- Part 1 – Do You Need to Hire At All?
- Part 2 – Writing a Job Post That Works
- Part 3 – Reviewing and Filtering Applications
- Part 4 – Testing and Interviewing Candidates
- Part 5 – Review: Choosing the One
A little odd for a guide on hiring, but the first thing to check when thinking about hiring is whether you need to hire at all.
There are a variety of solutions available to get work done in your business and you should consider which of these is right for you right now.
What are your goals for your business?
Take a moment to think about the goals you have for your business.
What’s holding you back from achieving them?
What would make the biggest difference in achieving/exceeding your goals?
Having your goals clearly in mind helps to keep you focused in the right direction.
What do you want to be done?
Do you already have an idea of what role you want? Or perhaps you’re not sure what role your needs fall into?
You might have an idea of the tasks you want to be done. Perhaps they are the ones that you dislike doing the most yourself or those on the never-ending to-do list, never getting done.
As you think about this, be aware that the role you ‘want’, or the tasks you want to be done, may not be what your business ‘needs’ the most right now.
You may think you want a Virtual Assistant when what you really need the most is a marketing person.
This is where taking a moment to think about your vision and goals for your business can help you focus on the right things.
List out what the most important tasks are that need to be done to achieve your goals.
Think of this in terms of what the new person’s output would be.
What would they produce?
How would you measure their success?
Common examples of key roles include:
- Social media posts written
- Emails responded to
- Support tickets handled
- Meetings scheduled
- Research completed
- Travel plans arranged
- Conversions from ads to sales
- Return on ad spend (ROAS)
- Emails sent
- Calls booked
- Orders won
- Designs created
- Features developed
- Bugs fixed
What are the tasks that if they were taken off your plate (assuming you’re doing them now) would make the biggest difference to the business?
Here are some questions to ask yourself to guide you towards making the right decision on the role you need to hire:
- How are you really spending your time currently? Do you know? If not, take a look at your calendar or look at using a time-tracking tool like Toggl for a few weeks.
- What’s the value of your time?
- Are there people or services you’re already paying for that could do more?
- What roles are you performing right now?
- What roles are you not performing but should be?
Imagine yourself once you’ve hired.
What would be different? What would you be doing? What would they be doing? What would you not be doing anymore?
Not sure about the answers to these questions?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Getting even a minute to think about your vision for the future can be tough when faced with everything else on your plate, so let me help.
I’ve helped hundreds of business owners come up with a simple vision for their team and their business needs.
In a short call, we can talk through it and get you the clarity you need to move forward. Click here to book.
What’s the priority of hiring for this role?
How important is it to hire for this work to be done? Is it really going to make a difference? When you think about what things will be like once this person has started, if things aren’t that different then do you have the right role or work in mind?
If not, then spend some more time thinking this through until you get to the work that’s going to make the biggest difference.
It’s easy to say you want to hire someone to help you in your business. It’s hard to commit the time, effort and money to actually hiring the right person for you.
I highly recommend making sure that hiring the role you want is going to deliver you the benefits you want before you jump in.
By doing this, you increase the chance of getting a successful hire as you’ll be clear on the benefits they’re going to bring. You’ll also understand what they’ll need to offer you to deliver those benefits.
Hiring for the first time? Two Key Options to consider
The two options that follow are most commonly considered when hiring for the first time. However, the principle applies every time you hire.
1 – Hire someone to lighten your load so you can do more of the really hard/high-value tasks
If the business owner is doing most tasks themselves, they’ll often hire a lower-level role like a Virtual Assistant, Executive Assistant, Customer Support person, Project/Client coordinator or Marketing Assistant to take on tasks that they’re currently doing themselves.
By having these tasks taken care of, they free up time to focus on the big things like Sales, Marketing and improving the business.
2 – Hire a top-level person to lead and drive a particular function forwards
This approach can often move the business forward faster, but it requires more money upfront to be able to pay a higher-level person. Plus, they often won’t alleviate time or pressure from the business owner.
Often they’ll work on bigger things that will really drive towards the business goals. They will likely increase revenue, however, often we find that business owners aren’t ready financially or emotionally to jump straight into hiring this level of a role as one of their first hires.
It can often help to draw out a simple organization, (or accountability) chart with the common roles found in most businesses and put your name in all of the boxes where you’re currently doing those roles.
