How to Hire the Right Person to Help with Your Creative Business
A Guest Post by Holly Jaleski, SureFit Hiring
So, you started your own business. Yay!
And now you've gotten so busy you need to hire people to help you? Double yay!
We all dream of making it big in business and being able to hire people to do all the things we don't enjoy or aren't that good at. But when it comes right down to hiring, well, most of us wish we had a magic genie that could just find us the perfect person who will stay with us forever... and find that person NOW. I have heard this from so many business owners and hiring managers.
So, sans magic genie, how do you go about hiring the perfect person, the first time?
I have put together a few steps to help you find the best person for your open position!
1. Get very clear as to what attributes you are looking for in the person you are about to hire.
Not just skills, but personality too! This is the most important step of all. Is this someone who shows up to work 15 minutes early, keeps a tidy space, is a perfectionist and meticulous? Or are you looking for someone who is more flexible, more creative, and playful? Writing down and visualizing your ideal employee is important. Understand what it will feel like to work with this person each day.
2. Now that you're clear, write a job ad with that person in mind.
What wording and benefits will attract your ideal employee?
3. Post your ad in places your ideal candidate would look.
For example, if you're looking for a nurse, there are several sites geared toward healthcare practitioners. Be sure to post on your website, too -- your ideal employee may also be your ideal follower!
4. Okay, now you have a bunch of resumes in front of you. Now what?
So remember when you wrote down the traits of your ideal employee? Get that out. Sit down with the resumes, and recall vividly your ideal employee. Now skim through each resume and get an initial feel for each one. Do they really have the skills you need your ideal employee to have? Say you need to hire an HR person, and you end up with 5 resumes of people who have no previous experience in HR. Is this okay with you? Are you willing to pay someone less who doesn't have HR experience, or are you willing to pay more to get someone who already knows how to take care of your HR needs, and doesn't need to figure it out on the job or ask you how to do it?
These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself, and it gets easier the more you do it. This is not an analytical process. Have you ever met someone and you knew instantly that you two were going to be friends? There was just a connection, right? Well that's what you're looking for in an ideal employee. It may take some practice to get that in a resume. But make notes as to your initial impression of each candidate. This will help you as you go along, to see where you were right and where you weren't.
5. Now for the interview. Have a list of interview questions. I have compiled a list here which you are free to use. Remember, the interview is a conversation. It is an opportunity for you to get to know the candidate better. You want to get a feel for the type of person they are. Use your intuition! Most business owners I know have very good intuition; This is a perfect time to use it. Make notes of your impressions, and remember that their answers to the questions aren't all that matters.
Ideally, you should have more than one person sit in on the interview. If you have any other employees, try to get them to join in also, even if it's just online. When I work with clients to help them hire a new employee, I have them include the persons who will be managing this employee, and a coworker or two at a minimum. If you don't have any coworkers, maybe get a friend, someone who is good with people. Better yet, someone who also has their own business. This not only enables you to identify whether or not the potential new employee will get along with the team, but also, some people simply talk with other people better. So, having a mix is great, as the candidate may feel most comfortable with one particular person in the group. It is okay if they don't look at you. When I sit in on interviews with my clients I wait until the end to ask any questions that I think are important that didn't get asked. I would rather observe and listen than have the person feel the need to speak directly to me.
6. Gather all the information you have written, your observations, and again remember your ideal employee. Which ones fit?
This is where you just have to learn to trust yourself. Trust your decisions. You got this far with your business, right? You must know stuff!
Be kind to yourself. This can take practice. There's always the option to hire someone on a probationary period, and if within that time things just aren't working, you can both move on. If you aren't happy, mostly likely the employee isn't happy either.
All of these tips apply to anyone you are hiring as a contractor as well. Just remember, anyone you hire as a contractor cannot be working at your facility or using your equipment: Otherwise, they are considered an employee under federal law.
The bottom line is clarity. When we need to hire someone, we usually begin with a vague sense that we need help. Then off we go, looking for that perfect person, before we are clear as to the attributes of that perfect someone. Start with being clear about your needs, and it will set you on the right path to finding the best employee or contractor for your company.
And if you do want a magic genie, I can help with that.
If you'd like your hiring questions answered on my Hiring Hotline, email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Holly Jaleski
Holly has over 20 years of hiring experience. She created the Sure Fit Hiring system in order to make her own life easier when she had to sort through 1,000 resumes for 30 positions in a short period of time. Her system worked so well that she beta tested it with companies in various industries to see if it would work in a variety of settings, and it did! It saved them hours of time and helped them to weed out prospects who just weren't the right fit. We all spend a lot of our time working, and Holly's passion is helping businesses build effective and enjoyable teams. It makes everyone's life better!