Imagine that! You’re about ready to hire someone. It’s a sign your business is growing. Are you sure you can find the right people for your biz?
Before we break open the bubbly, let’s take a few minutes and look at how to hire the right people for you.
When you’re hiring, particularly for the first time, you’ve got to remember you’re not just filling a position. It is a part of building your brand.
The people you hire can be a help (or a hindrance) to defining your business. So, it’s important to be intentional about who you hire.
No pressure, huh?
Here are some of the most important considerations when hiring your first team:
Get Clear About What You Need Done (and Why)
First have a very clear understanding of what you need help with.
It sounds like a simple thing, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s hard to answer. In the fog of gearing up, it’s tough to know where to draw the line between one position and another.
You can’t hire anyone if you don’t know exactly what they will do for you. Remember, they’re not you. More likely than not, they’ll have other clients to satisfy. Asking them to step into a nebulous situation is not fair to them. All you’ll be doing is inviting a spectacular failure.
What do you need to do before going on the hunt for someone?
- Write down a list of all of the things you need help with in your startup.
- Take a good look at the list.
- Figure out if it can be filled by just one person. Can one person be effective doing all that?
- Be honest.
It may be that you really need to two, three or even more people to do all the work.
For example, a web developer and a web designer. You want to hire the best person for each set of tasks. Trying to make do by hiring a web designer who can sorta do development will result in disaster, trust me on this.
If you have need of multiple people but can only afford to pay one, select your most pressing need right now. Take into consideration what will bring you the most relief at once. Hire that person.
You’ve done your homework and started your search. You’ve received a bunch of resumes.
A candidate’s resume looks great. Ask: does what’s on paper actually translate to what you need? Maybe, maybe not.
Resumes can be “Puffed.” It may not reflect the actual proficiency of the person.
Instead of relying solely on it, give them a real test during the hiring process. Testing is a great way to separate the grain from the chaff, so to speak.
The type of test will vary depending on the position being filled.
For example, you’re hiring for a customer service position. An appropriate test is to create a series of emails that the applicant has to respond to. Even though her answers are for your evaluation, the answers can help you determine soft skills, such as empathy, tone and professionalism.
Be careful to choose a short test that won’t be overwhelming to the prospect. There’s nothing worse than putting heart and soul into a test and failing. Keep it short and include key factors to make it useful for analysis.
Hire for Attitude
Not everyone looks good on paper. My resumes were dismal until I hired a professional. Just watch out for those who have killer resumes. Only to make you want to kill them in real life.
It’s not enough to hire on the resume alone. A candidate may have some potential that can’t be listed on a resume. Look for candidates who have goals that align with your o. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Knowledge, skills and attitudes determine the quality and quantity of output. The most important of them is attitude.
Southwest Airlines has a great reputation. The company attributes success to hiring people with the right attitudes, first. And foremost. Then, and only then, do they train for skills.
So, put the people with the right attitude into your remarkable systems.
Pay What They’re Worth
Trying to get away with cheap labor is an act of self-sabotage. You may stumble upon someone who doesn’t know their own worth, lucky you! More often than not, you’ll end up with a person who won’t or can’t do the job.
It’s important to pay competitive rates. Your team will be instrumental in building your brand.
What you pay your people reflects on your company’s values. If you’re not willing to pay for premium service, you’re probably not going to give premium service either.
Commit to Growth
People who want to continue improving are the best people to hire.
Those are the people who want to be part of something bigger. They want their work. They want to contribute to something meaningful. And, they want to be able to add this position to their resume.
Make it clear that your position will benefit the candidate’s future development. It isn’t only and addition to their bank account.
Emphasize that self-improvement is important.
Onboarding Is a Top Priority
You’re stressed for time, I get that. Yet, one of the things you must make time for is onboard.
You may have hired the perfect person. But that won’t get you very far if they’re groping around in the dark to find out what they’re supposed to be doing.
One of two things will happen:
- They’ll create their own system. And, it may not be what you want to happen. It will cause friction between you and the employee and with others on the team.
- Or, they’ll feel overwhelmed and disillusioned. No sooner have they started than they’ll start looking for another job.
Neither one is good.
That’s the reason onboarding is so important. You’ll use the process to introduce the new hire into your culture, the way you do things, and why you do them the way that you do.
The process doesn’t have to be long, complicated, drawn out. It does need to be a thorough introduction. You can use:
- Pre-recorded videos,
- An employee handbook,
- Access to a company wiki,
- A step-by-step guide that helps them navigate through your system
Setting up onboarding, you start out your person on the right foot.
Finding the right person begins with a understanding how someone can fit within your business.
You must be clear on what you expect. Look for someone who shows passion aligned with your own. They don’t have to have the perfect resume.
If you need help with hiring, onboarding and being the boss, I invite you to set up a strategy session with me to see how I can help you get that done.