Every business owner knows that hiring recent college graduates can be challenging – especially if it’s their first corporate experience. Many companies will try to shy away from it altogether. However, if you’re like us, you’ll inevitably have to take a risk and hire some of them. We have learned the hard way that many recent grads are not yet ready for the real world. To be honest, when I graduated, I don’t think I was either!
At most companies, personal organization is considered, well, personal. It’s something that a lot of managers don’t feel they should be intruding on; besides, they assume their employees must already have their act together. Well, personal organization isn’t something they teach you in college, and it turns out that most people don’t have a sophisticated process for prioritizing their work.
A few years ago, I became concerned about whether or not I was organizing our corporate files properly. So I engaged our law firm to audit my files and folders and make sure they were organized in a logical manner. To this day, every receipt, invoice and document collected by everyone in our company is scanned and saved in its appropriate folder in Dropbox. In the spirit of openness and helpfulness, I thought I would simply share my file and folder taxonomy.
As business owners know, it’s hard to find good people to hire. Traditional hiring methods rely heavily on reviewing candidates’ experience to assess whether or not they fit the job description. At Software Advice, however, we focus more on candidates’ talents when they don’t have much experience. In fact, some of our top performers in sales, marketing and service functions got their jobs without having any “relevant” work history.
When we first started hiring inside sales people at our company, we focused on experience. The first inside sales person we hired had an impressive work history with companies such as Microsoft. But after putting him on the phone, we realized he was completely the wrong person for the job! We learned the hard way that we needed to hire more for talent than experience – and we needed a more effective way to assess a person’s raw talent before hiring them.
We just wrapped up our first financial audit for Software Advice. We hired accountants to come in and review our accounting procedures and historical financials, and attest that everything is squeaky clean. It is…now. Through the process I learned a lot, so I thought I’d share what I learned… and what I wish I had known when starting this business.
Last year, we got to thinking: if employees can make great referrals, why can’t people who don’t work for us? So, last year, we introduced a program that takes our referral bonuses a step further: the 500 Bucks Program. Through this program, we’ll pay $500 to anyone who refers a candidate who we hire. After running the program for a year, we’ve found that we hire one out of every five outside referrals! That’s even better than employee referrals.