This was the scary bit. C.C.Q. had two bosses. Hugh and Rob.
A Board of Directors. Hugh, Rob, James and me.
Background advice and support. Rob’s family.
Even professional advisers. A Solicitor (later changed) and an Accountant. He is a family connection too.
But no employees. (Unless you count the Junior Paper Shredder).
For a real business employees are important. That is the way the business grows and the economy grows.
But it is scary. We were about to become responsible for a member of staff with all the rights and obligations inherent in employment. Whoever we chose would have to be paid whether we had work for them to do or not. We had no idea at that time quite how difficult it is to find the right shaped peg for the right shaped hole. But even without such anxieties, it was still scary.
Since then we have had to grapple with job agencies, advertisements, head-hunters and the rest of the vast industry lurking out there in the jungle. All claim to possess a magic wand which will produce the right person for us like a rabbit from a hat. Their spells are almost as diverse as their results, and equally unpredictable.
But back in those days of innocence I was still responsible for running the local branch of the Pony Club. Not an organisation which claimed any such magic powers. Chatting one day to a member who was shortly to graduate from Oxford, I told her about C.C.Q. She knew just the person for our job. She was quite right: she did. He joined the company as soon as he graduated. He excelled at his job, was willing and ready to learn and stayed for long enough to be sorely missed when he eventually set out for pastures new.
It was all too easy. Why on earth did other companies make such a fuss about the problems of finding high quality staff?
Abracadabra. The rabbit jumped out of the hat. No problem… or should I call it beginner’s luck?
Don’t miss next week’s blog. It will include my Christmas present to you.