Sylvan Franchise Blog

What Should you Value More in a Hire? Skill or a Cultural Fit?

Posted by Nick Powills on Feb 25, 2015

After seven years of business ashappy-business-colleagues-having-fun
No Limit Agency’s founder and Chief Brand Strategist, I recently looked around the room at my staff and reflected on how far we’ve come.

We have gone through many adventures as an agency, starting in Atlanta, relocating to Chicago, adding a real C-suite – all while fighting to become the greatest mid-sized agency that ever existed. During that time, we have also had many different personalities and skill sets join our team: to which the question of, would I rather have the right people or the most skilled on our team, presented itself.

For me, the answer was simple – the right people.

Although many former employees have attempted to burn bridges upon departure, which I attribute to them being young and inexperienced in the workplace, I have continued to follow their progress. Many who have left our agency are wildly talented. Some are incredibly funny and comical in their writing (great for the Social Media team) and some very diligent in their work ethic and approach to their careers. Many who have left No Limit are incredibly bright and talented, yet, they just weren’t the right fit for where we are going.

As I looked around the room, I became proud to notice that we have the most engaged team that we have ever had.

The journey has been difficult. I have poured blood, sweat and tears into making our agency that best agency possible, and now, I feel as if we are positioned with a team that actually believes in the “anything is possible” mantra. We have the brightest people we have ever had.

In the past, I have felt challenged to make 25-30 people work together on a similar path. In life, 50 percent of the time marriages fail – and you are trying to collectively lead just two people in a similar direction. With 25, the task at hand gets far more challenging, with one big X. That X is that when you have other leaders in your organization telling the same story you are telling, magic starts to happen.

I’ve come to learn that skills are good, but people are better.

The right culture should alleviate stress. It should increase friendships and relationships. It should elevate the results. And it should create a playbook to achieving missions and visions. Leadership, in reality, is not the creation of one, but the belief of many. I, as a leader, cannot create a culture. I, as a leader, can help lead others to lead others.

In 2014, I focused on further establishing our internal culture, as I believed it would be essential to allowing us to grow externally. I recruited an incredible vice president who can inspire and recruit the right people; and a head of development to coach and recruit the right clients. I believe that if we focus internally on the same things we preach externally, we can win – strategy, service, relationship and results.

In business ownership, I challenge you to choose the right people. If you have other people believing in your mission, everyone will be working together for the ultimate goal – and they’ll maybe even enjoy doing it!

Topics: Franchisee Resources, Entrepreneur Insight