1. What steps should Mark Sims take to ensure that he hires the right employees for Fikes...

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1. What steps should Mark Sims take to ensure that he hires the right employees for Fikes Products?
2. Where should Sims look for quality employees? How should he structure the interviews for prospective employees?
3. What methods should Sims use to motivate his employees to achieve higher levels of performance?

In 1997, Mark Sims began working in sales and service for Fikes Products, a company in Kent, Washington, with 30 employees that sells janitorial supplies and services to restaurants, retailers, and other businesses. In 2003, Sims became the owner of the company when his parents, the founders of the company, retired. Sims used his sales talent to increase annual sales at Fikes to more than $4 million and opened a branch in Portland, Oregon. He is proud of the company’s growth but realizes that it has created a problem: The day-to-day tasks of managing a fast growing company are draining him professionally and personally. He wants to hire several employees, including an office administrator, two route drivers, and a warehouse worker. Dan Price, a fellow entrepreneur and mentor, suggests that Sims also hire an operations manager to handle the daily operations of the company and allow Sims to focus on leading the company. “There is no one to take work off of Mark’s plate,” says Price. Yet he understands Sims’ hesitation. “A first senior hire is daunting for an entrepreneur,” he says.

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