Every growing small business gets to a stage in its life cycle where it cannot keep up with the increasing demands of the market. This is one of the first indicators of the need for scaling up and it’s a milestone that confirms that the business is moving in the right direction.
However, many solopreneurs that start their business and work their fingers to the bone with the dream to one day scale up and build a super successful multimillion-dollar company, have an extremely hard time delegating their work when the time comes.
On the other end of the spectrum are hasty entrepreneurs who dive headfirst into hiring spree which brings about its own set of problems. Hiring people is a big commitment that needs to be planned carefully but before we delve deep into the details of the process, let’s talk about why it’s inevitable to have a helping hand aboard if you want to take your business to the next level.
There Are 24 Hours in a Day
As a sole operator, you are accustomed to wearing every hat yourself which gives you a satisfying degree of control in all of your business operations. Notwithstanding the blood and sweat, things tend to go fine this way up until the point where you have to turn down work because you are working 16 hours a day and you simply can’t squeeze in more time.
And if you fail to resist the urge to take more work, any subsequent shortcomings could lead to the detriment of your business and reputation. This is why you need to take a moment and think about your business as a system of multiple functions that each needs to be maintained and nurtured.
At the center are your main products or services that require a certain amount of manpower to keep the business on track. But other functional areas such as marketing, sales, operations, and finance are just as important in growing and keeping your business afloat long term.
As a business owner, you can’t afford to focus on one area and neglect another. There are certain aspects of the business that you can’t easily delegate. Nobody can or will plan for the future of your business and keep its vision alive. Those are your responsibilities as the owner and every second you spend doing the work is a second taken away from long-term planning and business development.
How to Hire Your First Employee
Defining Roles and Responsibilities
Now that you know you need to hire, the next step is to map out the steps you have to take to make the task less daunting. To simplify things, briefly evaluate your business as a whole and try to classify its potential essential functions.
Start with the basic purpose of your business and break it into parts. Doing this step not only gives you an organizational view of the system you are building but also helps you clearly communicate with your future employees the goals of your company and the roles they are going to play in it.
Effective recruitment is not only about hiring the right people, it’s also about defining the right roles and responsibilities. For your first employee, make a complete list of everything you do and compare it to the functions and roles you developed as a whole. What is lacking? What are your most immediate needs? What tasks are you most efficient at and what tasks are more suitable for delegation?
Usually, time-consuming routine tasks whose progress is measurable and can be planned in advance are the ones to go first. However, you also need to be careful not to delegate only unpleasant tasks and you should always leave enough wiggle room to allow them to adjust and grow with your business.
Next, you need to make sure that you have the funds available. Hiring help is a commitment you need to take seriously and there is going to be a period of discomfort. If you don’t have the funds, open a separate account and start saving up for that hire. Calculate the median salary for the position you’ve identified and start setting aside until you have a budget for at least 3 months of payment.
Building Your Company Culture
Once you have the position and funds down, you need to start working on a rudimentary employee handbook. While a handbook may seem unnecessary at this point, it’s crucial to think about how you want to build your company culture from the get-go. There are a lot of problems and complications that you are going to run into in the future and it’s very important to set the tone right when management is much less complicated.
Your handbook doesn’t need to be a big hefty book. Just a few pages that cover your company’s mission, policies, and expectations to provide clarity in your workplace. Outline the basics such as your pay policies, timekeeping, and behavioral expectations, and then regularly build upon it as your business develops and your organization expands.
We recommend that you provide a distilled version as a gated online resource and link to it in your recruitment application form via a QR code using a free QR code generator and ask the applicant to read your terms and conditions carefully. This way, the applicants clearly understand what’s expected of them should they join your company.
Interviewing and Hiring
Nowadays, there are plenty of options for finding prospects to interview. We recommend you begin with your friends and the people you trust and respect. Ask them if they know someone that might be looking for work. You can also ask your good customers or clients as you already have a good working relationship with them. If you can’t find the right match among your acquaintances, you can utilize social media and online recruitment platforms to place advertisements.
Once you’ve started receiving resumes and applications, you need to sort through them to see who is worth interviewing. An effective way of doing this is to screen the resumes in big chunks and evaluate each applicant’s credentials in comparison to others. Try to develop a rating system by which you can rank them into a list of priorities and start interviewing them from the top.
Make sure you’re not making any rash decisions out of desperation. A bad hire causes more problems than it solves. And to minimize the occurrence of undesirable scenarios, make sure to set a probation period for anyone you decide to go with. This period allows you to assess their performance before closing the deal as many inflate or oversell their skills to increase their odds.