As a Business Coach, one of the most pressing issues I face with a new client is - how to deal with a team member who presents challenging behaviour. Sometimes certain behaviour can be so destructive that it makes others miserable, and ‘personality’ can even erode your culture and entrepreneurial spirit. Either way, a bad hire will hit all your stakeholders in the pocket; often directly but certainly through lost opportunity.
It’s not an easy problem to fix - and where there are several bad hires; there’s a bad business. It makes sense to make your Hire Strategy a top priority - which means dealing with it right now. It pains me to say the obvious, but your Hire Strategy must begin with smart advertising.
If you merely say you want a ‘Barista; Immediate Start’ - that’s what you’ll get, and don’t expect any sense of purpose or passion – you haven’t given them any. Here's my three-part strategy for getting the best out of hiring:
Make it very clear who you are as a business and what values you consider important. Ensure you have communicated what drives you and your team, and what it is that you are trying to achieve. What difference are you making in the community? The more purpose a prospective team member feels - the more they will invest from the beginning.
Ensure you make it clear what sort of person you need; emphasise character traits BEFORE skills. You want an enthusiastic person who likes to make others feel good who is also hardworking and skilled. Skills are easier to refine, but a sulky team member is almost impossible to reform. It doesn’t matter how talented the Chef, if they think swearing at others is appropriate – they’re a bully and have no place in a business that values people and success.
Present the ways an employee benefits from working for your business. Ensure you make it clear how they will be trained, up-skilled, taught about business and hospitality. Make sure they know you will take their career development seriously; make sure they know you take THEM seriously. It doesn’t matter if you are advertising for a dishy position, some of the best in the industry started as a dishy – just like me.
Once you have some applicants – take the interview (even better interview(s) – plural) seriously! Don’t ever go on your gut – ever.
I'm in my 40s – and I’m still saying, ‘I wish I’d listened to my gut’. You don’t have the secret psychic abilities you think you do. Do it right and involve present employees from all levels of your business – and gather DATA.
Part 2 - How to collect the right data - coming soon.
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James O'Connell Co-founder & Hospitality Business Educator
For 25 years, James O’Connell has loved working in the Hospitality Industry. He has been a hands-on practitioner in almost every position; kitchen hand, waiter-of-the-year & a partner in a fine-dining waiter school, manager, catering, tertiary lecturer, restaurant-of-the-year judge, restaurant and bar owner, COO of a large Hospitality franchise and hospitality consulting business owner. James loves the industry and loves to teach. His experience and institutional knowledge form the key building blocks of the company.