As a business owner, you know you can’t grow a business successfully without outside help. But, if you are like many business owners I talk to, you might be concerned that you don’t know how to hire the right help – so you just don’t do it at all. If that’s something you’ve thought about – today’s episode is just for you. Let’s get started.
Links Mentioned in this Episode:
FREE Hiring Help Questions Download: brumleymarketing.com/hire
FREE Goal Planning Resource: brumleymarketing.com/goals
Website Audit: brumleymarketing.com/services
Find more information and full transcript at brumleymarketing.com/podcast
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Before we get into this episode, I have to let you know about my FREE Achieving Goals Workbook. After signing up, you’ll receive five short lessons about goals delivered straight to your inbox, along with some resources to help you lay out your dreams for your family, life, business, and more. I’ll take you step by step through this planning process and you’ll walk away with an actionable plan you can implement immediately. Because the truth is, we can’t achieve our goals (or engage the right help) if we aren’t super clear about what those goals are. Get that clarity by grabbing yours today at brumleymarketing.com/goals.
How to Hire the Right Help for Your Business
Well, hey there! I’m really excited about this topic today, because one of the best things I ever did was hire help in my own business. Not only did it give me the ability to take time off when I needed to, but it allowed me to outsource items that I’m just not the best at OR things that were taking way too much of my own time that would have been better spent working on growing the business.
And yet, this is where a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners get bogged down because it can be super scary to take on an employee or even just hire a contractor. Your business has become your baby and you don’t just let anyone take care of your baby.
Most anyone who has hired help in the past has dealt with a bad seed. But, there are a few things you can consider before hiring out that will make the process (and outcome) much more successful.
Question #1: Can this person do the job?
I feel like this is kinda an obvious question, but it might amaze you how many people hire someone who says they can do the job, with no real evidence. So, determine whether they can actually do the job you are hiring them to do. If it’s a physical job, are they physically capable of it? If it’s a digital or online position, ask for examples of their previous work or references for other clients they’ve worked with.
Now, that’s not to say that you have to have someone with experience. In fact, a lot of entrepreneurs enjoy hiring newbies right out of the gate. Why? Because it means that you, as the business owner, don’t have to deal with the baggage of their previous training or employment. But, at the same time, you do have to know that the person is capable of doing the job. If they don’t have basic typing skills, no training in report writing is going to be effective until they do.
Likewise, if you’re hiring someone to build websites, but they don’t know what a browser is, that’s also going to be a challenge.
I’m sure we could come up with lots of other examples, but the key is to make sure ahead of time that the person you are hiring can do the job you are hiring them to do.
Question #2: Is this a person I feel comfortable with?
Whether you are sitting across a table from your potential new hire or are looking and her on a Zoom call, you’re going to know the answer to this question. Is this someone you’d feel comfortable hanging out with? Because you don’t have to be the best of friends, but you are going to be spending a lot of time together, right? So, if it feels uncomfortable now, imagine how it will feel in the future?
In my experience, if there’s any hesitation on my part during the interview process, then it’s not going to be a good fit.
I’ve seen this play out on both sides of the hiring process. About 15 years ago I interviewed for a position with a Collections agency as the payment clerk. And, while I really wanted the job, the manager made me feel so incredibly uncomfortable during the interviews. Instead of recognizing and walking away, though – I took the position. And, you know what? I was uncomfortable throughout the entire eight months I worked there.
On the flip side, three years back I hired a graphic designer for my business. She showed up slightly late to the interview, apologizing profusely (but having already annoyed me in the process because I’m a stickler for timeliness) and then wasn’t as professional as I’d come to expect of employees. But she was fantastic at what she did, so I hired her. But, guess what? She wasn’t on time ever and she never did find that air of professionalism. In the end, I had to let her go and it was uncomfortable all around.
I could’ve saved myself (and her) the hassle by making sure I was comfortable before I hired her.
So, learn from my experience and make sure the person you hire is someone you feel comfortable with.
Question #3: Does this person mesh with your company values?
