Until cloning becomes available on Amazon, delegate, delegate, delegate -- except when you shouldn't.
Delegation is one of the hardest things for leaders to do. When you're used to doing everything yourself, trusting your employees to give the same 110 percent is like trusting a babysitter to watch your kids for the first time. You're constantly worried something may go wrong.
Once you've hired the right people, letting go comes with ease. As your business grows, so does the demand for your attention. That's why getting as many tasks off of your plate is so important. You won't be able to think big picture until you stop getting wrapped up in the details that others can easily handle.
While delegation is a skill that every leader must embrace, it needs to be executed mindfully. Answering customer service calls or overseeing every Instagram post should definitely be handled by your staff. However, there is one aspect of your job that you should always make time for: hiring.
I built my recruitment firm, Creative Niche, from the ground up. After 15 years, I know the kind of person it takes to make my company grow and flourish. Given the nature of my business, I also have the advantage of spending my entire career dedicated to finding qualified candidates for Fortune 500 companies.
So when I started expanding internationally, I realized how important it was to be involved in the hiring process. Not because my management team was doing a bad job, but because it kept me grounded and connected to the people who run the business day in and day out. Soon I realized it wasn't just beneficial for me, but for everyone who was on the payroll.
Sifting through resumes may not seem like a good use of your time, and you're right, it isn't. If you've hired staff that embrace and live the company's values, then you can trust they'll be able to pick out the best applicants during this stage of the process.
Once candidates have made it to the first round of interviews, however, you should try to be there. And if your hiring team has narrowed it down to the final applicants, you should definitely be there. Here are three reasons why:
1. It sets the foundation.
Have you ever worked for a company where you never met, let alone spoke to, the person in charge? This creates a disconnect from the get-go. It makes you feel like you're just another employee, rather than part of a greater team.
When a leader is present in at least one of the interviews, it sets the foundation for a stronger connection to the company. It shows that you care about your staff when you take an interest from the very beginning.
Being part of the interview process also enhances your abilities as a leader. Rarely do you get the same opportunity to learn about someone's past experience, current strengths, and future goals.
An in-depth conversation is valuable. It can shed light on whether the applicant has the potential to be a future leader that the company should mentor and develop not to hire.
2. It protects the culture.
If you've built your team from day one, then your expertise on who would make the best cultural fit is invaluable. The last thing you'd want to do is hire the wrong personality that doesn't mesh with the team. Not only could this disrupt the overall performance of your staff, but it could lead to future problems down the road. It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.
Hiring for cultural fit is more important than technical skill and experience. And as a leader, you should know exactly what to look for in terms of personality, strengths, and weaknesses.
3. It will teach your managers what to look for.
As important as it is to be part of the hiring process, it's not always possible. If you're overseeing offices across various continents in multiple languages, interviewing the next marketing coordinator in Dubai is not exactly realistic.
I run two different companies with multiple locations across two continents. Is it realistic that I'll be able to sit in on every hiring decision? Absolutely not. However, I try to be present as much as possible through video conferencing or conducting a one-on-one phone interview to learn more about the candidate.
I have also coached my management team to identify great (and not so great) candidates. From spotting red flags to asking revealing questions, your experience is incredibly valuable to growing your team effectively.