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The 5 Biggest Mistakes Business Owners Make When Hiring Staff

23 Jun 00:00 By Vicki-Anne Craigen

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The 5 Biggest Mistakes Business Owners Make When Hiring Staff

  • Avoid these pitfalls and build a team you can rely on

Are you ready to assemble a powerfully productive team that will take your creative endeavours to new heights? Great!  I'm about to share some valuable insights into the five biggest mistakes many entrepreneurs make when it comes to hiring staff. From design studios to advertising agencies, marketing departments and digital studios, this advice applies across the creative industry. So, let's dive right in and ensure you steer clear of these common pitfalls!

Mistake#1: Rushing the Hiring Process

Picture this: you have a sudden surge in workload and desperately need someone to lighten the load. What do you do? Well, too often, business owners rush into hiring the first available candidate without giving the process the time and attention it deserves. Big mistake!

Finding the right fit for your team takes patience and thoroughness. Take the time to craft a compelling job description, conduct interviews with multiple candidates (unless you’re after a unicorn then you might seriously only have one person to choose from), and carefully assess their skills and cultural fit. Remember, it's better to wait for the right person than to hire someone hastily who might not meet your expectations. While you’re waiting for the right person, consider bringing in some freelancers; one of them might be ideal for you longer term!

Mistake#2: Neglecting Cultural Fit

Sure, skills and experience are important, but don't forget about cultural fit. Your team's chemistry and cohesion play a significant role in the success of your business. Hiring someone solely based on their technical abilities without considering their compatibility with your company's values, mission, and work environment is a recipe for disaster. We’ve all done it!

During the interview process, ask questions that help you gauge a candidate's personality, work style, and how well they align with your company culture. A cohesive team that shares common values will not only work more harmoniously but will also be more motivated and engaged.

Mistake#3: Overlooking Soft Skills

Creativity and technical expertise are crucial in the creative industry, but let's not forget the power of soft skills. Effective communication, teamwork, problem-solving, adaptability, and a positive attitude are just as important in building a strong and supportive team.

When evaluating candidates, look beyond their resumes and portfolios. Assess their ability to collaborate, think critically, and handle challenges gracefully. Remember, technical skills can be honed, but soft skills are often inherent and can make a significant difference in your team's productivity and overall work environment. Cultural fit is everything.

Mistake#4: Failing to Delegate and Trust

As an entrepreneur, it's natural to want to have your hands in every aspect of your business. However, failing to delegate and trust your team members to follow your systems and processes can hinder their growth and limit your business's potential.

When hiring staff, choose individuals who not only have the skills but also possess a sense of autonomy and initiative. Empower them to take ownership of their projects and trust them to deliver exceptional results. Of course, you’ll need to check-in along the way to make sure that they are doing what you’re trusting them to do, however, do your best to free up your time by fostering a culture of growth and development within your business.

Mistake#5: Ignoring Professional Development

Congratulations! You've built an amazing team. But the journey doesn't end there. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is neglecting the professional development of their employees.

Investing in ongoing training and career advancement opportunities not only enhances the skills and knowledge of your team but also shows them that you value their growth. It's a win-win situation!

Provide your staff with opportunities to attend workshops, conferences, and industry events. Encourage them to take online courses or pursue certifications that will benefit both them and your business. Remember, a team that continuously learns and evolves is an unstoppable force in the creative industry.

I get it....

It’s a very tough gig owning and running a business or being in senior management roles. I hope these tips go some way towards helping you avoid the many pitfalls that I myself have certainly experienced.  

Have a great day.


PS This photo is of my team, some past /some present - love them all.