Hiring new employees, taking on casual staff, contractors or even outsourcing is an important way to expand your business. Each person you hire or contract with, can potentially be a duplicate of yourself so that you can expand your business in a smart way, without working harder. But, it’s important to ensure the people working with you, help lower your stress levels while expanding your business and giving you more balance in your life.
Understand Your Business Inside and Out
Know what goes into running your business each and every day, you want to know why you are doing something, who you’re doing it for, and what your goals are for the future. And you need to be able to explain it in an easy to understand way, to another person.
Go through Your Processes to Create a Task Lists
Take some time to go through each work day and create tasks lists of things that you do every day. This will help you narrow down the type of things you can outsource to employees or contractors. If you aren’t sure what goes into your day-to-day activities, it’ll be hard to outsource.
Be Able to Explain the Tasks You Need Done
Once you’ve created task lists of various things you do each day, separate them into different categories such as marketing, bookkeeping, creative, and so forth. It’s not likely you will find one person who does everything well; instead you’ll want to hire different people for each type of work that needs to be done.
By narrowing down the different categories of work that need to be completed, you can now focus on finding experts that love doing what needs to be done in that area. For instance, you don’t want to hire a writer to do graphic design or an administrative professional to set up your shopping cart unless this is their expertize.
Get Referrals from Colleagues
When you are sure exactly what you’re looking for, put the word out to your friends and colleagues because it’s more than likely that they can recommend just the right expert for you. When they do recommend the person, ask them to explain why they recommend them so that you know they’ve worked with the person before and aren’t simply just friends with them.
Be Able to Explain the Commitment You Expect
As you interview people who are potential candidates for the positions you’re filling, it’s important to be able to explain to them what you expect so that they can make a fair bid to you. This is especially true if you’re hiring a contractor instead of an employee. With an employee you can change things up a bit more because they’re essentially clocking in each day to do something as directed and aren’t as self-directing.
Ask Them How They Prefer to Work
When you interview any potential employee or contractor, ask them what they like to do most and how they like to do it. This will give you some insight into how well you and the person already gel together without having to change anything about yourself or them, as you get started working on projects together.
Ask for References
Not only should you ask for references from the person you’re interviewing, you should actually call the references or email the references. You can get by with less of this type of thing if you’re not going to give them anything too personal to do for you, but it’s really the only safe thing if you’re going to entrust them with a lot of proprietary or personal information.
Pay a Fair Wage
Nothing is more disheartening to a future employee or contractor who considers themselves an expert in their field than to be offered less than a living wage. Contractors will typically offer a bid but when you are giving a budget or an hourly wage for an employee, consider what you’re actually asking for and make your offer fair. Money isn’t everything, but it is why most have jobs or conduct business and everyone deserves steak at least once a week.
Never be Afraid to Fire
Hiring someone to work with you, is a big thing you are allowing someone to come in and you are trusting them to do a good job. Sometimes however things go wrong, so it’s always a good idea to hire people on a trial basis and then, to use this trial period to make sure they are the correct fit for you and your business.
I actually hired a developer a while back, he was a wiz with PHP but he was hired to design websites, this was his primary tasks and unfortunately his performance in this area was less than satisfactory. For a whole year, I tried to train him and bring his skills up to my standards and I failed, because in the end others were doing the design work he was employed for and he I was finding other work for him. This cause me and I imagine him a great deal of stress which lead to him being terminated… I now employ this person on a contract basis to do what he does well, as and when needed so our relationship is back to being great… and the lesson I learned here was, never employ someone simply because you like them, if they cannot deliver on what they should, then get rid of them.
It’s also important to understand the difference between hiring an employee and a contractor. An employee is someone where you can control their activities more from day to day, and you’ll have to provide certain benefits to them as well. With a contractor, you cannot control their day-to-day activities or direct to them too much of how they do something, but rather focus mainly on deadlines and deliverables.
It’s up to you who you want to work with, but do understand the difference so that working with them will go smoothly because employees and contractors have different attitudes and methods of completing tasks. Treating the people you work with well goes even further than paying a fair wage, so consider that part too after you choose someone.