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Help Wanted

The foundation of our Industry and our businesses should be obvious - the people! Machines don't design and deliver our products, people do. Recently my wife and I attended the Northeast Floral Conference allowing us the opportunity to meet so many wonderful and amazing people in the floral industry. The outstanding service that people provide truly separates the full service florist from the other Market Channels that sell flowers. That's easy to understand, the tough part is finding the right person for the position.

One of my previous careers, prior to joining the floral business full time, was Executive Recruiting. I spent 5 years recruiting and though each industry has it's own unique requirements and needs there are hiring commonalities that all share. Most business owners understand the importance of hiring people who are trustworthy, come to work on time, and have the ability to do the job. When you need to hire someone to "hit the ground running" there's no substitution for industry experience. Hiring experienced people accomplishes this but it does sometimes bring baggage. At our Company when we need experience we hire slowly and carefully with a thorough interview process. We've had some wonderful results. But over the past several years when we're not pressed for "immediate impact" we've begun purposefully hiring from outside the industry and getting very good results. The benefits from someone with a fresh point of view without any preconceived notions on how things have "always been done" is refreshing. It's amazing the amount of light someone without any prior experience can shine on your business. The real trick is to drop your guard for awhile and listen to what they have to say, you may be surprised. Another benefit from hiring outside the industry is that you can train the person in policy, procedure and techniques that serve your business best, without having to break any old habits.  IE: "but that's the way we did it in my old shop". This idea takes time and patience, also the interview process is very different then interviewing an industry veteran who understands requirements during peak holiday work etc. Nevertheless, hiring from outside can work very well and the long term payback far outweighs the upfront cost.

When you need to hire someone that can bring value immediately to the shop there's no doubt you should hire experience. There are some amazing, seasoned people in our industry so we should never discount them. But when the situation is right consider giving someone from outside the industry a chance to prove themselves, the long term rewards could be surprising. People will always be the foundation of our industry, just be certain you have the right foundation to build on.


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