Hiring the right people is crucial for a small business, so we asked a handful of experts about what you need to know when it comes to hiring.
We’ll be discussing this topic and others on how to grow a business in our fireside chat via Google Hangout on March 24.
Here’s what our experts had to say:
Manage by delegation
As the owner, you'll want to develop your managerial skills as early as possible, and remember manage by delegation, not abdication. For the first employee:
Assign specific roles so he or she knows what he or she 's responsible for
Set standards to which he or she can measure his or her work against
Provide initial training to demonstrate how a specific task should be done
Educate him or her about his or her role in the long term interest of the business
Resist to interfere as you might want things done differently, avoid micro-managing
Prioritize good communication
Hire a person that is sincere and honest. Communication is very important. How they communicate with customers, clients and coworkers can make or break you..
Don't hire for today's needs
First, wait as long as possible to hire that employee, as you are adding responsibility for someone else's income. Second, don't just hire for today's needs, but consider how your needs may evolve over the next 6-12 months.
Employees, not friends
They are not your friends. We tried to be friends with our staff early on but that didn't go well. Hire employees. You may get along with them, you may even like them (I know I personally like all my staff) but they are not the people you go out for drinks with. If friendships develop over time that's not necessarily a horrible thing if you're established your roll as the boss but you're always a boss on company time and that needs to be known at all times.
Dave Davies, beanstalkim.com
Don’t rush into hiring someone. Make sure they have the proper qualifications. Start with a three-month trial period, and set evaluations every 6 months. Agree in advance on raises once per year. If you can’t afford a raise one year, try to negotiate another kind of perk, like extra days off, that will make your employees feel valued. Don’t over-promise, but do set reasonable challenges and goals. And if you get a bad vibe, trust it. Don’t hire that person, even if they have great qualifications. Same thing in the other direction - if someone doesn’t have the full resume, but you see ambition and enthusiasm, use it to your advantage.
Alison Williams, Raconteur
Find your needs and gaps
Be honest with yourself about your biggest needs and gaps, and hire accordingly. For my first hire, I thought the most important thing was keeping costs low, so I went with a junior level hire. Once they were on board, I quickly realized that, with a fast growing company and small team, I needed someone with more experience, who required less oversight and direction. Once I recognized my real needs, I hired at a much more senior level. It was a bigger investment, but the benefits have far outweighed the cost.
Molly Wilson, meetkickstand.com
Follow the steps
Check a least three references (work references, not their momma or cousin or best friend... direct supervisors are preferred).
Have a very detailed job description or let them help you write one. Upfront expectations are KEY on both ends.
Have weekly meetings and keep communicating.
Reward your people. Doesn't have to be money. It can be time off, letter of thanks... get creative.
Amy Wright, amywright.biz
Wait, try, then hire
Wait as long as you can, and be very sure about the character of that person before hiring. Put them on a trial period and see if they are self-motivated. Small business is a bad place for lazy people- let those people go work for big corporations.
Brian Carter, briancartergroup.com