I will never forget the advice that one of my business coaches gave me…
“Hire someone sooner rather than later because there is nothing more stressful and difficult than trying to hire someone when it’s way too late.”
We were having a conversation about my plans for growing and expanding my marketing firm because I mentioned that after running my business by myself for a year and a half, I felt that I was almost at the point where I would need to hire an assistant to help. But, because my business is my baby, I worried about not only bringing someone else onto the team but also wondering if I was actually making enough money to pay that person.
But truthfully, if you feel like you need to hire someone, you need to hire them–or else putting it off for too long will cause problems.
I always say that one of the best decisions I’ve ever made was hiring my assistant… because in order to make more money, you have to spend money.
Although I am nowhere near being an HR professional, I’m often asked how I was able to build a team to support our client focus… so I’ve outlined below what I’ve learned along the way.
Think About Where You Need the Most Support
Before you even get to the hiring stage, you need to think about what you need to hire someone for. At the time, I had so many social media management clients that it was becoming difficult for me to do all of the deliverables myself. So, I wrote down the tasks of this service that I wanted to pass off to someone else:
- Instagram engagement
- Partial content writing
- Report creation
- Group interaction
Once I knew what I needed someone to help me with, I was able to go into the next step.
Determine the Skill Requirements and Preferences
After figuring out the tasks that I would delegate, I then needed to think about the skills that my future subcontractor should have. Because this position didn’t really involve strategy or demand specific marketing experience, I really just needed someone who was…
- Great at communicating
- Timely with tasks
- Willing to learn
- Able to expand their hours as needed, as more delegation came along
- Available during EST business hours
And a few more preferences. Once I knew these ideal qualities, I was able to put together my job listing and get ready to share it.
Share the Position with Your Network
When you’re hiring, share the open position with everyone in your network… because you never know who will have the right connection for you. I published this on my social media profiles, in Facebook groups, and on Reddit… and my first hire came from Reddit! You may be surprised where you’ll find the right person, but you have a higher chance of finding the perfect fit when you leverage all of the platforms that you can.
After you get quite a few applicants, you can start to comb through them and determine which ones would be a good fit to pursue further.
Set Up and Conduct Interviews
Once you’ve gone through the selection process, start setting up interviews. If the position can be done remotely, always opt for a video interview rather than phone. I personally feel like I get a better vibe for people after seeing them “face to face,” even if it’s through a computer screen.
The questions you’ll ask them really depends on the position and your company, but I tend to focus more on asking “character” or “personality” questions than technical questions. You can always teach someone skills and strategies, but you can’t teach them how to be a human. It was way more important for me to find someone who is kind, trustworthy, dedicated, and hardworking than to find someone who was absolutely perfect at the job–because I knew I could help anyone get better at what they do.
After choosing your candidate, you’ll want to send them a formal email to inform them and give them the next steps for the onboarding process. You’ll also want to inform everyone who didn’t get the job that the position has been filled and thank them for their time. That line is very important! You never want to leave people hanging, and you want them to know that you appreciate the effort they put forth.
Begin the Onboarding Process
The onboarding process may vary depending on your company and the position, but you’ll definitely want to do the following…
- Hand over an operations manual / training guide for the position, if you have one
- Set up your new team member with access to all of the tools, accounts, software, etc. they’ll need
- Designate a time to begin official training
The training period will also vary, but 1-2 weeks is standard for many positions–and may even be longer than that if the position is really involved. You’ll want to teach this person your exact methods, strategies, systems, processes, etc. so that they can do the job in the best way possible. This will help them to feel prepared once they start to do it on their own, but let them know that they are always welcome to reach out to you should they have any questions.
You won’t always hire the right people–there will definitely be mistakes along the way, but everything is a great learning experience for how you can do better the next time around. The most important thing to remember is to make sure your new team member feels supported and that there is always clear communication.
Hiring your first team member is a hard step to take, but it’s one that’s worth it! What questions do you have about expanding your team?
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