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How to Know You’ve Failed as a Manager

Gary Cole, left, as Bill Lumbergh and Ron Livingston as Peter Gibbons in Office Space.Gary Cole, left, as Bill Lumbergh and Ron Livingston as Peter Gibbons in Office Space.
Gary Cole, left, as Bill Lumbergh and Ron Livingston as Peter Gibbons in Office Space.Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question “How do you avoid hiring the wrong people?” is written by Mitali Rakhit, founder and CEO of Globelist.

Admittedly, hiring is one of the most challenging parts of building and growing a company. With all of the competitive offers available to top talent, attracting and maintaining a strong team is vital. You have to learn how to identify those people who will add to your organization instead of draining your resources. Here are a few ways that you can assess your choice of potential employees during the hiring process:

Get them to first work on a trial period
The beginning hiring stages are critical to figuring out not just how well the employee works independently, but how well she or he works with others. You want to figure out how well the prospective team member can listen to directions, come up with unique solutions, and how willing he or she is to persevere in the face of adversity. A trial period is a great way to test this without a huge liability for your company. It’s also a win-win for the prospective employee—he or she has the opportunity to get to know you as a boss and how you put your company values into practice. If it’s a match, both of you will feel happier, but no harm, no foul if it isn’t.

See also: Never Hire Someone Without Asking This

Focus on attitude over skills
What I’ve learned over the past year is that attitude trumps skills. If a new hire doesn’t necessarily have all ideal background points that you’re looking for, don’t immediately write them off. Most times, challenges will crop in places you least expected them to, and it’s in those times you need someone who is malleable—not someone who is rigid. A good attitude and willingness to learn quickly will allow a new employee to be able to accomplish more, even if he or she doesn’t know everything at the get-go.

 

Everything depends on one metric: results
At the end of the day, if your new hires aren’t able to produce deliverables, you have failed as a manager. One way to help determine whether your prospective employee can execute is to set some small projects up at the beginning, preferably during the trial period, with frequent milestones. This will allow you to quickly gauge whether or not a new hire is able to commit and meet targets set by the team. It’s also useful to see if the person can recognize his or her own weaknesses and ask for help when necessary. No one can be expected to have all of the answers from the beginning, but being able to evaluate shortcomings and address them head on will help set an employee up for success.