A big part of running your business is hiring rockstar employees. Even when you think you can do it all yourself, it comes down to a point where you can’t do it all. We all have strengths and weaknesses. It’s the weaknesses that pull away from your profits, make you feel less than motivated, and may even bring your business down.
But, you’re probably wondering, who should you hire first? How do you start? How do you know who is the best person for the job?
While it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, there are certain strategies that everyone can use no matter what business they are in when looking for employees.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
First, we have to discover what you are looking for in an employee. What type of business are you in? Is it a service-related business that needs front-line employees that will deal with customers from the start? Do you operate an online business that needs admin support or do you run a coaching business that you’re looking to expand?
Think of the roles in your business and write them down. You may need to do this over the course of a week or two as you work your business. Think about every task that you complete and what type of person it would take to fill those roles. This gives you a starting point when deciding who you should recruit and how.
NARROWING DOWN THE JOBS
Okay, once you know the roles you may want to fill, it’s time to figure out which roles are truly necessary to fill. Just how do you do that? What makes one role more important than another? Here’s a simple strategy that I use.
Ask yourself – what am I currently doing that I could pay someone else to do for less than what I make in an hour?
Now that sounds ambiguous, but here’s how to break it down. Remember that list of roles that you do that you wrote down? Now it’s time to think about each role and how you feel about it. Do they make you feel energized or drained? You can break them into two columns or just put an ‘E’ or ‘D’ next to each job.
The energizing tasks are the ones that you love. They fill you up and motivate you to want to keep going. For example, maybe you love answering the phone and emails. You love connecting with customers and talking about your business. It lights you up.
The draining tasks are the tasks you don’t love so much. You dread them and wish someone else could do them. We’ll use the same task – answering phones and emails. Maybe talking to people all day distracts you and drains you. It takes away from the time you need to build and grow your business so you get frustrated. That’s not a motivating feeling that will keep you going.
CHANGING YOUR MINDSET
Keep in mind that some of the tasks on your ‘draining’ list may not be delegated – instead, you may need to change your mindset about them.
Paying taxes, for example, we all have to do it. No, you may not like seeing those big checks leave your office, but it’s a necessity. You can’t delegate or eliminate this task, but you can change your mindset. Instead of dread, look at it from a place of gratitude instead. Maybe feel grateful that you have the opportunity to own your own business and live in a free country that allows it. Feel grateful that you are able to pay your employees and that the taxes are because you are successful enough to have employees on your payroll.
Now it’s time to delegate tasks. A few examples of what you can delegate include:
- Answering the phone
- Answering emails
- Scheduling travel
- Hiring and firing
- Growing the team
- Managing specific services
If any of these (or any other tasks) drain you, figure out what you would have to pay someone to do them for you. Let’s say you could fill a position for $15 an hour. Now add up the hours that you work in a week and the amount of money you bring in. Divide the money by the number of hours worked. Is it greater than $15 an hour? Congratulations, you are on your way to making your first hire.
While it might seem scary to pay someone to do tasks you know you can do even if you hate them, there are benefits.
- You pay someone else to do something they love and may even do it better than you because it drains you
- You free up your time to handle other aspects of your business that you do love
- Your business may grow faster
- Your business may be more profitable
- You’ll feel more energized and motivated
One key piece of advice, though, always sign your own checks. Never delegate this job to someone else. Yes, someone else can oversee the money, manage your accounting, and/or do your paperwork, but you should be the only person that signs checks. This puts you at risk of theft and even embezzlement.
It’s important to always be in a proactive state of recruiting. This stops you from hiring too late and firing too slow. You never want to be in a state of panic when you hire. This results in hiring whoever comes first, which may or may not be the perfect person for the job. You don’t want to hire out of reaction – you want to hire for retention.
Your recruitment efforts need to be consistent. As we all know, life happens as does change. You need to be networking all of the time so that you have equality people to lean on when you need someone now.
I recommend three recruiting sites, but obviously you can make your own choices. My top three sits are Zip Recruiter, LinkedIn, and Indeed.
No matter the site you choose, you need to do these consistent tasks:
- Create job descriptions – Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use Google and search for jobs like the one you are trying to fill. Pick the descriptions that most closely apply to your job, make adjustments and use it to recruit.
- Use assessments – Don’t just rely on resumes that people send you based on your listing. Anyone can take the two seconds it takes to send a resume. If you want serious applicants only, create an assessment and attach it to the listing. Anyone that doesn’t complete the assessment can’t apply. That’s an easy way to weed out those that aren’t serious.
- Read the assessment results – The assessment will give you a score based on the applicant’s skills. Use the scores to further narrow down your selection. Have a score that you require and if they don’t meet it, you don’t interview them. You just saved yourself many hours of work.
- Create a follow-through task – Create an automatic reply to anyone that sends you their resume and assessment. Thank the applicant for their time and include a task they need to complete that ties into the job itself. This will further narrow down your applicants as only a fraction will actually do it.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT HR
A big part of recruiting is managing your Human Resources too. Yes, it’s a pain, but it’s a necessity if you want a solid business. You need policies that protect your business legally and keeps it running smoothly. You don’t want to fly by the seat of your pants as things happen, because they will. You need policies in place.
Create an employment handbook, policies, and non-compete forms. Again, don’t recreate the wheel. Search Google for ideas. This gives you a framework. Obviously, you need to customize it to suit your business, but it gives you a place to start. This sets everyone up for success. Employees know what is expected of them and what happens if they don’t live up to it and you have policies in place that make enforcing the rules a lot easier – just point at the book.
Include everything that you can possibly imagine going wrong. Common things like what happens if you’re late for work or what happens if you call off should be in there. But so should things like theft, using equipment incorrectly, fraud, or any other ‘issues’ you think could come up for your specific business.
Recruiting will be a big and consistent part of your business from day one until the day you sell or close your business. Get familiar with the strategies, find the tactics that work best for you, and give yourself grace as you figure out the best way to bring the best talent into your business.