Friday, March 28, 2008

Youth are willing to Experiment - Good hires for small business

How to hire good people for a small business? This is the question every small business owner grapples with. They have small offices, small pay packets, less time to go out and sell their organisation’s abilities or potential, no or practically non-existent HR offices. But hire they must, because without people they will practically end no where. My personal experience says that today’s environment for recruitment is much more open than ever before. Today the youth of India and elsewhere in the world are willing to experiment and learn. Only thing which they need to see is an entrepreneur who ‘lives what he says’ and believe you me the ‘word of mouth’ catches like wild fire. Work environment, office size is important but is not a make or break factor to such an extent that people won’t join you. They know that as long as you ‘live what you say’ the small size of office is a temporary phase. One more thing which works in favor of small businesses is the fact that they provide all round learning opportunities for people who have an ‘entrepreneurial’ streak in them. Some small businesses fear that such people may not last or stay long but I suggest that they look at the benefits of having such people. Let them learn and go if they must and even help them with their ideas. In my business in fact, I have an open offer to all that if they want to start their own business they can and we will incubate them.

I recently read a small piece by Robert Kiyosaki in which he says that as they number of people grows so do the number of relationships exponentially. For example, when you have just one person its ‘0’ relationship. Add a second person and the relationship dynamics kicks in. Add another person, 3 people, 3 relationships, add 4 persons and look what happens : 4 people and 6 relationships. Look what happens when it reaches 7 people – 21 relationships – and when it reaches 100 people, it is 4950 relationships! Many business owners get scared of this or are simply not able to manage the dynamics and hence either recruit and then reduce or simply stop growing.

One thing which needs to be kept in mind is that ‘Networking’, ‘living what you say’ or ‘all round development’ is not enough to attract or retain top talent. It is the ‘values’ which bind and act as a magnet. My firm is now 1 year old and we have had 5 IITians, 2 IIMs, 10 people from Institutions like Symbiosis, ICFAI, BIMTECH, DCE etc. working with us. We have just finalized 4 interns from ‘Wharton-Huntsman Program’ who should join by May end. We havn’t paid even a single paise in bribe in our business and deal only with businessmen who promise transparency. I think ‘values’ are our magnet and the young want to be different by joining organisations like us.

Any one can do it and so could the small businesses. Starting my own business has made me learn so much more about myself and on what inspires today’s youth.

Thank you Milagrow! Thankyou Youth.


Sudeep said...

So true, Rajeev Sir. The thing is that you cannot replicate values. You can find an alternative for everything else.

The key for success is always a great team + some soft assets + gumption.

These are some humble lessons that i learned as a Young Entrepreneur:

1. Work from your clients installation / facility. Most clients will allow this if you do impressive work.

2. Hire THE BEST people. If you dont have the money, then work out a system where they take a commission from the deals that will come.

3. Lay emphasis on soft skills - the sum of the parts is always greater than the total when you have great people with impressive set of skills.

Do all this till you break even and have a set of satisfied customers.

Most small businesses live on sweat equity and high expectations. Total Focus on some limited set of parameters could yield great results.

I learned this in the last 2 years. The next 2 will teach me a lot more.

Certainly this requires just a dream and the desired level of commitment !

P.S: Please pardon me if there is anything wrong with my assessments. I'm still learning. :)

Zoobie Singh said...

Hi Rajeev,

For the last few months, I have also been working in a very 'Young' organization. And, I have been hiring 20yr olds for our organization. The enthusiasm and the energy that they bring with them is definitely contagious.

It is good to read your posts after a long gap, with the new layout.


Priyank said...

Hi Rajeev,
Your article defn speaks what it takes to build a team and Org.
Having worked with start-up myself, I could instantly connect to the idea.
I think its time India Inc need to think just beyond experience tag to give chance to young blood and see the difference. I guess western world still use senior exp + young talent combo in much effective way.