Hiring Your People Right The First Time

As we were canvassing for our projected supervisory courses for the American School of Entrepreneurship, it occurred to me that maybe we should reissue our hiring guidelines.

Julie Fletcher, one of our original founding members pioneered this approach, called KPI, or Key People Indicators, but we’ve updated it for the rise of the two big hiring sites.

We recently did a personnel screening project for a client hiring 12 security guards, and used our updated KPI process, which was made easier because we could actually list on Indeed and Zip Recruiter, through the job description the KPI’s we were looking for, such as attitude and attendance.

Julie originally developed for her consulting practice the KPI’s using DISC profiles, and we continue to think that DISC is the best tool available, because the sellers of the profile seem to continually update the test for more traits.

Even you, as the entrepreneur should take the DISC profile, to either find out or reinforce what you’re good at. Also, if/when you hire a second person, that person needs to be complementary to your skills. For example, most entrepreneurs have high ‘D’ scores, very results oriented, but for their second hire, they should hire someone who’s better at team building, a high ‘S’ score.

We’ve found the best source of information on DISC is www.discprofile.com.

Once you’ve gotten the second hire on board and functional, you’re not done. You might, at this point decide you need another salesperson to share some of the CEO’s sales duties. The CEO may know what he wants in his third employee and should recruit around those needs. Again, DISC profile the person, because your ‘gut feeling’ is probably wrong, in our experience.

Ensure that all the present employees interview the newbie, and they should all agree that he or she will be a fit at the company. This ‘fit’ step is commonly overlooked.

Around five employees, your company should begin to develop a ‘culture’, which is another KPI. It’s hard to measure, but your existing employees will sense it in the degree of ‘fitting in’. (We’ll presume that you like the culture in your company; changing it is another subject for another post)

At five onward, you’ll probably start to need your first supervisor, but it depends. In our people research, we found one company that hires only former law enforcement people and has no supervisors among its 35 people. You should have a feel for when you need to hire the first supervisor, and this is one case where your gut can govern.

Picking and training your first supervisor is the subject of two of our courses at the American School of Entrepreneurship, because we’ve found that 25% of companies between 50 and 500 employees had no supervisory picking and training programs, and that sounded like a good market to us. www.theasoe.com, in a few weeks.