Sil Miller
Director of Human Resources California Community Foundation

What is your first consideration when hiring someone?

The most important thing when you are considering hiring someone is to decide what kind of person am I looking for. But even before that, what duties is this person going to perform. So you need to figure out if you're a small business man, what functions do I want to give up. You probably started the business and have been doing it all yourself or you've hired a person here and a person there and you may have a three person organization and decide you need a fourth person. It's important to define everyone's function to decide what qualifications that person is going to need and how they're going to benefit your organization. But when you are interviewing it is also important to get a person who is going to fit with your organization. I would recommend that if you have a two or three person organization and everyone is going to work with this new hire you actually take the time to have those people either sit in on an interview or interview the candidate separately. Everybody needs to be able to get along and unfortunately in this world there are people whose personalities just don't mesh. If you find someone that's going to fit well with your organization you can sometime teach some of the skills they might be lacking. But if you have the best trained person or the best technical person that doesn't really mean that they are going to be able to fit within your organization. And imagine if you get the wrong fit what kind of a hole that's going to create in your organization if that person leaves if you're a small business.