The Best Tools for the Job

After a hiatus of many months (or even years within some companies), there are rumblings that you are ready to begin hiring again. Yes, we’ve talked about staffing decisions before, and the huge impact your staff has on your Customer Experience. I’d like to propose a guideline if you’re about to put out the Now Hiring sign:

Look at each new hire as a tool for your growth.

It seems sort-of-obvious when I say it like that, right? But so often employees are hired to fill an empty desk, or because we like their style, or because they’re coming from someplace interesting (a former employer, former hometown, etc., that might be interesting to talk to them about). Sure, compatibility is important, but…

When you buy a new piece of equipment for the office, it’s not because there’s space in the store room, because you like pink, or because it was built in Israel, is it?

It’s because the new piece of equipment will directly or indirectly (and we all prefer directly) make the company more money. It will increase your income directly, or increase speed or efficiency, or decrease effort or difficulty or errors or costs.

As you make your wish list for the perfect hires in 2010–2011, put this sort-of-obvious wish at the top:

We want to hire new staff who will directly or indirectly help the company to make more money.

Don’t hire just to fill the space that’s been empty since the recession began to sink its teeth into your payroll. If you’ve taken this long to get back into expansion mode, take a bit more time to make sure the new staffer is more than a personality fit—make your choice is a fit for your long-term (expansion!) goals.


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson