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My Biggest Hiring Disaster – Part 1

how to avoid hiring disasters

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a fabulous day today! Today’s topic is going to be a two-parter. As the title suggests, I’ll tell you about my biggest hiring disaster and how you can avoid it. Well, the first coach that I brought onto our team was a complete disaster! It happened very quickly after I started the coaching company in early 2009. I had this huge desire to quickly add coaches to the team in order to grow the company. I had a rosy picture of what business and our team would be like. It was a rude awakening when it didn’t turn out early on the way that I expected it to.

Many of you can probably relate to this on some level as entrepreneurs, small business owners, small business leaders, and sales professionals. But first, let’s talk about why this hiring was a disaster. To be completely honest with you, this situation was a disaster because simply put, I was a disaster. I was the leader, and what I did to bring this person on board was a complete disaster. When it comes to what precisely made me fail, there are several reasons, and I believe it’s important to go over the main ones. I want you to be able to learn from my mistakes and hopefully avoid my hiring disaster in the future. So, let’s take a look!

The 5 Mistakes Behind My Biggest Hiring Disaster & the Lessons Learned

1. Mistake 1: Thinking I Knew More Than I Did

Confidence is a wonderful thing, but it can be harmful if it gets to the point that you overestimate yourself and fail to question things. In the past, I had led sales teams with great degrees of success while working for a larger organization. I had also held positions of leadership and presidential roles in various social groups and non-profits. So I had confidence in my ability to grow a team. The issue was that my confidence was so high that it prevented me from being humble. I wasn’t really open to learning more. I kind of had a bit of an attitude problem, as I lacked both skills and humility in this area of business. In short, I thought I had what it took when I didn’t.

Lesson Learned: Stay Humble and Ready to Learn

In life, humility is extremely important. No matter how good you think you are at something or how well you’ve done at it in the past, you must recognize that every situation is unique. There is always more to learn in life! Confidence is great, but it’s crucial to temper it with humility and an open mind. This will allow you to remain open to learning and improving yourself over time.

2. Mistake 2: Not Having a Process

Finding, training, and onboarding are all relatively complex processes, yet I had none for this coach.

Lesson Learned: Always Have a Process

Finding the right person for your company can be difficult enough, and training and onboarding aren’t necessarily any easier. Make sure you figure out a system that works for your company in regards to finding, training, and onboarding the right people, and then make it official. It should be something you can do on a consistent basis.

3. Mistake 3: Failing to Establish a Culture or Core Values

I kind of had an idea of my own personal culture, but I never really established a culture for the company or a set of core values for it. It’s difficult to find someone who fits something you haven’t defined. As a result, I ended up hiring someone who didn’t share the company’s core values.

Lesson Learned: Solidify Company Culture Early On

Take some time to figure out what the core values of your company are and how you want your company culture to be. Consider it, solidify it, and write it down. It’s so much easier to stick to once you’ve established, and you’ll be able to avoid a hiring disaster.

4. Mistake 4: Lack of Job Description

I didn’t have a job description laid out for the position. That, of course, made it significantly harder to figure out who was the best fit for it. The added difficulty led to hiring the wrong person.

Lesson Learned: Clearly Define the Position

Job descriptions are a must. Figuring out what a job entails and what duties it includes makes it a lot easier to figure out who the best candidate is. You’ll be able to figure out whose skill set, experience, and qualifications are the best match. Eventually, avoid a hiring disaster.

5. Mistake 5: Failing to Give Assessments

I didn’t give this person any assessments or anything of that nature. Assessments would likely have clued me to the fact that he wasn’t a great match for the job.

Lesson Learned: Always Give Assessments

Assessments are a relatively easy way to confirm that the person you’re considering is actually a good fit for the job. On the other hand, they can make it clear when the person isn’t as good of a match as you initially thought. Making them a routine part of your hiring process will likely save you a lot of grief.

So, what we’ve learned about avoiding a hiring disaster …

When you consider all the mistakes made in terms of hiring this person, it’s easy to see why everything turned into such a disaster. However, this experience was full of life and business lessons for me. I hope that it can also provide some for you. Now that we’ve discussed the mistakes that contribute to finding the wrong people, we also need to talk about finding the right ones. Since I don’t want this to be an overly long blog post, I’ll save the next portion of this topic for another post. So please join me for the next blog post, where we will have an in-depth discussion about how to find the right people.

As usual, I always welcome your comments and your thoughts in our inbox! Until then, have a better than amazing day!

Jared