Over the last five years I’ve done a lot of hiring, and with it a lot of firing. When people ask me what the biggest challenge has been building my domain business the answer has stayed the same for a long time, finding good people. Along with finding good people, challenging your team and keeping everyone happy is another challenge, but first I want to talk about three common hiring mistakes.
This certainly applies outside of the domain business and I also did a fair amount of hiring and firing while I was at Sonos which was a completely different industry and very different job roles. Still the same three things kept coming up and I learned from my mistakes and you can too.
- Not Setting A Trial Period – just about everyone is awesome for the first few weeks, you want someone that does a great job for years. Make sure to set a trial period and be completely clear with the employee that this is a trial period. Don’t feel bad if it doesn’t work out, just know if someone knows they are on a trial and they suck at all during that time period, they’re probably only going to suck more going forward.
- Paying Far Below Market Rate – you get what you pay for, that expert PHP developer that is charging $5/hour is not an expert PHP developer, but you should have known better, right?
- Not Checking References – it only takes a few minutes to check references, anyone that thinks a certain employee did a good job will take the time to talk to you. Ask them questions specifically around the kind of work that person will be doing for you and make sure they know what they’re doing. I’ve had times where a previous employer says the person was great at X but not so good at Y, and I wanted to hire them to do Y, good to know.
I will be following this post up with three common management mistakes because once you hire someone you need to know how to manage people, not everyone can do it but if you want to be a leader you’ll need to be darn good at it.
As always feel free to share your own hiring mistakes or comment on any of mine.