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Last Update: Sunday July 25, 2021

Key Idea: Date Before You Marry

Making a cool product in a lovely place has made it easy for NoUVIR to recruit talent.

Key Question:


Very few people get married without going through a dating phase. It sounds weird to most of us when hear about mail-order brides and arranged marriages. But, in businesses everyday, people are hired without any trial period.

At NoUVIR people are hired as temporary workers until Ruth Ellen can see clearly if she will make the person permanent or ask the staffing service to send her another person to try out.

With less than one dozen employees, every single person who is added to the mix is so powerful, Ruth believes she should date before she marries.

Think about it

How could you/should you fine tune your hiring process to improve the productivity of your team?

Clip from: NoUVIR: Lighting Is Big Business

Seaford, Delaware: The bold among us take on the giants of industry.  This episode of the show is a classic David & Goliath story. Their slingshot is the US Patent & Trademark Office and Goliath looks like GE, Osram Sylvania, and Phillips.

Meet two small business owners who have slain the giants. Their advice for inventors is timeless.

Ruth Ellen Miller and her ever-inventive father and business partner, Jack Miller,  are  two of the brainiest people we've gotten to know and we've met lots of geniuses since the first episode back in 1994. They hold over 100 patents; they're expert witnesses on patent infringement lawsuits. And, they truly understand the heart and soul of intellectual capital. Their lighting business is the working evidence. Museums around the world come to them to provide the type of lighting that does not damage physical artifacts.

Their company is NoUVIR.  They create pure light -- no UltraViolet and no InfraRed. UV and IR found in typical lighting will destroy art and artifacts over time. 


Ruth Ellen Miller, Co-founder

Highway 13
RR4 Box 748
Seaford, DE 19973

Visit our web site:

Office: 3026289933

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1990

Date Before You Marry

Seaford is in southern Delaware, a couple of hours from both Baltimore and Philadelphia. It has turned out to be a great place to find excellent employees.

RUTH ELLEN: Usually, I hire through a temporary agency and we work the person for three or even six months and see how it happens.

HATTIE: See if they fit. Now how does that work with the agency? Is that OK with them that they know you're going to steal their people permanently?

RUTH ELLEN: They think it's great. They really do because they get three to six months and sometimes a year of income out of it because they know I'm cautious....and they know I'm a continuing customer. They will actually call me up and say, `You know, we've got somebody special that just kind of stumbled in the door. Can you interview for them?'

HATTIE: Do you ever hire people only part time?

RUTH ELLEN: Yes. A lot of times, because as a small company, you'll have special disciplines that are only part-time work. And the other thing, too, is that a lot of times, I'll start people part time because it takes time out of your schedule to train. Our biggest problem is that Dad and I sometimes talk in shorthand. So we had to slow down and say, `OK. Now there's these added people. They need to know where we're going and what we're doing. They need to catch the vision, too.' And we've got a variety--very, very different kind of people. But when you talk to them, you'll find out they all have the same vision. They've all caught the bug.

Unidentified Woman #1: We intend to go global. We are going places.

Unidentified Woman #2: I'm mailing out new literature about `50 percent brighter' performance.

HATTIE: Tell me then, what's your goal with this piece?

Unidentified Woman #2: For people to call us.

Unidentified Man #1: We've been just like on the cutting edge of technology here, really.

HATTIE: So are you having fun?

Unidentified Man #1: I'm having fun.

JACK: We have such a peculiar and attractive company here, that we have people standing in line to work for us. So we have resumes for people that would love to come to work for us. And the education, training of employees, although it takes a lot of our time, it doesn't take it for very long, and so we have people working productively usually within the first week or two.

RUTH ELLEN: Basically, we're such a small company, everybody's job is to take care of the customers. So no matter what happens--I mean, if you have to take out the garbage--it's everybody's job. But this is how I keep people from stepping on each other's territories and on their toes, and this is how I delegate.

HATTIE: At what point did you start putting things in writing for employees? When you got your first one, did you write a job description or you just sort of verbally...

RUTH ELLEN: Didn't need to. But by the time we got to about the second or third person, we had to start dividing up tasks.

HATTIE: So you don't see the people part of your business being an obstacle to growth.

JACK: Not at all. No.

HATTIE: And you don't see finance being an obstacle to growth.

JACK: Not at all. We did it out of profits.

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