HELP! I NEED HELP! BUT I’M AFRAID TO HIRE!
Is your business finally growing? Are you finding yourself working more and more hours and still getting fewer things checked off your “to do” list? Feel like you are wearing 16 hats and only handling 8 of them well? It may be time to consider hiring some help! And, yes, I know, that idea throws you into a total panic because all you hear is horror stories from your friends who have employees! It doesn’t have to be that way and I am here to tell you—you can survive this—and even thrive—once you have more time to work on the key things that will keep your business moving forward.
I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START
Well, around here, we are fond of Steven Covey’s motto: “Begin with the end in mind”! Ask yourself these questions:
- IF you had a FABULOUS someone who could anticipate your needs, pick up your slack, wear some of your hats and handle anything you dropped on him or her, what would that look like? If you can envision it, you can get there!
- What are the biggest “ball drops” for you? What important tasks are you neglecting?
- What are the biggest “time wasters”? And by that I mean things that have to get done but not necessarily by you and they take time and they take you away from things that would actually GROW the business.
Next, you need to start capturing all the things you are doing. WRITE IT DOWN! No, I mean it, really write it down. For each “hat” you wear—sales, marketing, business planning, emails, social media, ALL OF IT—start a separate list of tasks, ideas, things you would do if there was time, things that aren’t getting done, etc. Eventually these lists will become job descriptions for one or more people.
SEE, THAT WASN’T SO HARD!
Now it’s time to analyze those lists. Look at each list. Put a “star” next to each item that only you can do. Are you done? Does every item have a “star” next to it? Nope, Sorry! Now go back again –this time with a friend or colleague—Ask the difficult questions: REALLY? Do you REALLY have to do this? Are you the ONLY one who can do this task? Cut the list of “stars” down by at least 30%! Just do it!!
Now take a look at your list of items that are “star-less”. This is the beginning of a job description for your new employee!
OK—I HAVE MY LIST—SO NOW WHAT DO I DO?
The key to any hire is first and foremost to make sure that they have the skill set you need. That list you made of tasks—now you need to analyze it again. What are the skills that are needed in order to be successful at those tasks? Make a new list—this time of the SKILLS that your new employee will need to have. Do they need to type? Write and edit? Understand Facebook or Instagram? Twitter or SnapChat? Will they be driving for you (I’m not talking about getting to and from work, that’s a whole different discussion!), running errands, shopping? Answering phones? Whatever it is they will be doing, you want to make sure that they have the skills (or can learn the skills) they will need. We’ll talk later about what else they’ll need to be successful.
MAD SKILLS! I HEAR YA! SO WHERE AM I GONNA FIND ANOTHER ME?
It’s honestly not as hard as you think!
THEN WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE MAKE LOUSY HIRES?
Mostly because we are human! There’s been tons of research about recruiting and hiring and what we’ve learned is that we, as humans, have a tendency to gravitate to people we like and people like us. That’s great when we are talking about making friends—not such a great way to make hiring decisions. Unfortunately, we evaluate people more positively when we feel that they are more like us and that can cause us to overlook their actual abilities and skills—or lack there of! When you stick to your skill list up front, you make sure that you aren’t being swayed by the fact that you like or connect with a candidate. That’s more about what we refer to as “fit” and those things matter too, but only after you’ve made sure the skills are there!
We talk a lot about fit and culture in some of our other posts…
HOW MUCH HELP DO I NEED?
Take another good look at that list. How much work is there on a daily, weekly, or perhaps hourly basis? Do you need someone full time? A few hours a week? A few hours a month? Remember you can start small and build. In todays world there are lots of creative options. Maybe you could use a virtual assistant—someone who doesn’t necessarily need to be local. There are many different types of services available that you can purchase by the hour or by the block of hours. Or, you may want someone who actually shows up in your workspace, wherever that may be.
OK! I THINK I’M READY!
- I know what I want the person to do – ✔
- I know what they need to be able to do – ✔
- I have a starting point for how much time I need help (don’t worry this will be a moving target!) – ✔
NEXT UP …. SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND!
Before then, be sure to check out Gina’s posts on getting clear on your vision and values so you are ready to share those things with potential employees!
P.S. If you need help getting UNSTUCK, REGISTER NOW for our one-day conference “From Pain To Profit: Strategically Pivot Your Talent and Culture” on June 23 in Myrtle Beach.
ABOUT THE POST AUTHOR
Karen has an extensive background in Human Resources, Organization and Leadership Development, Coaching and Management Development in a wide variety of environments. Prior to her corporate career, Karen spent over ten years providing Leadership Development and Student Services on college campuses. Karen then held strategic positions with The Bank of New York, Fleet Boston (now Bank of America), Southco Engineering, AIG Marketing, and the Coca Cola Company. She has managed human resources departments, designed and delivered global leadership programs, implemented corporate wide succession planning and change management initiatives, and provided coaching and development to senior executives, higher education leaders and front line management.