While it’s really good to hire for cultural fit, you have to hire for role specific reasons. If someone is going to be a creative director, they need the necessary skills to create. But can they manage others? Do they have experience doing it? Can they complete projects on time?
Michael Girdley has a hiring process where he screens candidates for jobs with two different assessments. He doesn’t do this just for important hires, he does this across the entire portfolio of businesses ranging from software, fireworks to a drive through coffee company. He trains his managers on what to look for. You should watch Girdley’s video to understand the process more, but essentially different roles need different types of people.
Creating a system for the hiring process beforehand is very important. If someone is going to be managing finances and building models most of the time, you want them to be very detail oriented and not really going against the roles. It really depends on the roles you are hiring for. You need to assess their abilities but also their aptitude for the role.
You should go into hiring for a role with a employee archetype in mind. It shouldn’t just be “I would get a beer with them” and they have some experience in the field. Resumes don’t always reveal someone’s aptitude. Two candidates may have built systems that are awesome at their last job, but candidate A procrastinated while candidate B worked with others to get it done.
I am not specifically talking about the often quoted phrase, “hire those who have done it before.” That philosophy is a great one, experience shows a track record of doing the work. Keep in mind that some people will have experience elsewhere where traits can cross over to what you are hiring for.
At Hadrian, we use a multi-step interview process. There is a screening step at the beginning with general questions to get to know the person. This is specifically for my role, factory technician, by the way so processes may differ on each team. At this early stage, cultural fit is still an important aspect of hiring. But Hadrian’s mission is to train and skill up people completely from outside the industry. So technical ability is likely hard to figure out. The main part of the process is interviewing with a current factory tech like myself for about an hour, exploring the factory. We actively look for signs of curiosity, capability to do hard work, desire to work with us for a long time, etc. through questions of our own and what they are interested in. Afterwards they interview with other managers. This multi-stage interview process gives us unique insight into aptitude and capabilities.
At the end of the day, try to hire those you would enjoy working with and for their aptitude for the specific role.
Thanks to Everest Brady for his help, writing, and research in assembling this week’s newsletter.
Key Hiring Challenges – And How Software Can Help Your Hiring Process – Mark Valdez covers from Eads Bridge Holdings discusses hiring challenges and how specific softwares can help your process. This isn’t just a listicle of softwares to use, it’s a true hiring process and how to integrate it into your business. You can read it here.
How to Get Started With Building an Audience in 2022 – Shaan Puri and Saager Enjeti discuss how to build a loyal audience in this episode.
SMB Job Postings
Michael Girdley of SMB fame is looking to hire a part time writer and content producer. The job description is a masterclass in describing roles while attracting the right person. If you know of anyone who is a good fit, encourage them to apply! You can learn more about the remote role here.
Girdley also came on TLAO two years ago to discuss investing in and owning software companies, you can listen to the episode here.
This Week on Think Like an Owner
Alex’s guest on this episode is Juan Ruiz. Juan is the founder of CommunEtA, the first-ever student-led search investment fund. The goal of the fund is multifold: provide exposure and training for students wanting to build a career in search, provide a grassroots investment option for searchers, and spread the word about search across the country.
They start off the episode discussing a few student-run funds on the venture capital side that inspired CommunEtA and round out the conversation with topics like building a team of students that are constantly joining and graduating, the power of search to transform someone’s career, and how search might evolve in the future. Enjoy this episode here.
This Week in SMB Twitter
Think Like an Owner is sponsored by:
Live Oak Bank – Live Oak Bank is a seasoned SMB lender providing SBA and conventional financing for search funds, independent sponsors, private equity firms, and individuals looking to acquire lower middle market companies. If you are in the process of acquiring a company or thinking about starting a search, contact Lisa Forrest or Heather Endresen directly to start a conversation or go to www.liveoakbank.com/think.
Hood & Strong, LLP – Hood & Strong is a CPA firm with a long history of working with search funds and private equity firms on diligence, assurance, tax services, and more. To learn more about how Hood & Strong can help your search, acquisition, and beyond, please email one of their partners Jerry Zhou at [email protected].
Oberle Risk Strategies– Oberle is the leading specialty insurance brokerage catering to search funds and the broader ETA community, providing complimentary due diligence assessments of the target company’s commercial insurance and Employee benefits programs. If you are under LOI, please reach out to learn more about how Oberle can help with insurance due diligence at oberle-risk.com. Or reach out to the CEO, August Felker, directly at [email protected].
Oakbourne Advisors– Oakbourne is an independent retirement plan consulting firm that helps small companies design and implement great retirement plans for their teams. Whether you already have a 401(k) in place or are looking to start one for your team, please reach out to learn more about how Oakbourne can set your people up for success in retirement at oakbourne.com/think.