Poach my assistants, they’re awesome

Posted: - Modified: | delegation

Most companies try to be hush-hush about good people. That makes sense. You don’t want to train people and then have them headhunted away from you. Hiring can be expensive and distracting.

I want to see what happens if you turn that upside down. Other people have been asking me about my delegation experiments in scheduling, data entry, and other areas. I’m really happy with the virtual assistants I have. I wanted to them to find as much work as they want doing the kind of work they want. I’m happy to recommend the people that I like to the people that I like.

Will this come back to bite me? Maybe. My assistants’ workloads may get to the point where they don’t have time to work on my tasks because the tasks they do for other people are so much more interesting. My first reaction is to think of this as a bad thing, but when you dig deeper, it’s not actually that scary.

I’m reminded of something that I read in the E-Myth Enterprise:

People-oriented companies depend on "good" people to produce results, where "good" is defined as experienced, successful, self-motivated—in short, people who can be depended upon to produce good results. Someone is always shouting, "Find me someone who knows how to get the job done!" in a people-oriented company.

Process-oriented companies depend on good processes to produce results, where good is defined as the process’s ability to produce the very best results in the hands of inexperienced (or less experienced) people than the competition needs to produce the same results.

(p116, The E-Myth Enterprise: How to Turn A Great Idea Into a Thriving Business – affiliate link)

I don’t want to rely on just working with good people. I want to build up good processes that can harness good people. If I get to the point where I need to hire someone else because my assistants have become integral to someone else’s business or life, that’s not so bad. I’ll get more experience in hiring. Each person gives me another opportunity to improve my processes and learn from somebody new. I actually enjoy the hiring process, although it also makes me feel mixed emotions – such a candy store of talent out there! I don’t mind doing more of it.

It’s not like the churn that happens when you burn people out and discard them. I want to get to the point where working with me is an excellent launch pad, and where I have great onboarding and offboarding processes to make it even easier.

If any of my delegation experiments sound interesting and you think you might want to invest in trying that out too, talk to me. Share what you’re learning and what you hope to learn. If you sound like an okay sort of person – I don’t want to waste my assistants’ time in interviews or have them burned by someone who doesn’t work out – I’ll introduce you to the appropriate assistant, and both of you can see if it’s a good fit. =)

You can comment with Disqus or you can e-mail me at sacha@sachachua.com.