One of the most common questions shop owners ask is: “How can I hire a true leader?” Here’s the bad news–you can’t. You can’t simply hire someone who will walk into your business and do everything you need to make your shop successful. But don’t panic – The good news is that by learning what to look for and how to apply some leadership-development tools to your employees, you can ultimately hire a leader who’ll be able to run a tight ship, take work off your plate and improve your shop’s bottom line.
During the hiring process, you need to be on the lookout for Potential for leadership. A trap a lot of hiring managers fall into is making hires based on assumptions, guesses or simply a good resume. When you hire someone based on a gut feeling or list of fancy job titles and it doesn’t work out you often end up second-guessing yourself and go into “analysis paralysis” during the next round of hiring. So what are you looking for? Just like anything else, practice makes perfect, and the more interviews you conduct, the better you’ll get at intuitively picking up on who will be a motivated employee that can bring leadership attributes to the table and who won’t.
Once you find your leader in the rough, invest in training. You’ll be saving yourself time down the road because an employee who isn’t all in with your expectations will inevitably falter and force you to make corrections on their words and behavior. Studies reveal that the time it takes to unwind a person once they’ve become comfortable in their bad habits is five times what it would have taken to train them the right way in the first place.
Make sure all your employees know the reasons your shop does things a certain way, especially if they are veterans of other shops. By using training as the foundation for building a sturdy employee, you’ll bridge the gap between their skill set and the personality traits you liked in the interview process. Before your prospective leader even talks to a customer, he or she should understand every single aspect of your shop’s culture and operation style. Once you’ve found a quality employee you need to nurture him or her into a quality leader.
Remember what stood out as potential during the interview process?Encourage these traits and give him or her opportunities to develop them –slowly, but gradually giving more responsibility and more power. Answering phones, signing customers in, filling out forms –if your new employee doesn’t get these small things down, he’ll never be able to move onto the bigger picture tasks you hired him to handle in the first place.
This video is sponsored by the MyPlace4Parts Studio.