There are many things that I have yet to learn about running a business and one of those is "hiring the right people".
It's easy to hire people. Just look at your Profit & Loss account to see if you can afford to hire another person to help with the workload and then just make the decision to hire. Once you put out a job ad on any of the job portals you get like... hundreds of applications. It also helps that every day there are people applying to Nuffnang through our Careers Page.
Hiring the right people though is something that I am still very much learning. I have made some really bad hires in the past, not necessarily because they were not good people or anything but just perhaps... they weren't suited for the job or right for the culture of the company.
For example Nuffnang runs on a very independent-like work culture. That means throughout your working hours, nobody's breathing down your neck. You can sleep when you feel like sleeping, you can Facebook if you like, you can do whatever you want as long as your work is done at the end of the day.
Perhaps some people are used to this culture in companies they currently work for, but for some we've experienced they come in not used to this culture and start abusing their new found freedom and independence. That means they do all of the above.... but let it affect their productivity a little too much. That doesn't mean they're not good people nor does that mean they're not capable or productive. They probably are. It just means they weren't right for us and we weren't right for them.
For a moment last year I was making a string of bad hires and I started to doubt my ability of reading people well. I started asking a lot of help from my mentors: managers or CEOs of other companies that have far more experience and they tell me that the only way to learn these things is to make the bad hires then develop a gut feel that you think you can trust.
I've admittedly been very very lucky in finding most of the wonderful people that work with me at Nuffnang today. That doesn't mean I skillfully knew how to pick the right ones out of a haystack. Not at all, I was lucky instead. They all came to me filled with so much enthusiasm that it was hard to reject. It was almost like it was a gift from above.
One day though I made the excellent decision of hiring a girl that boosted my confidence. Her name was Pinky.
She was soo full of life. A very fast learner she picked up on her role in a very short time and just her being in the team boosted everyone's morale. She was the kind of person that made silly jokes or comments all the time, the kind of person that you always want around your office.
Of course everyone else in the office has to be just as wacky for it to take a full effect but everyone loved her!
And the best part was she loved everyone too.
She once told me
"Tim... when I first took this job I didn't expect much. I mean I knew about Nuffnang, a lot of people tell me about Nuffnang but I thought it was going to be just another job. But I was so wrong, I never imagined that it would be so much fun working here. You guys are like a second family to me".
We were all very close....
Then one day, Pinky got an unexpected offer to advance her studies in Melbourne, Australia. Something that she always wanted to do but never knew if she could. It was indeed a hard decision for her. She talked to me and told me how on one hand she knew that this was something she had to do but on the other hand, the fact that she loved us all made it so hard for her to go. She never wanted to leave Nuffnang.
We all cried and hugged..... (no I'm kidding) but I eventually told her to go. She asked me if I would take her back when she came back and I said of course (if we had the right place for her then).
Then an opportunity came up one day later. Our Nuffnang Australia office in Melbourne needed some extra help and I thought Pinky would be a great addition to it so we told her that we'll give her a part-time job at Nuffnang Australia to come in if her schedule suited it.
She was delighted of course... that although she was leaving the team in KL, she wasn't leaving the Nuffnang Family that interacts way too much casually over the inter-company e-mail chains.
On her last day at work in Nuffnang KL, we took her out for a farewell lunch where we had our traditional CNY yee sang.
And we gave her all a Goodbye card.
With all our ramblings written on it.
Mellissa and KY too gave her a nice going away present.
Pinky... we will all miss you.
Good luck at your shot at being an Aussie Nuffie.
Don't cry... you promised not to cry!