Hire and Employee

Ready to go…UN-solo?  Perhaps you’ve been thinking about adding a new team member.  Maybe your first?  It can be a bit UN-nerving!

Once upon a time, I hired phenomenal Shauna, and committed to TWO hours…a month! If you want to grow your company, or buy a bit of time off, bringing on a team member can be a great move. Maybe now is the time! If you are maxed out, and stressed out, consider that you could hand off some of the duties (distractions?) that really don’t require your attention.

This topic has been on my mind since I got a call from a contractor the other day. He’s wants to hire his first employee. Whoohoooo! He has been in business 38 years. Hmmm. That will be interesting…for him and the new guy. This fellow’s back is aching and knees are breaking. So, he is motivated to bring on an employee to help carry the load, and to teach what he has learned in his long career as an electrician. This could be an awesome adventure!  Or, an exercise in frustration.  It takes a bit of planning to add a new person, and double the size of the company!

Here are a few tips for hiring an employee, and for creating a winning experience for both of you!

  • Start pricing NOW for a future hire.  Update your budget and add the employee’s salary.  Add other related costs like uniforms and insurance, or maybe a truck.  Some employees are revenue generating, like a Service Tech or a Salesperson.  That can be a good approach to your first hire, so that you can recoup their costs with additional sales. Or, you might hire an Admin Person, who can free you up to do more sales, as they handle office duties.
  • Put your Organizational Chart together.  Your name will still be in most of the Positions, however, one or two or more “boxes” could be delegated.  Nice!
  • Create a first-draft Position Description for each Position you would like the new person to assume.  The Position Description is a list of responsibilities.  “Here’s what you are to do!”  The Manuals for each Position are how to do each responsibility.  The new hire can help you write the manual for their position.
  • Part-Time works fine!  No need to commit to a full-time employee right away.  Expand their time as they successfully accomplish your first assignments and responsibilities.
  • Recruit nice people.  Ask people you know to spread the word that you are looking.  Ask at church or at kid functions, where you see friends and other business owner/parents.  Check out online recruiting services, like www.monster.com or www.careerbuilder.com  If your Position is flexible, consider college kids, or parents who want to spend time at home, and are willing to work around school time.  Look for willing and basically capable people…and hire someone whom you can train.  Don’t look for Superman or Superwoman.
  • Take the Lorne Michaels Test.  As you interview to hire, ask yourself, “Is this someone I could pass in the office or speak to on the phone and not want to avoid?”  Tina Fey shared in her awesome management book, Bossypants, that Lorne would do the “gut check” with everyone one he was considering as a team member.  Good idea!  Don’t hire anyone who just doesn’t feel right.  That said, leave your prejudices at the door.  You may or may not know right off the bat if someone will work out. So…
  • Hire for a test drive period.  60 days is plenty.  Spend time together…review the Business Plan, including the Org Chart and Position Descriptions.  Start writing Procedures together.  Let them figure out a problem or two.
  • Be upfront that you will make sure you are a good fit for each other during these first 60 days of employment.  If it doesn’t work out, you will both be fine.  After 60 days, you should know.  Spend enough time together so that you do.  Don’t abandon them on Day One.
  • Don’t hesitate to LOVE.  Whether or not you decide to work together, there is always room for more love in this world.  You can be friends.  You can be the boss.  You don’t have to turn into Julius Dithers (Dagwood Bumstead’s boss!)  You can be kind and figure out the responsibilities and the Org Chart and the business together.

There’s more to the recruiting, hiring and training processes!  These tips can get you started.  Let me know how you are doing expanding your team!!

xo$, Ellen

PS…Thanks to Team Highpoint Plumbing for the great picture!  🙂

PPS…Big news coming up.  I’m hosting a brand new Webinar on dealing with distractions…the ones that can waste your time and derail your business. Stay tuned!