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Why Can’t I Find the Right People?

By Brenda Kelleher-Flight, GDP Consulting

Are you tired of hiring people who just don’t work out? Do they lack commitment, fail to meet their obligations, or lack the people skills?

You are not alone in your quest to find the right employees. As Brian Tracy put it, “As a business owner or manager, you know that hiring the wrong person is the most costly mistake you can make.”

If you are attracting the wrong people, there may be a few reasons.

I want clones of myself.

As a business owner, you know your business. You love your business and you eat, sleep, and drink business. This may be true, but you may not be great at all aspects of your business. If you clone yourself, the gaps in your business grow larger. Therefore, your first rule is to decide the type of person you need to create the best team.

Key: Remember that just because you like someone, it does not mean that person will be the best fit for the job.

They have no interest.

All of our brains are wired differently. Some people like to do things by the book. They like predictability and routines.

Others don’t like routines. They want to improve things, and as a result what you ask is rarely done the way you imagined it would be. The outcomes may be better, but if that displeases you because you have specific images in mind, you will clash with those employees.

There are employees who love to talk and are great with people. They may be great talking to clients but hate doing inventory, putting out stock, or completing other hands-on tasks.

When employees lose interest in their jobs, it may be because they are not working in their natural mind styles.

Key: Know what you want from a new employee; decide what mind style will match that job, and develop your interview to determine if that person is a good match before making the job offer.

They can’t do what I expect of them.

One complaint I hear from employees is that the job they agreed to take is not the job they thought they were signing on for.

When you detail a job, be specific. For example, saying “manages inventory” is different from “stocks shelves, ensures stock room is neat and tidy, and reports any losses.”

When employees become disheartened, interest wanes, sick time increases, and excuses to be away from work become very creative.

Key: There should be no surprises. Mean what you say and say what you mean.

They are attracted to other companies.

Your brand is important. Most of us want to work for a well-respected business. We want to feel valued and important.

This means we can’t be know-it-alls. We have to take time to listen to new ideas and find ways for others to showcase their knowledge and skills.

We have to be slow to criticize, quick to problem-solve, ready to accept that others are doing their best, and prepared to invest in employees when they fall short of our mark.

Key: Often, feeling valued is more important than the size of the paycheque.

They can’t take my honesty.

Shooting from the hip, raising one’s voice, and focusing on the person rather than on the task are not ways to find and keep the best employees. I remember a business owner yelling at an employee (in front of customers and colleagues) because the display she completed was not appointed exactly as the business owner wanted. The employee tried to explain but the owner’s voice just became louder and louder.

The business owner was frustrated and she clearly either did not believe the employee had done her best or did not stop to consider that maybe the new display was better than she had envisioned.

Key: Business is not about perfection; it is about delivering what the customer wants.

Most people want to work. They also want to belong and feel valued. Those are feelings that only the business owner can convey.

Most people want to work. They also want to belong and feel valued. Those are feelings that only the business owner can convey.


Brenda Kelleher-Flight,

Brenda Kelleher-Flight is a member of NLOWE. She is a master business coach who specializes in helping business owners become unstuck, focus on business growth, find the right employees, resolve conflict, and achieve the success they envision. She coaches face-to-face and via Skype and telephone. Your needs are her focus.

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