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Hiring for Tasks or Hiring for Ideas: Taskmaster vs. Analytical Ace

Posted on August 6, 2008 by Ellen

Small, fast growing companies thrive off of nimble, entrepreneurial, growth infested staff at all levels.  The thought is that eventually, you will be able to fill from underneath, as the company grows-up and develops a strong upper management team.  But finding the turning point between hiring for ideas and hiring for tasks is challenging; and there is a point. 

The small business e-commerce entrepreneur must understand that even when hiring for entry level positions, it is better to hire the analytical ace then the taskmaster.   For example, just because someone might say they want to start their own company someday when interviewing for an entry level position, doesn’t mean they won’t be an excellent employee for the two years they do spend with your company, and by no means should it be an immediate turn off.  Yes they might leave in a year or two, but it is better to hire employees that can grow the company with their ideas and complete the tasks, then worker bees that complete the tasks but require additional management. 

The truth is that both the “taskmaster” and the “analytical ace” suffer turn over and it has just as much to do with the nature of the position as it does the nature of the employee.  Finding the tipping point when your company is huge enough, and I mean huge enough, to support worker bees is a fine science.  However, judging this pinnacle could make or break your growth and efficiency.  Especially in this down economy, when investments should be even more calculated and on target, it is better to invest in someone who can grow you, rather than save a few dollars on someone that can sustain you. 


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