When you launched your business, you may have been the only employee, making you responsible for every task and every decision. Perhaps you had assistance from family members or friends, but your selection was probably based on their willingness rather than their skills. You have put in long hours and worked hard to grow your business, and you are now ready to start hiring your dream team. Before you interview your first candidate, take a little time to consider the qualities that you need your staff members to possess. You may find candidates with several of the desired qualities, but you may also find that candidates only have one or two of them. If you can only hire one new employee at a time, you may need to prioritize the qualities by examining which traits are now missing in your current staff, including yourself. As you add new employees, look for candidates who possess at least one of the following qualities or personalities.
1. Natural-born salespeople can be hard to find, but they can also be worth their weight in gold. These are the people who could take a ton of sand to the Sahara and return with orders for 100 more tons. They are extremely likable, charming and excellent communicators. They are a bit of a chameleon, possessing the ability to alter their presentation to match their audience.
2. Every organization needs an organizer. These are the people who can tell you where every office supply is stored. They keep up with the itineraries of every employee working in the field, know the location of every archived file, and can tell you when the copier was last serviced.
3. Highly creative individuals can help your company grow. You might think of the cliché about thinking outside the box, but these people may not even know where the box is located. These individuals need to feel free to present their ideas to you. Naturally, you cannot accept every idea, but when you must reject one, be sure that you focus on the idea rather than the person. Extremely creative people can come up with ideas for unusual marketing promotions, new products, social media posts, ways to improve customer service or subjects to cover in upcoming blog posts.
4. Every company will need to deal with conflicts. The conflict may arise when two employees have different opinions, when a vendor makes unreasonable demands, or when a customer is dissatisfied with your product or service. Someone needs to serve as a mediator to resolve conflicts before they escalate. The mediator should possess the ability to remain calm and to see both sides of the issue. In short, the mediator needs to be the voice of reason that restores order and prevents chaos.
5. You will need an optimist. This is someone who presents a cheerful, reassuring image. When the orders are coming in faster than they can be shipped, someone with a happy demeanor can lift the spirits of their stressed-out coworkers. If the weather is lousy, a customer is unhappy, or an inventory is scheduled for the weekend, your optimist can help others cope with matters.
6. You will need a pessimist, but make sure that he or she is an optimistic pessimist. These people see all of the ways that things can go wrong, but instead of being negative about matters, they plan for the worst so that they can triumph over setbacks. Your optimistic pessimist can help you establish a contingency plan to continue operations in the event of a natural disaster, create a policy to help keep hackers from accessing your computer system, or establish a variety of other recovery or remediation plans.
7. A nitpicker is similar to an optimistic pessimist, but nitpickers tend to be even more focused on the smallest of details. Nitpickers often have backgrounds in bookkeeping or accounting, but they can be found in virtually all fields. If you hire a nitpicker to handle financial matters, he or she will probably never miss a filing deadline or a suspicious charge on a bank statement. If you hire one to maintain your building and equipment, you can expect that all preventive maintenance tasks will be properly handled. Nitpickers can also be ideal candidates for positions in quality control, engineering design, inventory management, and production planning and scheduling.
8. You will need a coach. Coaches are people who are secure enough in their own abilities and skills to help others develop. They are willing to share their knowledge with others, and they strive to find ways to encourage and motivate their fellow employees. Coaches can help your business grow by helping other employees improve their skills and refine their goals.
9. Every business must have an authority figure. This will probably be you, but it is perfectly acceptable to delegate authority to another. The authority figure will typically have the final say in all matters, including the selection of vendors, the resolution of disputes, and the hiring and firing of employees. Keep in mind that an authority figure does not have to be harsh, unsympathetic or unreasonable. The important thing is that every employee understands who is in charge. This can help eliminate confusion among staff members, but it also gives them a clearer picture of the company’s organizational structure.
10. A good marketing manager can help you reach new customers and retain existing customers. Marketing managers often have some of the same qualities as excellent salespeople. However, salespeople typically deal with one customer at a time; marketing managers are seeking ways to connect simultaneously with large numbers of people. Good marketing managers understand social media, marketing automation and the concept of creating a customer persona for each group they want to reach. Experienced marketing managers know how to get the best return on every dollar spent on advertising, and they know the costs involved with traditional marketing campaigns as well as digital campaigns.
11. An employee with a bit of a rebellious streak can be an asset. These employees may be difficult to manage, but if you can motivate them and direct their energies properly, they might surprise you. They will question virtually everything, including whether the company has any purpose other than earning a profit. They will sneer at inefficient methods or outdated practices, and they will usually be delighted to explain how things could be improved. Rebels can be challenging, but if you can channel them, you could benefit from their innovations.
12. You will need someone with excellent social skills. These are the people who seem to get along very well with everyone else. You will find them soothing an irate customer, circulating a card for a hospitalized coworker, or complimenting someone who has received an award. Officially, they may work in customer service, reception or another department, but you can always count on them to lend a helping hand wherever they are needed.
If you have ever worked a jigsaw puzzle, you know that each piece fits together to create a picture. If a piece is missing, the picture will be incomplete. Each of the traits and qualities discussed represent a piece of the puzzle that will create a picture of your company. As you hire each new employee, remember to consider where he or she will fit in your puzzle. Before you know it, you will have assembled a dream team that can help your business reach new heights.
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