How Great People Make A Great Company

Behind any successful business, you’ll usually find great people. The business I founded nine years ago, Pure SEO, is no exception. I’m constantly in awe of my team—and often wonder how I’m the one (sort of) running the company!

So many of our people are passionate, committed and incredibly driven, which is what I attribute a great deal of our success to.

I’d like to share two key lessons I’ve learnt during this journey, which I now hold close when it comes to bringing new people into a business.

Get them young

Millennials are supposed to be a nightmare to manage, aren’t they?

By and large, I’ve found it the complete opposite. Bringing young, hungry people into your business allows you to mould them into exactly what you need. However, there’s an art to hiring young, one which I’ve learnt the hard way a couple of times. Typical recruitment filters (references, experience etc) go out the window, and you need to look at people through a different lens. Specifically, here are a couple of the traits I look for when hiring someone at the start of their career:

  • Smart (usually, this means some form of previous entrepreneurial endeavour)
  • Hungry (they need to express genuine drive and ambition when interviewed)
  • Learner mindset (able to articulate lessons they’ve learnt or reflected on)

Find someone with these three traits, and chances are, you have yourself a star.

They’ll put in the legwork for you, mix really well with the more mature staff members, have the brains to figure problems out for themselves, and have the right approach to learning. No bad habits to unlearn, no need to be giving them a motivational speech every Monday. All they need is coaching along the way, and they’ll perform—sometimes even better than someone coming into your business with years of experience.

Keep it diverse

Regardless of your industry, you need to be fostering a diverse team.

Why? Not just to put a tick in the box next to diversity – to have a broad range of minds contributing to your business.

We’re operating in an age of rapid change, meaning that innovation is a must for all businesses. Inherent to innovation are ideas and creativity, coupled with execution and planning. No one person is going to be best at all of these different areas. It takes a range of unique minds and experiences to generate fantastic creativity, which is why at Pure SEO we’re always striving to strike a good balance of diversity in our teams.

If your teams are dominated by people of a certain age, gender or background, then all you do is limit the potential your business has to innovate.

The key to hiring good people

Over the last nine years, I’ve hired all sorts of people.

There have been times when the business demanded experienced leaders or industry experts, and other times when we had to say no to really great candidates.

On balance, I’ve learnt that the key to hiring good people is that they are young, diverse and inherently ‘A’ players. Do this and, chances are, your company will thrive.