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My Wife’s Best Friend’s Cousin

My Wife’s Best Friend’s Cousin

By: Ross Paterson

Flustered business owner, “I am not making any progress because my back-office manager is underperforming, so I have to keep doing his job.”

XM Performance, “Where did you get him?”

Flustered business owner, “He is my wife’s, best friend’s, cousin.”

True story and all too common in the world of family-owned small businesses.


Is your business growing because of the ‘virus market’ demand? Is your line up being hampered because of fear? Are high-risk employees unable to perform? As we discussed in last week’s topic, now is a good time to hire new talent. Don’t start by asking your wife’s best friend if she knows anyone else looking for work.


1. Make an assessment of the line-up. What role, if filled with the right person, would immediately accelerate your results?

2. Define that role by creating a simple 1-2 page job description that defines: basic role, responsibilities and authority, key technical and leadership requirements, deliverables, or KPIs.

3. Put a recruiting plan in place. Where should you look based on answers to #2? Should you engage a staffing agency or outside help?

4. Conduct a 20-minute phone screen with the strongest 6-8 applicants. Are they a good cultural fit (tune in for more next week)? What are they looking for? This may seem counter-intuitive but look for a reason to say ‘NO’.

5. Interviewing on site. If you do well in #4, it will save you many frustrating hours. Only bring the top 2-3 candidates in for a full evaluation of technical competence and team fit.


If you don’t have the capacity (time), or competence (know-how) to assess and evaluate candidates effectively. Waiting until you ‘find time’ is a self-defeating plan, you don’t have time because you don’t have the right or enough people. Consequently, hiring the wrong people is very, very expensive. Don’t get paralyzed, get some help with one of our XM consultants.


We have helped several of our clients successfully navigate through the daunting and time-consuming task of recruiting and hiring.

Contact us if you feel it’s high time to hire but don’t know where to start.