Job interviews almost always ask an applicant what their weaknesses are. More often than not, that person thinks the question is a trick. In the context of the hiring process here at Best Practice, it’s really not. We’re genuinely trying to find where we could best allocate them in the business, and to find how we can foster the growth of their strong-points, rather than throw them into a position that they’re not interested in, or tentative about.
To make a bit more sense of this, we’ll use our CEO, Kobi Simmat’s fitting analogy of a sports team; pick your favorite. Executive and management roles in the business are represented by the coaching and support staff employed by the team, while your employees are the players on the field.
Before the whistle is blown to start the game, all the players are in their respective positions on the field. You’ve got some of the faster players on the backline, and the stronger players up the front. Keep this in mind when you’re going through the interview process on boarding staff. Find out what that prospective employee’s strengths and weaknesses are, and allocate them a suitable position on the pitch. If they’ve got strong communication skills, put them in a sales position and if they’re more technologically-inclined with weaker communication skills, maybe don’t put them in the sales team.
Now, let’s move onto the tricky – often ugly – stuff. Keep in mind this advice is coming from our professional mantra, shaped by experiences in our business, not yours. In the early days of taking on new staff, and this period could last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, the weight of responsibility remains on management’s shoulders to give that new staff member all the help they need. We try to instill some of our team culture in the first few days, before we get in-depth in their roles and responsibilities.
As time goes on, the weight of that responsibility is lifted from the shoulders of the management team, and is now on that new player on the team to show their commitment and initiative. In this period, they are now tasked with soaking up some of your company’s culture, making a genuine effort to tick the boxes of their roles, as well as the obvious stuff like being respectful to existing staff and clients, as well as showing up to work on time.
You can give them all the help they need, but if they don’t want to help themselves, it’s a futile effort; raising that old proverb of leading a horse to water. Someone may perform outstandingly in an interview, and cruise through the trial period, but if the wheels consistently fall off the wagon when they’re left on their own, it might be time for a new wagon.
The takeaway from this is that while you might have a trial-period for new staff, even once this phase is over, people in management positions in your business need to accept that humans make mistakes, and often take longer than two-to-three weeks to settle into a job. Do everything in your power to work with their strengths, and put them in the right position on the field; the results will surely follow.