“The hardest (and most important) thing to get right as a business owner is finding the best talent for your team so your business can reach its full potential. After going through various interviews which led to some great hires and some not so great ones, my team and I have learned a few key lessons.”
The Hub Singapore's CEO and Co-founder, Grace Sai, recently shared these insights at CUAsia 2018, a Coworking Unconference that brings together coworking players from all around the world to a different city in Asia each year to walk the talk – i.e. share our knowledge. Below are our learnings from the conference. Future hiring managers, take note!
1. Hire Slow
The urgency to get a new hire seems to override the importance of getting a good hire. We have all been there, however we have realized that a fast hire can be more harmful to a business than a slow, great hire. The opportunity cost for a fast and bad hire is huge and outweighs the time needed to make a good hire. Now we do not hire someone as soon as we need them, but go through a longer interview process – to ensure the person is not only fit for their role but also the company culture. We always look for individuals who are not coming to work just to perform what they were given, but are able to be proactive and go beyond their job description. When it’s merely a job to them, they are not right for your company.
2. You have to build your own capacity
Before you can get some of the best people, you need to work on yourself to become a better leader. Be sure you are worthy of the team you are choosing. You have to be there for their journey as an individual, as much as they are there for you and your business.
I have taken years to build this capacity for myself by going through an MBA programme while building a company, and establishing the idea of co-working in Singapore. Over the years I have had various mentors who guided me through my journey and taught me important lessons. I believe mentors are important at any business stage, this is why we developed the Hub Mentorship Programme available to our members to guide them on their founders’ journey, no matter where they are.
3. Fire Fast
Don’t let a bad apple bring the whole team down. Firing is hard – I remember the first time I had to fire someone, I think I was more worried about the conversation than they were. However, I knew it is what my team needed so that they could perform their best. It’s similar to hiring slow – if you let someone unfit for the company stay for too long, the opportunity cost is just too high.
4. Find a team that connects to the ‘Why’ not just the ‘How’?
Once you can find people who connect to the true essence of the business rather than the daily tasks, their productivity and engagement towards the business increases. The ‘How’s and the ‘What’s can always come in later and are skills that can be learned. Share your businesses ‘Why’ so people know what they are committing to.
We have distilled and developed our principals of hiring, we have seen the value add of taking longer in hiring and know that personal development and understanding the business ‘Why’ leads to a stronger and more engaged team. We hope that the learnings we have had over the past 6 years, can help guide you as you do your next round of hiring.