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Translate business needs into finding and keeping the right people


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Prepare well for interviews by having clear job descriptions and specific questions to the applicant's resume.
Focus questions on how their previous experiences are relevant to job requirements and how they have overcome adversity or changes to plan.
Meet with employees regularly to discuss specific goals and personal development plans.


Kit’s honey spout business was growing but had hit a wall. He didn’t have enough time to make and sell the product. Plus, he had no time to respond to beekeeping websites that wanted to sell his honey spout. Kit put this decision off because he had never had anyone work for him before. After talking to a family friend who worked in human resources, Kit put together a job description with 1,3 and 12 month goals. He put up a short version on Craigslist and asked for resumes and references. After getting about 15 resumes, he worked the list down to 5.
Kit set up interviews at a coffee shop. He had the first time jitters but the job description really helped. He asked about their previous jobs and how they demonstrated hard work, responsibility and how they handled setbacks. Kit also explained the job goals. After the interviews, he worked the list down to 3 and called references. He was glad he called because his #1 choice had a bad reference. The remaining 2 choices were evenly matched; Kit decided to go with the more outgoing one but told the other he would like keep in touch.


Mario was nervous. He was about to interview an old friend, Peter. His friend had just closed a diner that he ran for 30 years due to hard times and changing tastes. Mario, known as the singing pizza man, had many requests for a catering business. Peter was known to be set in his ways, a big concern especially given their friendship. After talking to some friends, Mario set up an interview.
Mario started the chat with a few pleasantries as Peter was also nervous. Mario then handed a copy of a job description and emphasized the need for maximum flexibility because it was a new business. Peter remarked how formal the job seemed to be. Mario immediately interjected that they would always be friends but now they are talking about business. A business that must be successful. They needed to have a shared view.
Mario was very honest that he worried about Peter’s ability to change plans if the situation demanded. He asked Peter of instances when he did shift to changing circumstances. Peter gave a couple examples from his previous work. Peter emphasized that he was more open to change. Mario went over the 1 month, 3 month and 12 month objectives. Peter explained how he could meet those goals. Though he still had concerns, Mario offered for Peter a job if they set a date 3 months later and see if the goals were achieved. If it worked great; if not, they can say they gave it their best shot.

Burke’s mountain bike race scouting videos were starting to generate some buzz and sales. He had hired Conrad, a superstar mountain biker, to help with creating videos and selling the videos to race directors. Burke was in awe of Conrad’s riding abilities, and tried to be both boss and friend. Conrad was good at doing the video rides but did not really push the videos to race directors.
Burke had a couple of meetings with Conrad where he went over the job description and goals. Burke had grown frustrated that Conrad seemed not to follow up with what he promised. After each meeting, Burke sent Conrad an email stating what they discussed and the short term goals. If Conrad was not able to achieve the short term goals that were promised, Burke would have to let him go. Burke was at peace because he knew that he tried his best to make it work.



FAQ & Resources

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What is a contractor?
A contractor is a person you hire temporarily to complete a specific project. A job description or contract with clear objectives is particularly important.



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