Hiring is the bane of every business owner's existence. In a perfect world, we could just come up with a disruptive yet tasteful new idea, magically find a director for every department, and let the business run itself. There would be no conflicting personalities, political correctness, or drama. Just a smooth, well-oiled machine.
But that's not a thing. Instead, we have to develop these long and arduous interview processes to find the right people who believe in the mission and are both team players and independent thinkers. Once they're on your team, they could become a totally new person, exuding traits that no one saw coming.
So, where do you draw the line? When your new hire or current employees begin to act up, what is OK and what isn't? After I consulted a company on how to work with an employee who had constant mishaps, it came to me that there are certain traits that business owners should never allow in their company.
This is No. 1 on the list for a reason. Do not, I repeat, do not ever let your employees or new hires disrespect you or anyone on your team. These are grounds for termination. Examples of disrespect include speaking poorly or rudely of teammates, ignoring instructions from leadership, or blatantly mocking and making fun of the company. These may seem obvious, but people who disrespect the company they work for do not belong there.
Remember to be able to discern disrespect from constructive criticism. The prior is careless and ruthless, while the latter is met with concern and genuine suggestions.
2. Inability to take feedback
This is something that is harder to spot in a potential hire, but can be discovered if you provide tests in your interviews. For example, for a graphic designer role, give the candidates a prompt to design a new ad for your latest product. After they turn in their work, provide feedback and see how they take it, but be sure to have them re-do it.
The biggest mistake here is to give the feedback and then move on, because it's easy for job candidates to smile and shake their head. When they have to apply the new feedback, their true personality comes out. If you have an employee who can't take feedback or collaborate, you are creating a recipe for disaster.
3. Not a team player
As mentioned above, look for a person who can work with a team, since that's usually the capacity someone has to work in. You know a person's not a team player if he or she doesn't volunteer for group projects, is slack in meeting deadlines, or constantly criticizes the agenda without offering a resolution. If you see someone on your team acting this way, sit the person down and acknowledge the issue -- it's usually something deeper.
4. Can't represent the company on his or her own
Every single person you hire is a direct representation of your company. You want to arm the person with proper knowledge and the confidence to answer if a stranger asks, "What does company XYZ do? Do you like working there?"
If you feel that there are any employees who would lack the confidence to speak proudly about your company, it's time to have an all-hands. Get everyone on the same page, excited about the one-year, five-year, and 10-year plans, and to feel responsible for playing a part in the company's success. When employees feel directly part of the team and confident about their role, you can be sure that they'll represent well.
At the end of the day, look for these characteristics when you're hiring and on your current team. When all of these traits turn from positive to negative, you are guaranteed that well-oiled machine that you've always dreamed about.