“Every exit is an entry somewhere else.” — Tom Stoppard
Doors serve two purposes. They keep things in or they keep things out. No one ever put a door in a wall because it looked nice, although I have seen some houses where doors actually lead nowhere. That’s a study for another time. So for the most part, two purposes.
But, having said that, doors are pretty amazing things if you stop to think about them. You can learn a lot about people, history, ideas, behavior, feelings, and so many other things by just looking at a door.
So if you are hiring a sales staff, the expectation is that they will produce. They will sell your widgets. So now my question is, how do you hire a sales person? What do you look for? I’ve said in my previous blogs that we all have an internal bias when we hire people. We have a tendency to hire people who think like us. We like people who think like us. We get along with people who think like us. So, we hire sales people who would sell like us and who have the same characteristics as we do.
The first law of forensics is that every contact leaves a trace. Every contact, leaves a trace. Think about that for a moment. Every time you talk to someone, interact with someone, or touch someone’s life, you leave a trace. What does that mean to you as a business professional? It means that you leave a trace on everyone you come in contact with in the course of doing business.
All of us have worked on teams during our lives and during our careers. What about forming teams? Have you ever had to form a work team or leadership team in your company or organization? How did you do it?
One of my all-time favorite New York Yankee players, a great philosophizer and an all-around amazing person, Yogi Berra, passed away at the age of 90 a few days ago. I thought it would only be fitting to highlight some of his most famous “Yogi-isms” and discuss how nicely they fit into small business problems and solutions.
I love assessments. I have always been a data kind of guy — data that could be turned into information and information that could be used to resolve problems. Every one of my coaching engagements involves assessments of some kind. Why, you may ask? Because how do you know whether you’ve improved unless you have a baseline of where you are? Assessments give you that baseline. Assessments provide objective data pertaining to a situation, organization, team, or person. It’s the objectivity that’s important. We are all biased in one way or another and, in every situation, our biases affect our decisions and in my case, how I coach someone.
Identifying the causes and warning signs, and managing the bad stress key. There are no advantages to having stressed-out employees. Undiagnosed stress causes 60% of all illness and disease. When you consider how much it costs to hire and train employees, all companies should be concerned about employee turnover, especially when it is due to stress.
What have we done from a hiring standpoint? We’ve purchased Applicant Tracking Systems to filter candidates based on keywords, skills, experience, and even what schools they attended. I understand the reasoning, but has the use of these systems actually improved the hiring process? I would argue that they have certainly helped eliminate candidates, but not really done much to help find the right candidate. They just reduce the number of applicants.
The Harvard Business Review states that as much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions. The U.S. Department of Labor currently estimates that the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% of the individual’s first year potential earnings. According to HR.com, it costs $7,000 to replace a salaried employee, $10,000 to replace a mid-level employee, and $40,000 to replace a senior executive.
Businesses always need help. Whether they are small, mid-size, or large, they all need help on occasion and that help or expertise is not always available in-house. If you’re a small business, you will probably need more help, and in more areas than mid-size or large companies, because small businesses have only a few people managing many different areas.