I’m a HUGE movie buff, the kind that dissects EVERYTHING – consistency, props, story flow, costumes, camera angles, script, and yes, casting.
To me, outside of a good script, the most important element to a good movie is proper casting.
Having the right or wrong actor in a role can create a completely different tone in a movie. Ask any television or film producer, and they will agree that casting is the most critical component to a movie or television series’ success. After all, casting is what breathes life into the characters that were written and getting this right can make the difference between an audience feeling connected, or disengaged.
Just like in film casting, casting the team you need to execute your businesses’ day-to-day activities is critical. It’s not just about finding a person who can do the job, it’s about finding the right person to do the job.
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As the ‘casting director’ for your company, you have to understand what each job entails and the role it plays within your business. When reviewing possible candidates, you have to determine whether or not the person you are considering is the person that can not only execute the tasks you’re asking them to do, but also convey your company culture. After all, your team should be a natural extension of you.
Another important thing to consider when looking to build your team is identifying the ‘diamonds in the rough’. In film, a B actor, when given a chance to prove themselves, can pull together an amazing performance and even become an Oscar winner. A great example of this is Jennifer Aniston. She delivered great comedic performances in television through her character on Friends, but also proved to be a formidable dramatic actress with her role in the film Cake.
Bring that analogy to the online business world and you might have a Virtual Assistant on your hands that has a lot more skills than you’re utilizing. They might even have the capability to be groomed into online business managers. Or perhaps they have a flair for writing or graphic design. These ‘diamonds in the rough’ could be greater assets for you, if given the opportunity to be utilized effectively.
The Virtual Assistant world is filled with ‘diamonds in the rough.’ There are so many people who start out under this title, who can do a wide variety of tasks, but who are looked down upon because they have the word ‘assistant’ in their title. So a word of caution here– don’t exploit a ‘diamond in the rough’. Instead ask yourself:
‘How do I feel when I’m underappreciated and undervalued?
‘Would I accept a lower price for my work simply because I had the wrong ‘title’ attached to my name?’
If you have such a person on your team, make sure you are valuing them and their work in your company. When given the right opportunities, they will flourish and if you value them, you’ll want to be sure they do so with you beside them.
Likewise, you may also have someone who is cast in a role they aren’t suited for. You spend your time training, reworking, trying to get them to ‘fit’, but the bottom line is, they just don’t. They either lack the experience, or you’re asking them to do tasks that don’t fall into their job description. This is an important thing to consider.
Often times, entrepreneurs dive into hiring not being fully aware of which tasks actually fall under which job descriptions. This tends to happen with tasks that aren’t 100% obvious or when the entrepreneur has a strict budget. Then some roles can get rolled into one or two positions. Now enter the fabulously skilled Virtual Assistant, creating social posts might land into her bucket initially, but, technically, that’s a task that would fall under a Social Media Manager’s job description.
Remember, define what your company culture is BEFORE hiring your team. Without knowing what you value and how you want your business represented, how can you possibly find the right people to cast in the roles needed within your team?
Your company culture should be a reflection of how you work. What you represent. How you want to be treated, and how you expect others to treat both you and your customer.
Here are a few highlights from my own company culture manifesto:
- Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. It’s so easy to say ‘forget it!’ after a bad experience with someone. But, remember – people make mistakes. YOU make mistakes! We all learn and grow through them, so, take a breath, and recalibrate.
- Be willing to clean a few toilets. Menial work is still work that needs to be completed. Be willing to roll up your sleeves and pitch in, no matter what the task is, when the need arises. All tasks within the company have one common goal – success.
- Check your ego at the door. ‘Nough said.
- Growth happens here. Not just in profits or market share, but in people. The personal growth my team experiences will produce overall business growth and strengthen my brand.
- Actions speak louder than words. Don’t place ALL your stock into what is said. Instead, see what is yielded. That’s when the rubber meets the road and the ‘fluff’ peeps are flushed out.
- Fill your plate with forward thinkers, and stay clear of the ‘yes’ man. Seek people who are bringing ideas to the table, challenging your way of thinking, and watch your back. These are the people you want in your corner. They want you to succeed. They know that your success means THEIR success. Typically, the ‘yes/no’ peeps are just looking to get paid. They don’t care about you, they just want their money. They are short term thinkers.
- Don’t let price be the deciding factor in your choice in who you choose to work with. Think quality versus quantity, always.
We all know that business success doesn’t happen on it’s own. Behind every successful business is a team of people, perfectly matched to execute its vision. It’s for this reason you must take your hiring seriously. Remember, the people you work with are an extension of you and your brand! They should be helping you, guiding you, and supporting you.