Roxanne Ray's Blog
4 Things You Must Know Before Hiring Your First Employee
Are you at the point in your business that you need to hire staff? Do you need people to help you implement, sell, or help with operations? Are you nervous about the prospect of hiring someone because you’ve never hired anyone before?
I know what that feels like, so today I am sharing with you the 4 things I require of any person who joins my Team. I hope these will help you if you need to take that step of hiring someone. I definitely made mistakes when I made my first hire and I want to save you the trouble.
Why You May Eventually Need to Hire
I’ll be totally honest here, I didn’t think I would ever have to hire anyone. I was going to do everything in my business myself…do the whole “solopreneur” thing.
The majority of people who start a business are boot-strapping it and so, by necessity, they are doing everything. But there comes a point where your business is growing and you have to decide to either increase your capacity for work or remain in the early stages of feast-or-famine.
You know the drill; you finish a project you’ve been working on and now you have to spend time looking for more work. Because you can’t take on enough work to maintain a steady income, you spend time searching for new clients. And every month it’s the same thing. Work, complete work, search for more work.
If you had help, you could take on a higher number of clients and keep your income steady. This is the point where most people realize they need to hire someone to help them.
My First Hires
Even when you finally decide that it’s time to hire someone, you may have no idea where to even begin to look. Let me share with you what happened when I made my first hire.
First of all, when I decided it was time to hire an assistant, I decided to hire two assistants. And let me tell you, I worked really hard to vet these two individuals. I did video interviews with them. I asked them to rate themselves on certain skills that they would need to work for me. Finally, I gave them a task to complete and send back to me.
I did hire both of these people and that in itself was a challenge. I was not only training one assistant but two. My brain was all over the place trying to keep them busy and do all the things that I needed to do.
After one week, one of the assistants was doing an amazing job. She was very organized, which I desperately needed in my business. The other assistant…well, that wasn’t going so well. He basically fell off the face of the earth after one cryptic email to me telling me that he had a family situation and couldn’t work anymore. He never again responded to anything I sent him. I removed his access to all of my accounts and tried to figure out what went wrong.
I wondered if I had missed something in the time I had spent interviewing him or in the week he had worked with me. I knew there had to be some way to not go through this again when making my next hire. The fact is, these were my first hires so I was very new to it and maybe not as careful as I could have been.
Since that experience, I have come up with these 4 criteria I use in every hire I make. Let me share them with you in hopes that you won’t make the same mistake I did with that first hire.
1. They must be invested in the bigger vision for your business.
When you begin talking to the person you are interviewing, share with them your vision for the business, where you see it going, what future growth you hope for, and what your plan is to make that happen. And then see how they respond to that.
Are they excited about what you share?
Do they have additional ideas to add to yours or a special enthusiasm for your vision?
You’ll be able to tell if this excitement is genuine. If they buy into your vision for the business, that’s one big positive for them. Check this one off the list.
2. Look for someone who is resourceful and takes initiative.
I can’t stress the importance of this point enough. In fact, I should have made this point number one. The need for your hire to be resourceful can’t be overstated.
You are running a business, which means that you are already swamped. You are going in a million different directions at a million miles an hour which is why you need to make your first hire. You are also trying to squeeze a real life in there somewhere wherever and whenever you can. The last thing you need is to hire someone that relies on you to tell them how to do every little thing or who waits on you to give them the next little piece of every assignment.
You want to hire someone who knows how to figure out how to do things.
Do they have a network of people they can ask questions of?
Are they willing to put in the time to watch a YouTube video to learn how to do something they’re stuck on?
Can this person use Google to get answers to questions?
Or are they always just waiting, waiting, waiting for you to tell them every little thing?
Initiative is the next step beyond being resourceful. The person who takes initiative not only figures out how to do things that need to be done but they go the next step. Instead of waiting for you to give them the next assignment, they go ahead and do the next thing without being told.
Instead of presenting you with individual pieces of a project, this person will put together as many pieces of the project as possible before turning it in. You don’t have to hold their hand and walk them through every step.
3. Hire a problem-solver, not a problem-finder.
Let’s be honest, in business, there will always be fires to put out. No business is problem free. You can expect things to come up that need to be dealt with.
If you hire a problem-finder, you can expect this person to find the problems and then tell you about them. This adds untold amounts of stress on you because guess what? You can find problems yourself! It isn’t hard to find problems and you certainly don’t need to hire someone to do it.
What you need is someone who finds a problem, solves the problem, and then lets you know about the problem they found and how they fixed it. Again, this goes back to being resourceful and taking initiative. They find a problem, they are resourceful and find a solution, and they take the initiative to put the solution into place.
4. Find somebody with a growth mindset.
You definitely need to find somebody who wants to learn and grow. This one can be tricky because as people, we all learn things all the time. You are looking for somebody though, who has an innate desire to learn and grow.
This desire to learn and grow is what will keep them around for the long haul. They have bought into your vision for the business, they’re resourceful, they take initiative, they solve problems, and they have this innate desire to learn and grow which will carry them into the future of your business with you.
When you put all of these things together, you have a person who will continue to gain your trust and who will be more and more invested in your business as time goes by.
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Whether you are making your first hire or you already have several employees, you can begin using these ideas before you make any new hires. I wish I had known all of this before I made those first two hires. Take my word for it, using these tactics will save you a ton of stress when making your first, or next, hire.
About the Blogger
Roxanne Ray a.k.a. "Roxy"
I love marketing and all things social media. After starting and growing my Social Media Marketing Agency to over $20,000 in revenue per month, I became obessesed with helping other people escape their 9-5 jobs like I did and become a successful #CorporateEscapee.
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