I am hiring again, and as I approach the hiring process I have been thinking about what it all means to recruit and find someone to join.
Traditionally, an employer posts a list of specific duties and we wait for people to sell us on how well they can perform those duties for us.
But is that why we work? To fulfill duties laid out from an employer?
That is why some people work. But those are not the people I want to hire. So how do I find the people I want to hire?
First, I must address my worry that no one will want to work in the organization I am creating. This stems from my own ingrained feeling that people work for the paycheck, period. I live in a capital city and the largest employer is the State government. Tourism and city government are other top employers. Currently, I cannot offer the benefits that come with a government job.* So, what do I offer, I ask myself?
And that starts with self-inquiry into why I left my cushy government job. I wanted flexibility (with the work I do as much as the time I worked), I wanted to exercise creativity, I wanted to work with people in a different way, and I wanted to create something. I am not sure these words fully capture why I left and why I am thrilled that I did, but they start to get at something. Something I can offer that other jobs cannot.
Sure, the person I hire doesn’t get to make all the decisions. However, with the steady pay check, I will encourage creative decision making. I want the person who wants to make things better, rather than just do what they are told. I seek someone who likes to learn, create, talk with people, and who is also happy to do the other work that has to be done.
And, as a fast-growing business, I can offer a seat to the right people. This is what I want to say to the world, to advertise. If this organization is inspiring to you, and you want to be a part of it, then let me know.
And for anyone inspired by a different organization that you would like to be a part of – don’t wait for them to ask for you. Let them know you are there, ready and waiting for the opportunity to join and lead from within.
As Jim Collins found in his research that led to the book Good to Great, great companies start not with what they are doing, but who. Getting the who right, is more essential than the person with the right skill set to do some preconceived notion of the work that needs to be done.
Work can bring meaning, stability, and joy. I am stupidly lucky to have found what I want to be doing, and now I face the task of choosing who is right to be a part of it. Do you want to join because this is exciting and inspiring to you? Or do you want to join because you were laid off and need some money to pay rent? Both is okay too, the later of course is reality, but don’t be scared to want the former and to show you bring more than a desire to follow instructions.
*I also do not offer the type of stability that comes with a government job. Often, if you do basic, decent, level work then you get to keep your job. It is hard to fire a government employee. But if working for me, I want you to excel. I will help you do that, but I will fire more quickly than the government will.