The One Piece of Advice Every Business Owner Needs to Hear
A great team is a team that understands your business, its core values, and its culture. Your team has to be able to do more than sell your products. They have to communicate culture. Because, let’s face it, they are the culture. They are the people who talk to customers, day in day out, they represent your name. A great team is the one thing that can make or break your ecommerce company.
So how do you begin to build a team that will enable your ecommerce business to thrive?
Values, Vision and Leadership
If you haven’t already, the first step you should take is to try and understand what culture you want to create for your company.
2 Types of Ecommerce Leadership
There are two types of leadership that ecommerce business owners generally fall into. The first type is what I call Vision-Based Leadership. This is where the leader is a visionary, and life is about fulfilling that vision. They are at point A, they want to get to point Z and the fastest way is in a straight line. The vision is big and inspiring. People catch that vision and get on board with it, running with it. Secretly, we all know that the vision is unlikely to be fulfilled, because it is so big, but you believe you can do it, you can change the world and do the impossible.
People that set up and run a charity tend to be Vision Leaders. They want to change the world, and they have a calling. They know what they want to do and how to get there. Staff members are either on board or they are not. The trouble with Vision-Based Leadership is that you burn out. The leader draws people in with their vision of the future, and people connect with it. They work hard and give their soul to it, but that isn’t enough and eventually people burn out because their aim is to fulfil the vision and that vision is rarely the people that work on it.
There is a place for vision leadership that is for sure, but you can alternatively opt for Values-Based Leadership.
Values-Based Leadership has a slightly different feel. It doesn’t really have an end goal that you can lock in on. Sure, there may be a general aim, a general direction to go, but ultimately – you care more about maintaining a set of core values that you do about achieving a vision. So there is no straight line to travel, but there are boundaries for the journey. With this form of leadership, there are no scripts for staff to say. For example, you don’t have to give your customer service team a strict set of rules. They are able to own the values of your company and measure their response against your values. Staff members can be governed and accountable to your values.
What will your values be? It is important to get this right from the offset.
Create a culture in which people understand that their contribution matters, regardless of what they do for your company. Everyone is important and often, this is complicated with unnecessary levels of management. Take your time, sit down, and begin to write the first draft of your company values.
The Secrets to hiring a great team
Next step? Hire the right people. A lot of companies make the mistake of waiting until interview to really get to grips with who is applying to work for their company. This can waste time, resources and can mean you miss out on the gems that will fit right in to your company. Hiring a great team starts at the application stage. Creating application forms that are spot-on, for you and your company, is key to getting the right team members.
Always ask people to fill out an application form
If you ask for a CV and a covering letter, you can get upwards of 400 applications for a job. Even if the covering letter is personal to the job, you still won’t get much of a feel of the person applying, and how they might fit in with your company. And you will have the unenviable task of sifting through 400 applications to shortlist. This kind of recruitment will lead to shortlisting on the basis of skills and experience. Which won’t always make that team member a great fit.
When you switch to using application forms, 400+ people may still request an application, but that number is reduced to 15 or 20 when it comes to completed applications. These are the people that are truly interested in the job and the company.
Your application for should reflect your company
Every company is different. Yet, most recruit with a generic application form! OK, so this might be due to time pressures, the idea of spending a day creating a unique application process that reflects your company might feel like an unnecessary task. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is not a worthwhile investment. Making sure that your recruitment application form works for you will help create a great team – a team that will turn increase sales and grow your business.
Use your company’s language
Have you ever filled out an application that has a box that asks you to draw your superhero costume?
Application forms are often designed to get as much information about applicants grades, career history and skill set as possible. But you can, instead, use application forms, as an opportunity to gauge is the person applying fits in with your company culture. Do they speak the language of the business you do?
Low Competence vs. High Culture Quadrant
Hiring the person with the most skills and experience isn’t necessarily the right way to build the best team for your company.
A great sales person, who is high on competence, but low on culture, might be a brilliant sales person. But that doesn’t mean they are the right sales person for your team. Ideally, you will want to build your team from those who are in the high culture, high competence quadrant – these people are known as Superheroes!
You should also look to hire great people, who understand your culture, but need to gain competence. These people will need a little training and a helping hand – but – if they understand your culture, from day one, you will be sure to thrive as a team.
Your Free 3-Step, Ecommerce Hiring Checklist
Sure, you may have gone through the hiring process tens of times before, but that doesn’t mean you should stick to the ‘same old’ when it comes to how your ecommerce company hires it's staff members.
While others will fall prey to generic application processes and skills-matching methods, you’re smart enough to build a team that will give you a reliable foundation on which to build and grow a thriving ecommerce business. Pruning is key if you want to move ahead. Take time to think about your team and how you want it to grow, so that you can move to your next stage of ecommerce growth.
How will you do this? Download our free, PDF step-by-step hiring process for ecommerce companies that want to thrive.