Finding Good Employees for Your Small Business is a Hassle – Tips from a Top Business Coach
Overcoming Small Business Growth Challenges
Some small business owners make the decision, knowingly or unknowingly, to remain a “one-person-show”. If they’re happy with their income and the number of hours they put in, then this might be the right choice for them. But for anyone who wants their business to grow, the reality is they will need to hire more people. The decision to hire additional help is not with out its struggles. I have coached many solo-preneurs and small business owners through this transition and have heard their concerns of, “I have hired numerous people and none of them were any good” or “I can’t afford to hire people to grow my business”, they say. Is it really reasonable to suggest that there are no “good people” out there or that there is no one looking for a part-time opportunity to grow with your company? I don’t think so. Somehow the competition figures it out; from start up companies, established local companies to giant corporations, they all grew by hiring the right people. Growing your business is an achievable goal and is the foundation of a successful business – but how can you do this effectively?
Let me be your business coach for a few minutes and give you a few tips on how to grow your business effectively straight from our business growth coaching program.
The Perfect Employee for Your Small Business
Learning how to find and hire that first perfect employee takes time and commitment but it potentially DOUBLES your workforce. Imagine being able to take a vacation again. Imagine undisrupted evenings with your friends and family. Hiring that first solid employee is the gateway to owning a high performing, saleable business – at the end of the day isn’t that something every small business owner wants?
Steps to Hiring the Perfect Employee
1. What’s your budget? – First you have to have a clear idea of how much you can pay, since that will define the role/position of your new hire. The ‘need’ does not necessarily reflect the reality of ‘who’ you can hire. So maybe you start with someone that can perform many of the basic functions of your business in a part-time capacity. Down the road, when revenue increases, you bring on board the professional you envision who will help you really grow your business. One of the mistakes our small business growth coaching clients make is they look at the wages they pay to their employees as an expense. In real terms the actual money you pay will show up as a financial expense. But if it frees you up to do more of the things that will earn more money for the company, then it needs to be seen as an investment. Never miss the opportunity to hire someone at $20 or $30 per hour for support work if you can get three times that by doing more work with your clients.
2. Create a job description for the position – With the wage range in mind create a job description for the position. In most cases with the first employee, versatility is paramount, but don’t allow that to prevent you from specifically defining the responsibilities of the role. Remember to review each candidate to see how well they responded to change in their last positions.
3. Create the list of requirements for the candidate – Often defining the expectations can be best summarized by describing what you, or another person did in performing this role. When it comes to describing what ‘we’ do the tendency is to underestimate our skills and abilities which leads to the belief that anyone can do it. Be sure to clearly define the skills, experiences and education that would be most beneficial for the position within your company.
4. Post the advertisement – Choose the forum in which to post your job posting. Depending on your geographical location you may want to compare costs and audiences of each medium as well as where you believe your target candidates would be looking. While many online resources may be free they could also be very general and drive lots of unqualified applicants to your door. Quality is definitely better than quantity in this case as it takes time to process the submissions.
5. Screening resumes and interviewing applicants – This may seem like a daunting task especially if the number of applicants is greater than anticipated. The key is to be clear as to what education or experience is really valuable and quickly weed out those applicants that don’t meet the minimum requirements. You may want to bring in a third party during the interview process to help you assess each interviewee’s skills and motives.
Solid Small Business Growth Will Take Time and a Good Plan
Recognizing that the odds of that perfect employee being on the sidelines looking for work at the precise moment you are hiring is unlikely; hiring for your small business will take time but it is worth it. The point is that it will happen when it happens and working harder is not necessarily working smarter in this case. I always tell my small business growth coaching clients that a slow consistent game plan for advertising, screening and interviewing will pay off in the long run. Sometimes we need to slow down our business growth in order to speed up overall.