Even if you haven’t taken the time to sit down and list out your company values – which you definitely should if you haven’t – you know that you value things within your business. It could be customer service, responsibility, teamwork, quality, collaboration, integrity, and so many more. Seriously, if you are looking for examples, just google business value examples and you’ll get a boatload of them.
At Brumley Marketing, our values include a family-first approach, with our clients and our employees. We expect that work time is just that – time for work – and that family time is time for family. That doesn’t mean we aren’t occasionally working on a project when our kids are around, but we make certain to be free to be with them when necessary. Additionally, we prioritize clear communication and expectations. When I’m working with clients, they know exactly what the process will look like and what to expect or have expected of them. They also know that we will answer any and all of their questions, suggestions, or concerns and that they will never be left guessing as to when the project will be complete.
This comes in the form of the things we say, the emails and correspondence we have, and even in our invoicing and contracts.
Knowing that, if I’m hiring someone, I’m looking for someone that has those values. Someone who isn’t going to call me on my day off with my kids to get a question answered. Someone who will take time off themself to rejuvenate and spend time building relationships with their own family. I’ll be looking for someone who can clearly communicate with clients and coworkers and who follows through with what they say.
If I hire someone who doesn’t have those same values, it’s going to cause friction, both on my team and with my clients. Been there, done that. So now, any difference in values makes it a no go for me.
So, what are your company values and does your new hire have them as well?
Question #4: Can this person adapt to changes?
I’ll make this one quick.
Your business is growing and changing – as all businesses should. And because your business is changing, anyone you hire will need to be able to adjust as that happens. It could be that additional responsibilities will come down the line (with an adjustment in payment to match, of course). Or, the actual industry might adjust to accommodate a new approach or tactic that will need to be implemented.
Whatever it is, if the person you hire can’t adapt to change, it’ll be a miserable run for both of you.
Question #5: Will they be resourceful?
The reason you are hiring this person is to take something off your plate or make your business run more smoothly, right? You probably are hiring with the idea that you’ll be able to put more effort into getting more clients or creating a bigger revenue stream. But, if your new hire isn’t resourceful, you might spend more time answer her questions than getting your own work done.
Indeed . com defines resourcefulness as “a person’s ability to find efficient and innovative ways to overcome challenges.”
So, before you decide to hire, make sure that she has the ability to suss out information, as needed, or to use the resources you’ve already created in the form of checklists or standard operating procedures. Because, after you’ve put the training time in, you need her to get to work doing what she does best, so that you can do what you do best.
Note: the easiest way to determine resourcefulness is to ask for past examples. These can be personal or professional in nature, but should include times when she was responsible for a project or had to develop an idea.
Other Considerations When Hiring
So, I want to take just a couple more minutes to talk about some other considerations to think about when hiring.
First: Don’t hire based on cost. If you find the right person and can’t afford their rate, then it might be time to take a step back until you can. Hiring someone who costs less, but doesn’t fit the mold for the type of employee you are looking for will only create issues later on. Don’t make this mistake.
Second: A job description is necessary. Create one before asking for help so you (and your new person) will understand the expectations and be able to meet them and evaluation them in the future.
Third: Come prepared. And this would be in the case of you hiring someone to do a one-off project for your business. For example, if you plan to hire a website designer, have an idea of what you are looking for (or not looking for) in your design, as well as the ability to quickly get your assets (images, content, etc.) together quickly. The more time you spend doing that, especially with a contractor, the longer the project will be and the more likely the expense will go up.
Take Action: Hire the Right Help for Your Business
And that brings us to the action part of this episode. I’m a huge proponent of taking action, because action is where the dreams turn into the reality. And that’s why every Mama Business episode comes with action steps you can take immediately to up level your mama life and business.
ACTION: Today’s action step is to make a note of these questions to use when you hire. It might be a contractor, your first employee, or even your tenth, and that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you set yourself and your business up for success with whoever you hire. And, because I know how busy you are, I’ve created a free downloadable version of these questions (and a few extra tips) so you’ll have it on hand when you need it. Grab it now at brumleymarketing.com/hire.
And with that we’ll be back with more Mama Business next week!