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I Need to Hire Someone, Where Do I Start?

If you are just getting started hiring someone for your business, or if you need to hire someone but have been unsuccessful in finding good people in the past, you may be wondering where to begin.

You might be spending hundreds chasing the latest shiny object in job postings on the internet. Perhaps you think that the good old newspaper is still the answer.

You might be hoping your cousin's best friend from college will work out and not be a complete loser if you do go ahead and decide to hire him.

Maybe you are scared and putting your head in the sand…working late and putting off this stressful task!

Can I let you in on a secret? The first step in hiring actually is pretty boring.

{I'm sorry.}

Maybe you are already halfway done with it. {Yay, you!}

The first step is making sure you have a really good description of the job you are hiring for.


Hey! Wait! Stay with me!

This is the most important part of the process which many business owners and managers tend to neglect or even ignore.

Defining the job is more than a boring list of duties or qualifications. In fact, a well thought out job description:

  • Becomes an inviting and attractive Job Ad

  • Helps you interview candidates

  • Serves as a basis for future performance evaluations

Get the Basics Down

To best define a job, start with the specifics of what that person will need to get done. That means identifying their day-to-day tasks.

Define How to Shine

Next you need to think about what success looks like in this position. That means figuring out what a person will have to accomplish in a typical day, week, month, or even year in order to be successful in this position.

Be specific! you need to include money, time, sales targets, or any type of measurable goals in order to define this realistically and specifically. This part is really important. Do not skip this part.

Tell Your Story

Now you need to think about this essential question: why would someone want to work for you?

That means figuring out: what is special about your company? your team ? your product or service?

How do you help your employees and your customers make a connection between what you are doing in the day to day and how that has a positive impact on people's lives, or on the world in general?

If you already have successful and happy employees, ask around the company: why do you like working here? What made you decide to join us? If you start to see patterns, you're onto something!

When you know how your company is special and you can effectively articulate that, you will automatically start to attract the right people.

Time For Your Homework

Begin with a little brainstorming today.

  1. Write down all the tasks you need an employee to do.

  2. Figure out how you will know they are performing well.

  3. Ask yourself: why would someone want to work here? List those reasons and then prioritize them.

Once you have brainstormed you have a good basis to write up your job description. You can break it into basic sections:

  • Description/Responsibilities: I usually like to use a paragraph description of the company with description of the job and/or a list of duties.

  • Knowledge/Skills/Abilities: These are the hard skill requirements (education, work experience, certifications), and you can include "soft skills" here too.

  • Other non-negotiables: Include shifts, availability, drug testing, etc.

  • Wrap up with clear instructions on how you want someone to apply.

Chances are this brainstorming will help you start to get some insights into where you will find ideal candidates (specific schools, competitors, or similar industries) and also what questions you will want to ask in an interview to confirm they have the right skills.

Want even more help with hiring? Sign up to get my Guide to Interviewing Like a Boss, a free eBook with tons of ideas and interview questions to use now. Click here to sign up. I'll pop in your email inbox from time to time with other new ideas and updates on the blog.

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