Episode 084: Show Notes
When people think of hiring, they often think that it is a complicated, convoluted, crazy process. But the truth is, it really doesn’t have to be. On today’s show, we break down the logistics of hiring into five basic action steps. First, by recognizing the gap in your business. Second, by putting your feelers out into the hiring marker. Then third, once you’ve got your list, narrowing it down to a promising employee selection. Next, negotiating pricing and then finally, locking it down with a contract. See, not too complicated, right?
Today we’re going to give you the inside scoop into how we do this in our own business as well as give you the resources to enable you to free up some time, protect yourself and your employees and get everyone on the same page and #winning! Whether you’re an employer looking to hire or an employee looking to be hired, take a listen for some tips for a more empowering experience.
Mind the Gap: Recognizing What Role Needs to Be Filled Within Your Business
In episode 22, we talked about the secret to scaling and growing your team. That episode really covered how to hire, how to spot holes in your workflow, your processes and in your business, and the difference between various types of team members. If you’re still at that point in the hiring process, we recommend heading over to episode 22 to take a listen first off! After listening to episode 22, getting really clear on the hole in your business, and identifying what type of employee you need to fill that gap (i.e. independent contractor, a full-time employee, an intern), you’ve narrowed down your scope and are ready to get started. There are two scenarios in which you can hire. Either a prospective employee approaches you with what they can offer, or you go out into the world and say, “Hey, this is what I’m looking for, who can do it?”
Feel It Out: How To Find That Prospective Employee
Once you’ve established the gap in your business that needs filling, it’s important to have a checklist of who you want this person to be. Add in how many hours you think you might need them and what their actual tasks are going to be. It’s important to be very clear about that description so you can weed out people who, right off the bat, just don’t fit your business needs right now. Whether you decide to advertise in Facebook Ads, in your business circles or through websites, the easiest way we’ve been able to weed people out is simply by seeing if they can follow instructions. If we put something out into the world and we ask them to do something and they don’t do what we ask, that’s the first sign that it’s not going to work out! The clearer you are about what you need and the type of person you want to fulfill that need, the more streamlined the hiring process will be from the get-go.
Trim It Down: Separating the A-Grade from the B-Grade Employees
So you’ve had some people contact you and you’ve got pile of people you’re considering. Exciting! Now we would highly suggest you hop on a phone call or a Skype call with this selection of people for about 15 or 20 minutes. There’s no better way to see whether or not you can connect with potential employees than by actually speaking to them. Hopping on a quick call with them is just about reestablishing where you are both at, at that moment, so you can see whether you are connecting well and if they are bringing ideas to the table.
Another important task is establishing whether you place more value on skill and experience or willingness to learn. However, determining this may be specific to the type of job vacancy you have. We have hired contractors straight out of college who are just getting their businesses started and getting their feet wet. Sometimes they might stumble in a conversation but their willingness to learn is ginormous. So you really have to decide: Do you want to go ahead and get the person that’s five steps ahead and a bit more expensive, or are you willing to go with someone who may have a little less experience, who’s perhaps not a perfect candidate but their attitude is right and their willingness to learn is there. Again, you just need to be aware of the time and energy you’re wanting to spend on your employee.
The Great Negotiation: Balancing Employer and Employee Needs and Wants
Rates can often be awkward to talk about, but it is one of those things that you just have to be real open about in the first conversation. A lot of people just assume whatever’s on their website or whatever the first number that comes out of their mouth is has to be the number that you go with. It’s not. A lot of times, contractors are just in the moment and they’re just spitting out whatever comes to mind! So it’s up to you, the employer, to educate them on what you’re looking for and what your expectations are. If you can go into the rate conversation with an open mind and define almost your own package of what you’re looking for, a lot of times, people will adjust their rate for you.
If you’re the one looking to hire, reaching out to people who have hired for a position like that is great. Ask them if they feel comfortable sharing their ballpark of what they spend on that type of employee and go from there. Both parties need to come prepared, but the person who is getting hired needs to be the one that’s the most solid about what they absolutely need to be getting paid. It is not the job of the person hiring to decide what they need. Ultimately, the person hiring wants the best deal but the person getting hired wants the most bang for their buck. It’s a balance that should make both parties happy, because if you end up hiring someone and they reduce their rate drastically for you, they might end up resenting you and hate the job! No one wants that, and it may affect the quality of their work.
For us, coming into this new period of our business, it seems that a recurring rate is a lot easier to digest. For us and for independent contractors. This is because we can predict what we’re going to be spending, and for them a recurring amount of money is gold. Another important thing to remember is that if you can offer anything extra to a contractor, don’t be afraid to bring it up. For example, in our team meetings every single month, we reserve 30 to 40 minutes just for our team members to ask us questions about their own businesses. Any added value you can put on the table must be mentioned!
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours: Contracts Reviews
Many employers are afraid of the C word, because putting people on a contract is liability for you. All of a sudden you’re trying to make sure they get fed every month! A lot of the time independent contractors run their own business, so they are going to send you some sort of contract. But you have every right as a small business owner (even though you're the one forking over the dollar bills) to send them your own contract too. Now, what this does is really establish the boundaries. There are a lot of things that they might get access to and you don’t want them sharing that information elsewhere. You want to protect that.
It’s important to know that if you’re struggling to commit to an employee you can also hire them on a short-term basis or for a trial-period. This will enable both parties to establish whether or not your business is a good fit for them before getting properly hitched! Another tip (which we researched the heck out of, just by the way) is that if you pay subcontractors with a credit card, there are some benefits. A) You can get cash back, but B) You don’t have to file a 1099 which could save you a bit of money, depending on how many subcontractors you have. These are all little things that need to be negotiated with your employee, so think before you ink!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with actual writing and legalities involved in putting together a contract, don’t sweat because this is going to help you with not only contractors, but your own clients and customers. Lawyer, Christina Scalera has a bunch of free contract templates for creatives like you and you can get access to all of those over at the thestrategyhour.com/contractshop .
Summary: Five action steps to hiring an employee
1) First you need to go listen to episode 22 so you can figure out what hole or gap you are going to fill and what type of role that person is going to play: an employee, an independent contractor, or an intern.
2) Put your feelers out on the internet, through the interwebs or by going through your inbox of people who have already contacted you looking at what makes sense.
3) Narrow it down. Hop on the phone with those peeps. Make a list of three to five people for one role. Get on a 15 or 20 minute phone call with them, test out the relationship and ask them if this project is something they want to do and how much are they going to charge.
4) Negotiate. Talk about their pricing, talk about their rates, don’t be afraid to talk about money. Money is an important part of this discussion, you need to make that a priority.
5) View their contract. Decide if you need your own contract and check out the strategyhour.com/contractshop to get yours up and running, delivered and signed. Now you can start having fun with your new team member, loving on them, getting some stuff done in your business and getting a little bit of your life back. Sounds good, right?
- Understand how to recognize the gaps in your business and where you need to start hiring. [0:02:33.1]
- Explore the different approaches of reaching out to find prospective employees or contractors to fill the hole in your business. [0:04:17.6]
- How to narrow down the list of potential employees, and figuring out whether or not it will work right off the bat. [0:06:20.4]
- Learning the art of negotiating, as the boss, and not simply settling for the first number that is thrown out there. [0:10:18.4]
- Understand more about the ins and outs of contracts and how to make sure you legally have all of your bases covered. [0:16:04.5]