible with your organization's culture

Throughout the book, I'm going to be referring to mission and values, purpose and beliefs. As an entrepreneur, you were driven to create your company for a reason--you wanted to be a disruptive innovator, to make the world a better place, to become a leader in your field. Similarly, you possess certain beliefs about work that you've instilled in your organization's culture--honesty, loyalty, transparency.

Though I'm going to use different words to describe these drivers and how they manifest themselves, the key is finding compatibility between a candidate's purpose and values and those of your company.

Excerpted from HIRE SMART FROM THE START: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Finding, Catching, and Keeping the Best Talent for Your Company by Dave Carvajal. Copyright © 2018 Dave Carvajal. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission.

All rights reserved. http://www.amacombooks.org.

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