How To Hire The Right Person: One Couple's Great Discovery

Managing director, Carolyn Watson, of Optimum Percussion describes how she and her husband, Allan Watson, fought a high rate of staff attrition near the beginning of their business. In fact, not one staff remained who had been with them since the inception of the company. To avoid any further ‘mistakes’ in hiring the wrong person they approached Louise Woodbury and William de Ora, authors of The Invisible Partnership: How To Work With Your Spouse Without Getting Divorced.

Louise and William helped revolutionize Optimum Percussion’s hiring system to guarantee the hiring of the right type of person who would embrace their culture. The process was simple: accept letters of introduction and résumés from the masses, then narrow the field to eight. These select few would be invited to tour the company and hear the passion behind the business. Following the visit, each candidate would be required to write a letter of feedback to be reviewed by Carolyn and Allan. This feedback would enable the Watsons to bring the numbers down to two top contenders, who were then interviewed, with one being awarded a position at their company.

This system has proved highly successful for Optimum Percussion, thanks to the time-tested business smarts of Louise Woodbury and William de Ora—a partnership forged from painful beginnings. Just a couple of years into their marriage and joint leadership of a successful company, things began to unravel. Miscommunication and confusion over professional roles were just a couple of the entrenched problems that ballooned out of control for Louise and William. On the verge of divorce, they dug in and began the dirty work of facing issues head on. Over time, through the intervention of third parties and many long, painful dialogues, they emerged resolute to make their relationship and business partnership a success story. Now, years later, they are happily married and busy pouring their lives into other couples who seek to launch and run businesses of their own.

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