Hiring is not an easy process: you need to find someone who is skilled, capable, trustworthy, reliable, and whose skills and services are affordable and actually within your budget. So what should you consider when you’re trying to find employees that are the right fit for you and your company? See my five suggestions below.
1. Have a detailed job description written out.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a concise, written job description that reflects the qualities sought in a potential employee before you even start looking for a new member of staff! Also, keep in mind, you’ll want to hire employees who will be able to expand their skill sets as your business grows and becomes more successful.
I’m speaking from experience here. The first person we hired for our restaurant in Buenos Aires was a friend who was looking for a job. We hired her, not knowing what exactly she was going to be doing. She told us she liked working with social media, so that’s what she started with. But as we became busier and busier, we soon needed her for other things: working at the dinners (she didn’t have any experience as a waitress), marketing our product to hotels and tourism agencies (she didn’t have any experience in sales or marketing), and the list just goes on… Needless to say, it didn’t go very well. She was unhappy because she was completely out of her comfort zone, and we were frustrated because she didn’t bring the results we were hoping for.
Unfortunately, it took us quite a long time (and a few more employees), to realize what the problem was: we were hiring people and making their jobs up on the go! Their jobs and responsibilities changed from week to week, there was no clear structure, and in the end, we couldn’t hold anyone responsible for this mistake except for ourselves! It was much later when we realized that most, if not all, employees need structure; they need a foundation to build upon - a solid one that will allow them to enhance their personal talents and to excel within the company, thereby hopefully surpassing the company’s target goals.
Therefore, if you’re hoping to find employees that fit the job description, make sure you know what that description is going to be!
I've created a free worksheet that will guide you through writing a suitable job description, it's not as hard as it sounds, I promise :) Download it here:
2. Find employees that complement your skill set, hire to your weaknesses.
This is another crucial point. You want to find employees who are awesome at the things you’re not! What you don’t want is having to recheck your staff’s work, because you don’t think they’re capable of doing a good enough job. So, figure out what areas you need help with: what tasks you prefer not to undertake, what tasks can’t you do because they're out of your area of expertise?
But don’t stop there. If you’re going to hire someone for an area of expertise, one of which you have limited knowledge, make sure you inform yourself of what will be needed for the success of your business. You don’t want to find employees who are inexperienced and which results in you paying them for subpar work.
Get some help in writing a job description that will guarantee you're getting such expertise in your newly-hired employee. Chances are, you probably know someone in your industry, so ask them for advice. You can also always ask in relevant Facebook groups or forums, or feel free to contact me for help!
3. Make sure you have enough money and work for them.
Again, this is hugely important if you’re looking to find employees that will stay with you. If you’re planning on hiring someone full-time, or perhaps even part-time, be sure to have enough work coming in, or money saved up to be able to pay them for at least 6 months. Otherwise, it’s just going to be a waste of your time and their time. Think about how long it takes for you to train someone in order for them to work independently!
Also, you don’t want to hire someone and then not have enough work for them to do; such a decision would be a waste of money and effort on your part. So, if you’re not sure you can afford to hire someone on a fixed salary right now, or that you have enough work for them, then please move on to the next point!
4. Think about outsourcing.
Outsourcing is when you hire a specialist in a particular area - usually an area about which you have limited knowledge - and simply pay them per project and only for a specified period of time. In this way, you won’t have any ongoing fixed costs, and there is no commitment to a permanent work relationship. So, in case you’re not happy with the way they work, you can simply look for someone else, no hard feelings and no explanations needed. Upwork.com and Guru.com are great websites to investigate if you’re looking for a freelancer.
Another option is hiring a virtual assistant (VA). Not only are VAs often experts in certain areas, and will probably know more than you about certain fields, they are generally highly-skilled, and will happily do those repetitive, time-consuming tasks for you, so you can get back to what’s really important: growing your business. You can hire a VA for certain projects and pay them per hour, and another option may be to hire one in a part-time or full-time salaried position. Check out this Facebook group that's specifically for virtual assistants for bloggers.
Now, when you’re outsourcing - be it to hire a freelancer or a VA - it’s just like hiring employees. You’ll probably have to interview a few potential applicants before you find the right one and don’t forget to check their social media links and work history. Most freelancers won’t do any “test” work for free, but there is nothing wrong with asking them for their portfolio and starting them off with smaller projects to confirm that they’re capable. Again, it’s crucial to have a clear job/project description written out, and to set deadlines and target dates.
Download the free workbook to determine what tasks you should outsource, how much you can afford to pay, and ultimately how to write a clear job description:
When you’re outsourcing you’ll have to draw up a contract in which you clarify what the job is and what the deadlines and target dates are. This is for your own protection. Click here for some examples.
Just a tip, and I’ve learned my lesson here, don’t just go for the cheapest applicant! You certainly don’t have to go for the most expensive one, but at a minimum, you must ensure that the person you're hiring is a well-learned, reputable applicant, and pay that potential employee the market rate.
5. Take on an intern.
Lastly, there is an option for you to hire someone, even if you don’t have a stable income or job to offer: hire an intern. Interns are a great option if you need someone to do easy, repetitive tasks. Plus, they are free! You’ll actually find that interns, although not very experienced, are willing to learn and will be grateful for the experience of working with you. LinkedIn.com is a great place to start if you’re looking to hire an intern, and so are the local colleges and universities in your area.
A few suggestions on hiring an intern: have a training manual in place that you can pass on to them, so you won’t have to constantly look over their shoulder and check if they’re doing their job. Another tip (and I’m saying this because I once was an intern, too), don’t only give them boring, repetitive tasks. Try and include them in some of the things that you’re working on, or take them along to your meetings. After all, if they enjoy working with you, they'll only work harder, and you might even be able to find a future, loyal employee in them as your business expands!
I hope this article will help you what to look out for when you’re hiring your first employee or freelancer.
Do you have any questions? Want to share an idea? Leave a comment below!