Bringing New People into The Organization
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I have started and headed many organizations from significant non-profits to healthy, fast growing corporations. I have been brought into lead many turnaround situations. The biggest challenge in all of these organizations has been trying hard to find the right new people to bring on to the team. And I maintain that the same challenge is the one that keeps most CEOs and business owners awake at night.
Some of the things I have learned along the way are the following:
A large number of job applicants lie or embellish on their resumes so you can’t believe all you read in resumes. Lies are likely to be about what they previously earned and/or the responsibilities they previously had. One of the bigger examples of this in my experience was the high-level sales person I hired at the suggestion of a close friend who was related by marriage to the applicant. The new hire’s early performance was so horrible that after two or three weeks I had serious doubts about any of his qualifications. To start checking him out we called the prestigious
Be hopeful but don’t assume the person you are hiring is going to be the performer you expect and need. I find it takes months to really get a handle on a new recruit. So, normally I like to bring new people on board as free-lancers for at least three months while we learn about each other. In one situation I was not convinced after the three month period that we had a “keeper” so by mutual agreement we decided to have another three month free-lance relationship. The person got about half way through the second “trial” period before it became obvious to us both that there was not a good fit between us. The person doesn’t go onto the payroll and begin to receive benefits until the trial period has been completed successfully. To be fair, since the new recruit is a quasi member of the team during this feeling out stage, encourage the new potential full time team member to explore other options while he/she is working with you in this free-lance
phase. Bottom line, at the end of the initial free-lance period both you and the person will really understand if you seem to have a good fit. You will both also have a much clearer assessment of the right future compensation for the person.
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