Hiring & Firing for DTC Brands with Josh Delaney

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Building the right team is crucial for the success of any direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand. The processes of hiring and firing, if not handled properly, can significantly impact the company culture and operational efficiency. Here are insights into effective hiring and firing practices for DTC brands.

Hiring:

  • Use Personality Tests: Incorporating tools like the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator in the hiring process can help assess if potential hires will gel with the team and company culture. This really changed the way I looked at working with others and how to hire others and place them in the right roles with the right team members. Oftentimes I see the right person, in the wrong job or paired with the wrong management style, etc. Especially in the creative space. Creatives require a bit more flexibility in management style.
  • Set Clear Objectives: From day one, every team member should have clear, written objectives. This clarity helps align individual contributions with the company’s goals. Create precise expectations and document them and check in on them. If they don’t like that, they aren’t going to help you grow. Everyone has to be held accountable.
  • Manage Expectations: Ensuring that candidates understand both the positive and challenging aspects of the job sets realistic expectations and reduces turnover.
  • Offer Growth Opportunities: Providing clear paths for professional development and recognition can significantly enhance employee satisfaction and retention. Include your team in as much as you can. I personally included my teams in almost everything. My wins are their wins. Highlight each team members win as often as possible without inflating ego or deflating other team members. People will harder for recognition more than money most times.
  • Hire Slowly: Taking the time to conduct multiple interviews and possibly involving an HR professional can lead to more informed hiring decisions. This thoroughness ensures a better fit for the company.

Firing:

  • Act Quickly and Compassionately: If an employee is not meeting expectations or negatively impacting the team, it’s essential to address the issue promptly and with empathy.
  • Emphasize Fit and Future Opportunities: When parting ways, focusing on the mismatch and potential opportunities elsewhere can make the process less painful for everyone involved.
  • Maintain Professionalism: Keeping the process professional and respectful preserves the dignity of the departing employee and the morale of the remaining team.
  • DO NOT HIRE THE SAME PERSON AGAIN AND JUST TRY TO MANAGE THEM DIFFERENTLY. STOP HIRING THE SAME BAD EMPLOYEE! LOL.

Questions for Josh Delaney:

  1. How do personality tests like Meyers Briggs enhance the hiring process for DTC brands, and are there specific traits you look for?
    The way we handled it in our office was hiring an outside HR firm for about $4,000 where they sent an HR and Meyers Briggs expert into our office and got to know us all, asked questions and had us take a few tests. Once the results came back in she was able to explain to us all why we work well together and whey we don’t. Then how we can improve in those negative areas and understand the why behind each of our answers.  This really shed light on the “why” behind the “what” for each person and are very good exercises for a team. From there, we can really understand who we need to hire and why and how they pair well with us. Who they’ll probably get along with the most and not get along with. We were able to hire that firm to do introduction interviews with new hires and help us understand how they might be and what to look out for in a good or bad way. We had let go multiple people prior to this and after we made these changes our next hires stayed with us for years and through the sale of those businesses.
  2. What strategies do you recommend for setting and managing clear objectives for new hires?
    As much as you can have on paper for them day one the better. In most cases the problem with new hires and the number reason for them quitting or being fired typically stems from the onboarding process. They weren’t trained properly or enough to do the best job they could. This builds resentment and frustration for everyone. Get your onboarding process down, it will make you more money and cause less headaches for everyone. Write it down, print it out, tape it to their desk, let the whole team know what it is, everyone will thank you for it later.
  3. Can you share insights on the importance of communicating job challenges during the interview process?
    The best way to do this I actually learned from my very intelligent and successful wife. She has climbed the ranks in the pharmaceutical and now cosmetics industries for the last 20 years. This basically means she talks about products with doctors and very important people all day. The interview process of these fortune 500 companies is crazy.  She’s done many of them with some of the best managers and executives in the country.  She always told me the best the best thing they did, which she got really good at, was asking situational questions that would require the candidate to explain their experience in high pressure or specific situations. This really shows you the backbone of the person. How they handle those types of questions will tell you a lot of what you need to know.
  4. How do you create a culture that values growth and recognition, and what impact does this have on retention?
    Recognition and appreciation for good work is the number one way to keep a great employee.  Learning what makes your employees tick and what makes them excited on an individual will take you far and wide in your business.  If that is your job as the founder of a small team or your managers job, this must get done right. Some people expect more money when they do good, some expect group praise, some expect private praise. Learn what that is with your team and how to best serve them. Helping them win, helps you win. That can quite be the most important thing to remember when building a business.

Members of the Laguna Beach Magazine were not involved in the creation of this content.

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