Start-ups begin in many different ways. While many of them launch with an intention to turn into a huge, profitable corporation, other companies come about out of necessity. For example, a freelance programmer could gain so many projects he’d need a part-time employee to help out with his clients. More and more coding work and adapting to client needs allows this programmers' budding team to explore new languages and foster an early on a love of learning. As his company grows, the young programmer keeps investing in education, challenging his team, and constantly striving for betterment and success. This root philosophy, love and support of learning, is an essential piece of keeping your employees for life.
Whenever you bring on new team members, your best bet is to seek out what Dalip Jaggi calls “devisers”: people who go the extra mile to learn and work hard, whether it’s creating new techniques or learn new coding languages. Devisers are nimble and able to create truly unique thanks to their curious worldview and (more importantly) desire to grow.
This desire to learn comes with a junior mentality and allows your new employee to grow alongside your company. If you make an effort to educate them, you’re setting up your most junior employees to become innovative, resourceful, and highly invested in your company’s success. Furthermore, this investment of education ensures a constant cycle. Continual training helps your employees be brave and untraditional and discover new ways of creating new things.
There is nothing to lose and infinite rewards to reap from investing in the craft and education of your employees. Constant education alleviates the daunting task of feeling like you have to know all the answers. Offer time off for schooling, help subsidize paying for classes, or enroll in one of the long lists of online education centers that allow people to learn online at their own pace. Create a culture that encourages employees to ask for new duties and try their hand at new things. Your employees asking for new projects is one of the most evident and gratifying signs of your investment paying off: your employees care about the place they work.
As your employees grow, they get to see how they’re making their mark in the company and where their internal career path is headed. A lot of small or new businesses don’t provide benefits like a 401k, health insurance, etc. But think about it this way: if you can cover Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you relieve stress and give people the space they need to do their best work. Perks like ping pong tables, but it's making your employees feel valued and inspired that truly pays dividends.
What advice can we give new hiring people? According to Dalip Jaggi, find someone who wants to learn, who has a hustler mentality. Someone who can identify new patterns and habits within your organization, and someone who “gets it,” when it comes to everlasting improvement. When a synergy between you and interviewee is present, you can see them evolving into your company, rather than forcing them to fit. Design your interview questions and develop a hiring process around your values and you’ll find those who belong.
Rick Girard is the Managing Director and Founder of Stride Search, an engaged talent search firm. While not running a School for Gifted Mutants, he hosts the Hire Power Radio Show and creates valuable and tactical content for entrepreneurs to utilize to successfully build an outstanding team.
Dalip Jaggi has been recognized as a young entrepreneur, an active soul who is always looking to do more and do better. He is the founder of the respectable brand and digital agency, Devise Interactive. Inventor, he co-founded the world’s first smart shower device, EvaDrop Smart Showerand an interactive kiosk for brick-and-mortar shops, Fraxtion. He co-founded Forge54, a non-profit, that hosts a 54-hour hackathon weekend to provide a marketing makeover to one non-profit every year. Dalip enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing chess or even the saxophone, and snowboarding.