Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tough Choice: Grow Your Own or Buy the Best

Entrepreneurs are used to growing things--such as their businesses, sales, reputation, relationships, market share and so on. Many of us also try to grow people. When that works out, it's exhilarating. But the cost of growing a person is steep. And while it appears that hiring an entry-level employee is economical, when you add the time, attention and dedication required to help that person learn and achieve, it makes it a tough call. I think today it's a tougher call than ever.

Many people are not loyal to their employers, and in many cases, I wouldn't blame them. Those employees have no thought of staying at a company forever, so any investment made by their company to help them progress and grow is actually an investment for their next employer.

On the other hand, if you don't hire an entry-level person, today it's imperative you hire someone better than who you already have on staff, someone who can raise the bar and require no hand-holding. He or she will cost more, but they'll hopefully bring a lot to the company and they'll make everyone around them better.

So the answer? If you work at a company willing to invest in you, consider it something special and unique; and maybe, just maybe, consider being loyal to them. After all, they see something in you and they're willing to spend time and money on you. Logically, they'll do that for you throughout your career. Other firms may promise you the moon, but how do you know they'll actually support you after you're on board?

From the business owner or manager's standpoint, you have to decide between growing your own, taking a chance on losing that person before that investment is paid back, or hiring the best. Either way has validity--but today, never be desperate enough to hire someone who expects top dollar but will also need hand-holding.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond

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