It’s likely you’ll be putting your name in many, or maybe even all of the boxes, but that’s ok. The first step is to recognize this is the case.
The second step is to do something about it – both for the success of your business and for your own sanity.
Think About Your Structure
By having the key roles/accountabilities within your business in a simple chart, you can visualize the change that would happen as a result of having someone else take on the role or key accountabilities. This helps you make the right decisions when it comes to choose the next role you want to hire for.
Sample organization/accountability chart above that I drafted for JobRack – this follows the Accountability chart approach as detailed by Gino Wickman in his book Traction.
Alternatives to hiring
I mentioned above that before you hire you should consider alternatives. (This must be the most unusual guide to hiring ever where I encourage you to think about not hiring!)
Alternatives to hiring include:
Getting people/services you already pay to do more
A common example is whether your accountant offers bookkeeping services. For a small amount of extra cost each month, they could take this off your plate, and categorize your spending and your receipts without you having to think about doing it yourself or hiring a bookkeeper.
Consultants often have people that can do the work too.
For instance, when I was working with a Sales Funnel consultant, he also had a small team that could implement the changes we came up with, designing landing pages, configuring automation, and all small tasks that landed on my plate until I asked if he knew anyone that could help. It was a lot more cost-effective than I expected it to be, and it got them done a lot faster than if they’d landed on my to-do list.
Find new services to contract to do regular work for you
For instance, if you have a few blog articles you want to be written each month, then perhaps consider a content writing service instead of hiring your own content writer.
Hiring a freelancer is very similar to hiring a full-time or part-time team member albeit with much less commitment so the implication of making a ‘wrong’ hire is less.
Just remember that this lower commitment works both ways. There’s often no commitment for them to be available to you, and they may take on other work that affects their delivery to you.
All of these are good options for you to be aware of and think about. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can avoid hiring if you do really need a team member for your business.
Long-term, committed team members are almost always at the root of a successful business.
After considering all these options, if you’ve realized that yes, you definitely do need to hire, then let’s move on and take you through the steps of getting the high-quality hire that you need.
If you’re not sure where to begin or you want some help with your hiring questions and challenges then click here to book a free call with me and I’ll help you out.
Now that you know you do really want to hire a new team member, it’s time to think about them properly.
It’s best to have a pen and paper with you for this bit, or a document where you can make notes and start building your new hire profile.
What will they be doing?
- What tasks do you want the person to do?
- What are their outputs/what will they produce each day, week or month?
- What skills/experience will they need?
- How will you measure their success?
- What is the role typically called?
- Is there anything fundamentally different about this role within your specific business?
Note: Measuring success is crucial. You may not actually do this, but you do need to know how you will determine if they’re doing a good job or not.
These notes don’t need to be perfect, you’re just looking to get the outline of the role you’re looking to fill and the person that might fill it. If more than 80% of your needs fit into a ‘conventional role’ then great, that’s going to make it easier. If not, don’t worry. We’ll build it up as we go.
You can always have additional requirements, tasks or skills you need, just be aware that if you want 10% of 10 completely different roles, then finding this person will be like looking for a Unicorn.
Want some inspiration on the blend of skills within roles?
Check out jobrack.eu and browse some of the jobs other business owners are hiring for right now.
What tools or systems should they be familiar with?
What tools do you use, or want to use, in your business?
Many collaboration and communication tools are common across remote businesses, and easy to pick up even if someone hasn’t used them before.
However, you may have more specific systems that you need your new hire to be familiar with.
This is especially true with Developers but can also be the case with many other roles so take some time to think about particular tools you need to include.
Tip: Experience with one collaboration tool like Monday.com, Asana, Trello etc. will make onboarding of any hire much easier. Also, if you’re focused on automation and improvement then any experience with process automation with tools like Zapier is a big plus.
What personality traits are you looking for?
This aspect is crucial. If you can figure out what you need upfront, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and pain.
Think about what type of person you get along with and what characteristics they need to have in order to get along with your team whilst also being able to deliver on the job you need.
For instance, do you want someone who is outgoing, energetic, always coming up with new ideas and wants to make lots of improvements?
Or do you want someone really focused on the detail, making sure the right things happen at the right time, often a little more quiet and unassuming?
Or do you want a combination of the two?
Being aware of what you like about people and what frustrates you can help you attract and hire people you’ll enjoy working with. Just don’t be too prescriptive.
