The Hiring Guru: Eco PACT's Partners 'Cast in Aluminum'

Peter Johnson is an on-the-rise entrepreneur as President of Eco PACT, a manufacturer of innovative products including aluminum pallets, custom containers, asset protection and tracking ( I met him the same way he met his business partner and many of his employees, through word-of-mouth referral of a friend, in this case at a barbecue.

Choosing the right business partner is a "hiring decision" and all the rules apply in a magnified sense. In Peter's case he ran into Hiring Truth #1 (from The Naked Interview: Hiring Without Regret) when the timing was most critical and only faith fended off a "Be Diligent, Not Desperate" failure.

"My first partner, my Dad, and I had to choose the correct moment to bring on partner. Once we'd expanded so fast that we'd put everything including heart, soul and cash into the development and production, it was past that time. We were literally 24/7 and un-paid in over a year and certainly felt desperate for help, financially and for experienced guidance. In our search for a partner it was like being in the shark tank and four out of five sharks already said "No". And we had firmly agreed that if it was not right, we would walk away and just get creative."

"After we sat with our final prospective partner and talked a long time; we knew it was the right person, the right deal. The conversations weren't just about numbers and bottom-lines and such, they were about who we were on both sides of the table. We had commonalities that made all the difference; family oriented and Christian faith based, customer service driven. These common threads bade well for a stable future and strong partnership, even through adversity. Thankfully that has been the validation of a right choice."

You never want to rush into making a new hire or choosing a business partner. You must be diligent, not desperate. This means that while you probably need to hire someone yesterday or months ago, for that matter, you still need to hire carefully.

There is so much time involved, so many expenses and legal obligations you assume upon hiring a new member of your team, that you don't want to just roll the dice indiscriminately.

Remember, there are business and personal factors involved too. Upon hire, this person is now going to be there every day. They are going to bring their personality into your workplace, for better or worse.

This will affect you and your existing staff -- the "newbie" will now be part of your lives.

It bodes well to not act on desperation. Grant more importance to doing your homework and finding a better-fit individual. Don't just hire any "warm body". I promise a little diligence will save you a significant amount of time in the long run.

Where is Eco PACT at as a business now? "Currently serving fortune 500/100 companies, like Tesla, Boeing, Sub Zero, Kellogg -- some of which we've developed customized solutions for. We worked hard to get here. We're excited about this year, new information shows how exciting the market is as corporate responsibility raises and the awareness is what we've been looking for."

Where is Eco PACT going? "Open the market further, as they haven't been prevopusly educated in the need and expanding our benefits with tracking providing, increased safety asset protection from smart pallets."

How will Eco PACT get there? "Innovating new products, not being stagnant in R&D for our customers, rather than forcing a product on them we think they need."

"The biggest challenge of expansion is always about hiring the right people. The biggest issue is where do you find specialized technology guys, with the skills necessary? The best guys are already working. Then do you have the budget to hire best talent? Say they want 100K and you can only afford 50K. You have to hope they put value in learning, experience, and believe enough to invest in our businesses' future."

Peter is staying focused while expanding and that includes hiring the "right-fit" even if it means painful patience. Nowadays, with some key-hires, it could be a two-year courtship. He watches them perform from afar, since the timing isn't always right on both sides, and patience is a virtue... while applying my hiring tips, of course from