Don’t hire this person for your small business!


It should be no surprise that all kinds of recruiters are advertising their services like crazy: Hiring is a hassle.

For years now, the problem of finding talented people has been one of the top two complaints from small business owners. (The other consistent complaint is tight bank credit.)

However, piloting a small business to higher levels of success requires growth, and growth requires additional employees. I’ve discussed this before in the context of the Mytop Theory? theory of growing your team.

Yet, with this said sometimes it’s important to recognize when the individual who seems like the best candidate may, in fact, be among the worst candidates for your opening. Let me explain.

Who not to hire

I’ve often talked to small business owners about their hiring experiences and there’s one horror story that I hear repeatedly: Hiring the over-qualified.

Imagine this scenario: You’re advertising for a marketing person and the resume of an individual who headed up the marketing department at a much larger company appears in your in-box.

“Wow! To land an experienced professional like that would be a huge coup for me,” you say to yourself. So you make this person an offer and the deal is sealed.

It doesn’t take too long to discover, sadly, that this professional’s strengths are in managing a team of marketers – not actually doing the marketing tasks. In fact, professionals like these might even be a little behind the times when it comes to understanding the latest marketing tools and strategies. They’ve been out of the trenches too long.

Create a team of doers

When you’re hiring for your small business, you usually want a doer, not an overseer. Look for a bright individual who is a self-starter and a self-learner. This person will get the job done, grow on the job, and probably be ready for a management position when your business has grown to that point.

Bringing on an over-qualified professional will probably end up with the work not getting done and it could also create some internal strife, maybe even a power struggle.

(By the way, with all the different websites available today where you can recruit talent for your team, it can be confusing. In this Inc. article, John Rampton makes some interesting observations and recommendations. Check it out.)