Small Biz Stories: Who and When to Hire

This article is part of a collection of small business resources available to DECA members through Fran Tarkenton and the Tarkenton Companies. View a complete list of small business articles here and learn more about Tarkenton Companies here


The hiring process, knowing who to hire and when to hire, is different for every business.

Simms Jenkins of BrightWave Marketing says that while experience has helped him get better at identifying who to hire, knowing when to hire someone is still one of the biggest challenges he faces.

For some businesses, the question of when to hire is simple. In a manufacturing business, the factory needs a certain number of workers in order to operate, so if a new factory is built or a number of workers leave, they have to hire to have enough people, otherwise nothing happens. In a service business on the other hand, hiring is usually based on a growth in new business or the addition of new services for clients, making it much more subjective.

“We really try to make sure that we’re ready and can sustain a new hire if a few things go wrong—or even a lot of things,” Simms says. “We’ve never laid anyone off for financial reasons in 12-plus years. We don’t want to start doing that. It’s poison to an agency when everyone’s in fear all the time.”

When looking at who to hire, BrightWave focuses most on the culture fit, and gets a lot of people involved in the hiring process for every new person. “Would I want to have a beer with this person?” Simms asks. “If the answer is no, you shouldn’t hire them, even if they’re really qualified.”

From there Simms and his team look at a lot of intangibles, including flexibility and motivation. “We have a lot of people who could go get higher paying jobs at fancier offices or brands, but at the end of the day BrightWave really draws people who are looking to make a big impact on our business, on our clients, and on their own career,” he says.

Listen to Simms Jenkins talk about his business’s philosophy on hiring in this 4 minute video:

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Categories: Business, Career Advice, College Career Advice, Entrepreneurship, Job Advice

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