Every company started somewhere, right? Even Google had just 3 employees at some point in time.
When you are just a start-up it is highly likely you will make many mistakes and that’s ok. It’s healthy to go through ups and downs because this is the best way to learn about yourself and the market you are active in.
What isn’t healthy is making ALL the mistakes. And this is why you should read and analyze, other stories from entrepreneurs and managers to figure out how to avoid some of them. Aside from business decisions and false expectations there are many other areas where you can break a few glasses. And do not underestimate the impact they can have. While you could think that administrative or support departments are less important than others, it is important to realize that any mistake that takes place here can severely translate into all the others.
How come you might ask? The answer is simple. Let’s talk about HR for example. The human resource is the most important resource you have in your business. If you constantly hire unsuitable candidates you will soon fail. Here are some of the mistakes you might be doing in the recruitment process without even realizing.
Bad job descriptions. When drafting a job description make sure you are very specific and you mention exactly what you want from your future employee. Sentences like “we are looking for a lively, fun and determined individual to join our marketing department” are definitely appealing, but extremely vague. I know many lively, fun and determined engineers with a passion for communications and digital marketing, but they are not strategists. And while they could be of some use in a marketing department, I highly doubt they could run one. Just be clear, articulate and as specific and detailed as possible.
Writing bad contracts. I know you probably don’t want to spend a lot at first, but a legal adviser is really important, because you do not know what to expect from strangers. You will state now that you only hired based on recommendations. Which will lead you to another common mistake.
You hire only friends and friends of friends. Which is not actually bad, because it is assumed that you can trust them. But what if you aren’t hiring the best talent possible for what you need. Try to be as unbiased as possible when choosing the people you need to work with, because you have a company to grow and run, not a group to go on vacation with.
Induction and training. Many of the people who reject the idea of corporate environments are often blind at some specific procedures that do good in any kind of company. The boring induction performed in large businesses is great because it aligns the employee with the company culture, beliefs and objectives. Training is not just a nice bonus to keep an employee satisfied either. You are the direct beneficiary of how smart he is or not.
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As a 25 year veteran of business leadership, one of the most important things I’ve been reminded of during my recent research is that, as leaders, we should never stop learning our craft or honing our skills.
Technology and digitalization are demanding leadership transformation. Several broadly applicable recommendations to guide forward-thinking organizations in the era of omnipresent disruption emerged during IRC Global Executive Search Partners’ C-Suite Roundtable Discussions held in Singapore, Amsterdam, and Miami in early 2018.