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Why Is It So Difficult to Find Good People?

Why Is It So Difficult to Find Good People - James Pagano business coach

Let’s reframe that…is it possible that good people are not necessarily difficult to find, but just difficult to find at the optimal time? That’s why, when that “good person” is in front of you, you need to act.

When the right person comes along, hire them find a role for them figure it out.

Opinion: When the right person comes along, hire them…find a role for them…figure it out.


I’m not suggesting a willy-nilly approach here. I’m specifically talking about those times when you just know the person in front of you is a fit.


Two quick stories.


While sitting with a client and planning his next three- to six-month growth strategies, he discovered his need to create a new role. A role that would serve as a supervisory position, creating a buffer between him and his field technicians. This position, and the need to create it, had been discussed in other prior meetings. But this time, he was committed to putting a date on paper and sticking with the plan to hire someone in six months. The time between now and then would allow my client time to prepare his team, his finances and his mindset for such a hire.


Fast forward two weeks. He is introduced to someone who “fits” his vision for this role. A role that doesn’t exist and won’t exist for another five and a half months.


With many scenarios at play here, what would you do?


Bottom line…although my client struggled a bit to reach his conclusion, he decided to move relatively quickly and hired this individual far sooner than he planned. Getting there was not taken lightly. He played out a number of scenarios weighing pros/cons, risk/reward, go/no go, etc., but ultimately, he landed on securing the right person for this role, even though it was ahead of his intended timeline.


Fast forward two years. I’m happy to report this individual has proved time and time again that the decision to bring him on sooner, rather than risk losing him, was the right move to make.


In another scenario, a client was ready to hire for an entry-level position. She had the job description crafted and was ready to go. She was prepared financially, and the team was ready for this new role to be filled.


Small problem…the person who had progressed through the hiring process was beyond qualified, significantly overqualified for an entry-level position. The candidate was well established in the field, had a resume and reputation to deliver results, and unquestionably would hit the ground running.


What would you do?

Unlike the first example above, this time, the client was ready to hire, but at a different level-of-engagement, and at a compensation commensurate with an entry position, not a more senior role. Here again, we need to seriously consider pros/cons, risk/reward, go/no go.


After playing out a number of scenarios and “working the numbers”, my client moved forward with an offer along with an adjusted compensation package far different than what she previously had in mind. Time will tell on this one, as this is a more recent event. At the time of this writing, her new hire is on track to start in a few weeks.


Additionally, as my client reflects on this decision, she is reminded of the high likelihood of success for all parties involved. Quite frankly, her mindset has actually shifted during this whole process. Her reflection has her now believing that an entry level position was most likely not very sustainable for her mid- and long-term objectives for this position or the company as a whole.


I share these two illustrations to help highlight how hiring for your business may, at times, feel like a balance of art and science. As the owner and leader, hiring can also deliver mixed emotions, seemingly somewhere between joy and stress. But as I point out here, overcoming one of the biggest hurdles of finding “good people” at the optimal time may be slightly out of our control. This is one of those business disciplines that requires a keen eye to identify when opportunity is in front of you, and the courage to consider an alternate plan to fulfill your overall business objectives.


Share your thoughts on this subject. And if you would like to review more on small business hiring practices, take a look here or here for previous articles on the subject.

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