Hiring for your business isn’t a matter of life or death – or is it? Most business owners would argue, when you provide the livelihood for employees, the decisions you make can feel like life and death. You make a huge difference in your employees’ lives by being a careful manager. Make it a priority to make every employee better at their jobs when they leave. You recruit the best person available, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow them into the best person anywhere. Expect the best and then help your team get there. Push them to achieve their very best every day. Pay attention and take advantage of teaching opportunities. Pay it forward with developing every employee and you’ll reap the rewards.
Take a page from our Armed Forces. It is no secret they know how to recruit. It’s considerably harder to select and prepare people for battle than it is for the boardroom, even if it seems hard to tell the difference sometimes. What do they know about recruiting and training that we can use to grow our startups? Lots, as it turns out.
Aim High, and Hire Better
The US Navy SEALs begin their training with a five-week Indoc period which exists just to set expectations at the beginning of the program. And the bar is set high. SEAL recruits often work harder in this introductory phase than they ever have in their lives, and that isn’t including rigorous classroom time spent learning the standards and practices of an elite special operations unit. They’re joining the best fighting force in the world, so they’d better be prepared to work like it from the first day.
I hired you because your good, but you’ll leave better.
The discipline, professionalism, and dedication to the mission taught by military experience simply can’t be replicated. Military training is carefully designed to embed necessary qualities in recruits, and it does the job amazingly well. It is truly life changing. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines come away from their service with a new definition of their own boundaries. It’s always far higher than they thought possible.
Everyone in the military thinks their branch is the best. It’s the group they’ve trained with, suffered with, and the group they’ll go to war with. It’s also the first group of people they’ll turn to for celebrating a victory. Even when things get tough or feelings get hurt, they know they can always turn to each other for support in facing a common challenge.
Make sure your team feels the same way. Set the stage; you’re out to conquer. It’s you against the world. Your team should genuinely believe that they’re the best team available to take care of the task at hand. Because when it comes down to it, “veni, vidi, vici” beats “coulda, shoulda, woulda.”
So we you look at your team today, think about the lessons learned, and be sure to give thanks to all those who made it possible for all of us to live, work, and prosper in free and capitalistic society. To all you put on the uniform, THANK YOU!