DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN THE RIGHT SEATS?
Have you ever played the game Perfection—where you race against the clock to fit an assortment of geometric shapes into their matching holes before the timer goes off?
Then you probably understand the difficulty of finding the right employees who fit in the open positions within your company.
But don’t worry. It’s not as impossible as it seems, especially when you have a strategy, excellent company values, and understand who you are looking for.
Here’s how we advise you to get the right people in the right seats:
Know Your Values
The first and most important thing an FGE needs to do is establish well-vetted values. It’s impossible to know if you have the right people in the right seats without values. And your values shouldn’t just be words like integrity or excellence. They must be specific values you can hire and fire to. Integrity—one would hope—is a “ticket to play,” meaning all team members (probably across most companies) would need to portray integrity just to get in the door. It doesn’t differentiate you or your culture from the next guy. “Bold Pursuit of Excellence,” however, speaks to people who are willing to exceed normal limits for excellence in a courageous or daring way. That says something!
Most emerging entrepreneurs simply don’t understand the value of values. They know that they should have something in writing, but they don’t understand the depth of impact their values can have and how they drive the business.
Know Your Seats
Spend time developing your seats without a name attached to them. What does your business need now? How will it evolve? What will it need in six months or a year? When your business is smaller (under $3 million gross profit), you might have one person filling several seats, and those seats may change. Larger companies have usually had time to develop a well-defined accountability chart with one person in each seat. Know the evolution of your needed people growth.
Hire the Right People
When you recruit for an open position, obsess over your values. People really identify with values. Interview for values first, skill set second. When you have the right people who can identify with your values, your business will really grow.
Right Person Wrong Seat? That’s Okay.
You will just need to figure out how quickly you can get the person into the right seat. It’s an ongoing conversation about what the business needs and when. Don’t get hung up on timing. It’s not like the Perfection game and a timer will blow everything up. You may not be able to switch seats immediately due to financial or operational constraints, but giving that team member visibility to a future seat and the plan to get there can make a big difference in their job satisfaction. They will likely be willing to work in the wrong seat until the timing is right because their values are in line.
Getting this right is so important to the life of your business. We would argue with strong conviction that businesses that go under have never really figured this out.
Entrepreneurs can go a long way on brute force alone if they have a couple of people in the right seats, but eventually things will snap. It takes time, but when you find the right people who believe in the company’s mission, you will eventually find the seat they will grow in and thrive.