When you’re starting a business or trying to consolidate what you have been building, you are going to need people with very particular skills. Ideally, you’ll find a financial wizard to act as CFO, someone with extensive business experience for your COO, and so on. You know exactly what you’re looking for.
But knowing what you’re looking for is often not enough. Many startups or SMEs hire people who have the right education and experience but are actually entirely wrong for the position. This is because SMEs require people with specific characteristics. And, perhaps more importantly, people without certain personality traits.
Of course, you should be careful whenever you meet new people, even outside of a business context. You can find a list of background check companies to help you learn more about someone, whether you’re considering dating them or simply want to learn more about a new member of your neighborhood.
Make sure you don’t bring the following types of people into your team.
Every startup needs someone who brings the team back down to earth. When everyone is a dreamer, you end up with a million plans that will never realistically work. Instead of narrowing down what actually can be done, you just continue dreaming.
However, the last type of person you want is a naysayer. This is not the sort of person who is a troubleshooter or who grounds the team. Rather, this is someone who shoots down ideas before they have the chance to form. They can tell you every little thing that can go wrong, and they’re almost always correct. But they end up bringing down morale and discarding ideas which could be brilliant if they had the chance to evolve.
Troubleshooting is important, but dreams need a chance to play out without a perennial naysayer trying to burst the bubble.
On the other hand, a yes-man can be as destructive. You want your team to be supportive of each other and to build up ideas rather than tearing them down. However, someone who is constantly hyping up your ideas or thoughts is more than just an irritant. They can prevent you from evolving your ideas.
If you’re led to believe that your idea is already perfect, you’re not going to take it further. You’re not going to discover what it could become, where it would take you if you only let yourself acknowledge the complications.
Finally, what can be truly destructive in the context of an SME is someone who is constantly envious of the success of others. You find this all the time in corporate settings, and it can be worthwhile in those contexts to get people to work harder and really push themselves. But in an SME, it only leads to sabotage.
If one member of staff is envious of another, they will, consciously or unconsciously, sabotage their ideas. They will find all kinds of problems that they imagine will make the individual look bad or themselves look better. Rather than foster competition, it will hamstring your business before it really gets off the ground.