On Hiring Clones

On hiring clones

A recent list of “Tips for hiring your first employee” opened with, “Don’t expect to hire a replica of yourself.”

I cannot think why I, or anyone else in a small business, would want to.  One of me is trouble enough.  Two of me is a right terrifying thought.  While every business owner I know has a different set of gifts and talents and skills we bring to our business, not a one of them would do better with MORE of THAT, at least not at the level of employees 1-10.

Think about what it would be like for me:  More ideas.  More content.  More process development.  We’d be fighting over who has to go to the networking meetings and mastermind groups.  Two of Alex Ferguson at EpicRealm?  Great video, amazing plans, people fighting to find a way to help him.  Not a whole lot of pragmatic detail-tracking, without his efficient sidekick.  And what about Bill Davis and Team Nimbus?    He’d pack the place–and still not get on the internet.  (OK–obviously, he’s on the internet, or the link would go nowhere.  If you know Bill, you know what I mean.)

Naw.  We don’t date or pick spouses that way, either.  (I’m stewing on a “hiring is like dating, only you can’t kiss and make up” post.  In time.  Not today.)

If the original author really meant, “Don’t expect to hire someone who has the same focus on business results as you do,” OK.  That’s a bit different.  You’re not likely to find exactly that focus in an employee; people who have it become business owners.  But this is the exercise of the job description.  Just what is it that you want your employee to be able to do?

While we’re thinking about clones, “Be able to read my mind” is not a valid component of a job description.

Here are some thought-starters:

  • Which parts of the work that I do today would I like someone else to do for me?
  • How do I want those tasks accomplished, and I will I communicate that expectation / understanding to the person I hire?

When have you found yourself wishing you