Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Surviving the Dreaded Talent Show

Squeaky violins and lame magic shows just won’t cut it in the business world.

You’re at a talent show.

And after about a half hour, you want to leave.  After three squeaky versions of Mary Had a Little Lamb on the violin, an awkward ribbon-dancing performance, and a pathetic attempt (with multiple failures) of a magic show, you’ve seemed to have had your fill.  But just as you get up out of your seat, a charismatic 12-year old takes the stage, adjusts the microphone and sings the most beautiful version of Ave Maria that you’ve ever heard.  You quickly sit back down and enjoy the entire performance.  The young girl finishes the song, takes a bow, and the audience (including you) bursts into applause. 

In your head, you think to yourself: “Now that’s talent.”

Let’s face it: at all talent shows, you have to sit through the not-so-talented kids before you get to the real stand-out stars of the evening. 

And the truth of the matter is, you have to go through the exact same process when hiring employees and partners for your new company.  Sometimes, you have to sift through the squeaky violins, lackluster ribbon dancers and awkward magic shows in order to get to the real talent. 

But how do you know who's talented and who's not?  Unlike a talent show, it can be hard to tell from the get-go.  Good news: there are extremely effective processes for interviewing candidates, navigating talent, and hiring and retaining high performers in the work place. has laid out an amazing resource that centers itself around hiring the best employees for your small business.  Be sure to check out's HR Guide seems to cover everything you'll need when searching for employees including:
  • Creating job descriptions
  • Hiring the first employee
  • Determining when you need full-time or part-time
  • Hiring quickly
  • Screening
  • Interviewing
  • The Laws of Hiring
  • And much, much more!
So if you are sick of the squeaky violins and have seen enough lame card tricks to make your head spin, maybe it’s time to learn how to find the right people for your business.  Now is the time to find people that will bring job-relevant technical skills, initiative, adaptability, and vision to your team. 

Small business owners, listen up.  It’s time to buy your ticket, take your seat, and relax – it’s time to enjoy finding talent in today’s market. 

Written by Allison Way.  Allison is a writer for Think Big Partners, Kansas City’s mentorship-based business incubator and startup accelerator.  To read more of Allison’s work, check out the Kansas City Entrepreneurship Examiner as well as her articles on Helium, BrooWaha and eZine.  Follow Allison! @AllisonThinkBig.

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