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When you’re starting a new company, you’re hoping it’ll experience breakthrough growth, which means that every step is crucial because so many changes are taking place in the first few years.To help move your company forward, you need to find and retain the right employees.
, author Jason Jennings identifies five qualities that are crucial for new and growing businesses.
“If you have workers who don’t posses these [five] qualities, it’s time to do yourself a favour and do some serious housekeeping. Begin getting rid of them.”
1. They have basic smarts and are lifelong learners. During the interview, you can ask questions that require critical thinking on-the-spot and give assessments to determine whether a candidate has the required skills and intelligence needed, but “basic smarts are just half of the necessary mind-set.”
Employees also need to have “an ability to learn new things, something a surprising number of people find incredibly difficult.”
People who have a hard time learning are those “who must look good to others, think mistakes make them look bad, and have ‘issues’ with accountability or are so desperate they steal credit from others.”
2. They want to invest in your company and have good work ethic. Employees will do so much more for your company if they genuinely like it, and when they like it, their work ethic will also exceed expectations.
“You have to hire people with a strong work ethic. They have to align with your values and they have to have integrity. Otherwise you’ll never be able to build a great company that thrives on change. We’re willing to train and develop people, but if they don’t have those traits it’s a waste of time.”
3. They’re optimistic. In the book, branding expert James Archer said that “companies that are committed to nonstop change and growth have no place for people who aren’t able to imagine and see the possibility of better results tomorrow despite the problems and challenges of the moment.”
4. They think like the owner. Even if you employ thousands of people, the candidate needs to be able to understand why the owner does what he does, and, eventually, they need to think like him.
Charles Koch, owner of Koch Industries, said: “You can’t expect people to think and act like owners unless they understand how what they do creates economic value. And that it’s constantly measured and evaluated and that they stand to share in the profits, then thinking and acting like the owner becomes very easy.”
5. They belong at the company. If a bunch of “misfits” get together, they could create something great. Jennings quotes Steve Jobs: “Apple is an Ellis Island kind of company built on the refugees from other companies. These are extremely bright individual contributors who were troublemakers at other companies.”
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