I’ve hired a lot of people over the years. A LOT. When I started my first company, Out-U-Go!, I hired new dog walkers every week (and a few months later I’d hire their replacements). Hiring and on-boarding took up the majority of my time for many months after the company opened for business, and it wasn’t until we had enough people doing the actual physical work of walking the dogs that I was able to delegate the human resources to someone else.
It was a little easier staffing AnimalSense, because by then I had more contacts in the industry, as well as more personal referrals. With CanineLink, the process was more organic. In many cases I had taught and trained these people myself, and I already knew their strengths and weaknesses. This not only gave me a decided advantage in the human resources area, but also in the development of the company itself. I may have had one hiring need in mind, but if an extraordinary person came along I would find a spot for her, somehow, some way. I never discount the serendipity factor during the hiring process, because it can profoundly influence the forward momentum and intrinsic value of the company. Think about it – someone walks into your office, on the recommendation of someone else you met at an industry event or a jewelry party, and after a few minutes of conversation you discover a kindred spirit with similar goals but different, valuable skill sets. Do you know how long it would take to find that person through regular hiring channels? (Answer: a very long time, if you’re lucky. But probably never.)
I know how hard it is to find good people, and it would be easy to say that I’ve been lucky in my hiring decisions. That would not be a wholly inaccurate observation, but I also work very, very hard to attract, and keep, intelligent, hard-working, and high-quality people. And so when the idea of FetchFind was born, it was with the express purpose of taking some of the random luck and hard work factors out of the hiring process and replacing them with a larger and larger pool of well-educated and well-trained potential employees. You can’t always count on your professional soul mate walking through the door of your office, but you should be able to count on being able to hire capable, high-quality employees to help you meet your business goals.