I’m not a hard guy to work for, in fact I like to think of myself as a pretty good boss. Not to toot my own horn I’ve had employees in the past tell me I was one of the best bosses they have ever had. Maybe they were just sucking up (something they denied), but in any case I make it a point to try to foster an enjoyable work environment. But even still, I seem to have an exceptionally high employee turn-over rate.
I can count on one hand with several fingers left over the number of times I’ve had to fire somebody. Some have willingly left on less than good terms, while many left on great terms, it was just time for them to move on. Still, there are others that left simply because the job wasn’t what they expected.
That’s the difficult thing about working in this industry outside of a major metropolitan area: there is a pretty small (read: nonexistant) pool to choose from when looking for skilled AND experienced people. I’ve worked with a number of people who are experienced and exceptionally qualified for a similar job outside of the SEO field, but can’t quite get the nuances of the SEO industry. These are good people, but not necessarily the right people for the job. This is something they usually realize for themselves.
Like most SEOs, we work a lot with sub-contractors, but I am always more comfortable having people work in house. They are easier to train (i.e. do things they way I want them) and their contributions to the overall success of the company is far great, simply because they are here when we have on-the-fly brainstorming sessions, which happen almost daily.
Whenver I place an ad for a position in the local job forums I often find it difficult to explain what that job is. How do you describe a “Link Researcher” position in a job ad where those reading it have little to no industry knowledge? How do you find a content writer that doens’t get creative burnout writing articles for the same clients day in and day out? Most of our turnovers are by those who came to this position not quite knowing what to expect (despite a lenghty explanation during the interviews) and quickly find that it’s not quite what they wanted.
On the flip side, to hire someone with experience usually requires pretty deep pockets and a willingness for them to move to a new city. I recenlty had a potential sub-contractor as for a ridiculous amount of money to work for me. When I asked for some examples of top rankings they were responsible for I got a list of keywords with virtually no search volume and little competition. How this person gave me thier salary requirements with a straight face, I’ll never know.