After all, life’s about variety, and working with people different from ourselves is a great way to learn and grow.
Do you need them to be in a particular geographical area or timezone? Do you need them to have access to particular resources that are in some way limited? Or do you just need them to have a computer and an internet connection?
Do you have any particular language skills they must have? Do you serve customers or suppliers in non-English speaking markets that you’d like your new team member to be able to communicate with?
Hours you need
How many hours do you want them to work? Do you have specific requirements? For example, you may need them to work between certain hours or to have sufficient overlap with your own time zone or that of your team or your customers.
Tip: Be careful when it comes to working hours. Almost no one likes working night shifts or unsociable hours long term. Very few people like to spend their Friday and Saturday nights working. So unless it’s crucial, do everything possible to align your desired working hours with the normal working day of the location you’re hiring from and you’ll get a greater range of quality applicants to choose from.
When hiring remotely, know that you can achieve a huge amount with just 2-4 hours of crossover with your team. You may also get the benefit of waking up and them having already done a large chunk of work giving you a great head start on the day.
Does this person exist?
Take a look through the notes you’ve just made as you’ve answered these questions.
Are you asking too much? Does this person exist?
If you are being unrealistic then you’ll normally have a feeling about this. Just remember there are some pretty amazing people with incredible skills out there if you look in the right places.
As an example, if you’re looking to hire an assistant, then here’s a list of common tasks that you could get them to do for you:
- Setting up an efficient email flow and answering emails
- Helping optimise and organise your workflows
- Helping sift through applicants for new positions
- Reminding you to buy end-of-year gifts for employees
- Come up with ideas for gifts, take care of buying & sending them
- Administrative tasks like Invoicing
- Managing all aspects of your online calendar
- Scheduling and posting content on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- Scheduling calls with clients and prospects
- Helping you stay organized with all kinds of daily tasks
- Creating SOPs
- Communicating with other VAs regarding different tasks and projects
- Processing emails
- Scheduling calls
- Tracking results
- Creating documentation
- Working with spreadsheets
- Managing your LinkedIn account
- Creating reports
- Writing short content articles, FAQ answers, posts on forums, groups and Q&A’s on places like Reddit and Quora
- Using creative skills to create and improve all kinds of assets including Facebook ads, LinkedIn posts, Youtube videos, resources and templates for guides, client presentations and more
If you’re not sure then get some advice. I’m always happy to chat through and help you out so click here to book a call.
Now, you’ve got a good outline of your new person. It’s time to consider where to find them.
Where to find your new hire?
There are hundreds of options when it comes to where to find your new hire.
Where you should look for them also depends on your particular needs and requirements.
For example, if you need them to speak a specific language or have very specific skills, then you need to focus on the location that will give you access to people with those skills.
Or, you might have a particular region in mind, either because you have team members there already, or because you’ve heard good things about hiring from that region.
There are hiring sites for almost every niche you can imagine. It all comes down to choosing what’s most important for you and choosing a site or service that you can trust to help you get the quality new team member you need.
How much will they cost?
This isn’t just about their salary. Although that will normally be the biggest single item, don’t ignore other costs.
These may include:
- Software or tools you need them to have access to
- Training courses needed either for the role or as part of their development
- Your time – you’ll need to manage them, and spend time with them (and this has a cost!)
- The hiring process itself, whether you do it yourself or get help with the process, hiring someone costs both time and money.
Often, business owners looking to hire will set a budget, and then look to find someone willing to work for that amount.
The problem with this approach is that you’ve set a budget without clarifying whether the skill level you want is available for that budget.
If you’ve already progressed to advertise your role with a salary that isn’t right, then you’ll see this through either poor-quality applicants or even no applicants at all.
You’re then faced with the decision of whether to continue and increase your budget or, more commonly, business owners compromise on the quality of the person hoping it will work out. It almost certainly won’t!
Failed hiring costs a lot of time and money so it’s important to avoid mistakes that lead to wasting your time, effort and money.
Becoming informed on the right way to hire is the best route to avoiding mistakes like these, so by reading this guide you’re already one step ahead.
Before you start hiring for your role you need to find out how much these roles are being paid in the areas you’re considering.
Whether it’s full-time or part-time, senior or junior, you need an idea of what salary similar roles are offering and think about how that matches up with your budget.
If you’re not sure how much to pay then this is definitely an area to get some advice.
