Tonight Show Jimmy Fallon Poster Crop 300x207 Jimmy Fallon and the Small Business Hiring ProcessLast week Jimmy Fallon took over the Tonight Show and I was a bit concerned. Not for the Tonight Show, but for Fallon.

You see, of all the late night television shows, the Tonight Show is perhaps the stodgiest of the bunch, with a demographic that skews older than the others. Jay Leno’s audience isn’t known for being the hippest crowd on the planet. So when NBC moved Fallon to that program, I had to wonder what effect this would have on both the show and Fallon. On the one hand, if Jimmy Fallon came in doing much the same as he did on his previous program, it would alienate some of the regular Tonight Show viewers, but also bring in some newer viewers that were following Fallon. On the other hand, if Fallon tried to cater to the Tonight Show audience, would he lose his edge?

It’s a tough balance, and so far I’ve been pleased with the result. I like Fallon, but was not a big fan of the Tonight Show under Jay Leno. Fallon seems to have brought his sensibility and strengths to the show, and I imagine there are some older Leno fans who are left scratching their heads when they see Fallon twerking with Will Smith, rapping with Justin Timberlake, and lip-synching with Paul Rudd.

We face the same dilemma when it comes to business and hiring, or even looking for a new job for ourselves. We walk a fine line when trying to find the right person for our small businesses, especially if it’s an important or high profile position. In most cases, however, there is no easy answer. On the one hand, you want to hire someone who fits your organization; someone who has the skill sets you need, and can fit in well with your existing team.

On the other hand, you don’t want to just bring someone in and make them fit the mold. While they need to fit in, they should also be allowed to bring some of themselves to the organization. We should hire people, and consultants, for that matter, for what they bring to the table. Sports teams do this all the time when they hire coaches and sign players. They want someone who fits into the existing scheme, but also brings something new to the table.

If NBC wanted Jimmy Fallon to be Jay Leno, it would have been a disaster. In a business situation, both the business and the new hire need to make adjustments. But from the point of view of your business, as you hire, you need to have a strategy and set of goals in mind. Are you looking for someone just to fill a role and fit in? Do you want them to bring their unique skills to the table and help your organization shift and evolve? Or are you looking for a combination of both?

Restaurants might be a good example of this. If you’re a restaurant that features French cuisine, you’ll hire a chef who is experienced in that particular cuisine. But if you hire someone who specializes in Asian cuisine, are you looking for them to adapt to your existing menu, or allow them to stretch your offerings with more of a “fusion” type of cuisine?

Both the business and the new hire need to know what they are looking for in a given situation and what the goals are.

When you hire someone for your business, what are you looking for?