Ways to check your salary/budget
- Check out other similar jobs
- Look for salary guides/surveys for the areas/skills you’re looking to recruit
- Ask other business owners
- Ask for advice from the site you’re considering posting your job with
- Get help from someone providing a hiring service
Note that salary can vary hugely depending on the exact skills, experience level, and location of the person, so this is where speaking to someone with lots of experience in the roles and locations you’re considering will really add value.
If you want some personalized salary advice for your role, then feel free to get in touch and I’ll help guide you for your particular requirements.
Once you’ve found out what salary the role you want requires, then hopefully this will align with your budget. If not, you may need to either compromise or find a way of hiring the skill level you need at a lower cost.
You may also need to increase your budget!
Hint: There are areas in the world where you can get incredibly high skill levels at less than half the cost of hiring in the USA or Canada or similar high-cost countries. Eastern Europe is where businesses hire the best remote talent anywhere in the world. Oh, and did I mention? Here at JobRack we specialize in the very best of Eastern European remote talent.
When hiring, make sure you consider how much help you want and need throughout the hiring process.
- Is there someone you can speak to and ask questions?
- Do they offer guidance on how much to pay for specific roles?
- Can you get guidance on how to hire and tips for getting the best results?
- Do they offer services to save your time and effort, or do they expect you to do all the work?
- Do they guarantee results?
Hiring is hard, so you’ll want to get every possible advantage. Take a moment to think about these questions before starting the process.
Now, just before we get into the specifics of exactly how to hire, you need to ask yourself how much of this you have the skills and the time to do yourself.
As you’ll learn, hiring successfully takes time and a lot of effort.
Do you have that time?
Do you have the skills and experience to do this yourself?
Hiring typically takes a minimum of 40-60 hours of time and effort to complete, often more.
This is broken up between the upfront effort of crafting a really great job post, creating application forms and filtering criteria, advertising and sourcing the quality applicants you need. That's all before you’ve even started to review candidates - and that’s when the hard work starts!
This is the moment to ask yourself whether you want to focus on running your business and get some expert help from people that specialize in hiring to guarantee a good result for you in hiring for this role.
That's something to bear in mind as you read through the next steps of this guide.
Typically there are three options, I often liken it to climbing a mountain.
1 – Do It Yourself
You manage the process yourself – writing the job post, attracting the right candidates, reviewing and filtering, testing and interviewing. All of the control… And… All of the work!
2 – Done With You
Have someone guide you through the entire process including taking on the heavy lifting during the early stages of the hiring process.
Work with them to agree on what you want and let them craft a great job post, promote your role and source the candidates making sure you get great applicants. Have them do all the filtering and reviewing so you only get to see the good candidates.
Then have guidance from hiring experts as they help you through effectively testing and interviewing candidates to make sure you choose the right one for you.
3 – Done For You
The helicopter to the top of the mountain option – you just want results. You want someone else to do all the heavy lifting and present you with just two to three fully vetted, awesome candidates ready for your final interview and selection.
Want to talk more and understand these options? Feel free to book a free call to discuss what’s right for you.
The plan – your hiring funnel
Now it’s time to get serious and take you through the specific steps of how to get your new hire.
When hiring, you need to have a clear picture of the process you’re going to follow to lead to a successful hire.
Think of it as a sales funnel.
You want to get a good number of people in at the top of your funnel, and then filter and reduce them down through each stage to end up with the one new hire you’re looking for.
You’ve already figured out roughly what you want your new person to do, the skills and experience they might need and the type of role you’re looking to hire.
Before we jump in with crafting the perfect job post – one that gets attention and attracts the right candidates – take a brief moment to plan out your hiring process. We’ll go through each of these steps in more detail as you work through this guide.
- How are you going to attract the right people to apply?
- How do you want them to apply? (a message, an email or an application form – more on this shortly)
- What information do you want them to include?
- How will you review and filter the applications?
- How will you manage communications with the applicants?
- When will you want to speak to them?
- How will you test them?
- What will the interview consist of?
- How will you offer and contract your new hire?
- How long will this process take from start to finish?
By having your thoughts in place for each of this upfront, you can be sure that you’re covering all the key stages that lead to a successful new hire.
You can then craft the job post to include details of these steps, and you can also consider the time and effort you need to put into the hiring process and schedule time into your diary for the coming weeks.
The next step is the second part of our hiring guide – and that’s Writing a Job Post That Works.