Hiring employees is one of the most stressful, but also one of the most important strategically for the success of your growing business.
So before you start posting ads and reading resumes I need you to ask yourself this basic question:
Why are you hiring someone?
I know this sounds so elementary but really you MUST know the WHY behind your hiring because that is what will drive all of your subsequent decision-making.
A Solid Investment to Make Life Easier
A new employee in your business will often be brought on simply to make your life as the Owner or Manager easier. And bringing in a new person is not just an extra set of hands, but ideally a fresh perspective on how to improve and enhance the operation.
It's pretty straightforward to come up with solid financial reasoning by calculating a simple Return on Investment (ROI) when someone is freeing you up to do what you do, especially if that is directly related to your bottom line.
So let's say you're an Attorney and you can bill a client $125/hour for your services. If you hire a legal secretary or assistant, at a cost of $25/hour, in the most simplistic sense, any work you offload to them frees you up to bill clients and achieve a $100/hour ROI. I know there are other cost considerations, but this is how you start to figure out what it's "worth" to hire someone new into your business.
You will also need to give some serious thought as to the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks you will offload to this new employee. Be as precise as possible in writing down what you want someone to do, how often, and how you want the work done. This will clarify in the interviewing process, as well as once the person joins your team, what their responsibilities are, and what "good work" looks like at your company.
Adding Something New
You also might hire in someone with a different skill set from you, in order to achieve something new in your business.
So perhaps you are a Hair Salon owner, and you decide to hire a Massage Therapist in order to open up a new line of business and offer an enhanced service to your clientele. You could calculate the value of offering massages as an add-on or standalone service, and then determine how valuable it might be to bring in a Massage Therapist. You would calculate that together with the cost of salary, taxes, office or retail space, equipment, and other costs related to adding an employee, to get your ROI.
While these examples are very simple, I want you to start thinking about putting some solid strategic and financial reasoning behind hiring your new employee.
If you do not know why you are hiring someone, they will have no clue why they are there.
This spells eventual disaster in an employer - employee relationship. Not just communicating someone's responsibilities their goals--stretch goals-- are absolutely essential in order to motivate good people to stay in your business. It makes them part of a big picture, and helps them to think beyond the mundane day-to-day tasks that are part of any job, no matter how much you like it.
And as the owner you must understand the financial reasoning behind adding a job, and there must be a Return on Investment, or it is not a sound business decision.
If you understand why you need to hire someone, you will be really clear on whether they are succeeding or failing--or somewhere in between--which helps you manage and motivate them. It's also much easier and clearer to know when it's time for a pink slip.
Do you even need to hire someone?
I know this website is all about hiring, so maybe it's weird for me to ask you to consider NOT hiring someone. But I believe this is an important question that all business owners should seriously ask themselves.
Recently I discussed this with a friend who runs a small Chiropractic office. Over the years she has struggled to hire, train, and retain the right person as a Front Desk Office Assistant and Billing Specialist. As we talked, we walked through some questions about her business and challenged her to think outside of the box.
If you just DIDN'T hire someone, what would have to change?
For my Chiropractor friend, she had to consider:
Could you have patients schedule their own appointments online? (eliminating the scheduling and most of the phone answering part of the job)
Could you take payments and simply not submit paperwork to insurance, but put the responsibility for insurance reimbursement on the patient? (eliminating the medical billing part of the job completely)
Could you use a Virtual Assistant for other administrative jobs? (freeing her up to continue to see more patients, which is more valuable financially)
Could you move your retail products to the back of the office, or put them in a locked display case? Or could you recommend, sell, and order retail products for your patients but have them shipped to their home? (solving a security concern of theft of products in the waiting area)
Could you lock an inner door or institute a buzz-in system for the outer door? ( to address any physical security concerns that might come up when you don't have a person at the front desk)
These were some challenging questions for my friend, but we walked through them because the headache of churn in her front desk position has sometimes had her considering shutting down her business! That's crazy for someone who is good at what she does and has a long-standing group of patients she cares for.
If you think creatively, there is often potential for jobs within your business to be accomplished with one or more of the following: Automation (computers, devices, software, apps, and other tech tools), Independent Contractors like Virtual Assistants, New Operational Systems for you or your customers, and even Facility Design and remodeling!
I want you to know that it's ok to do the mental gymnastics of considering simply NOT hiring someone. As long as you are serving your customers, you will come up with the right solution.
If you are ready to hire someone but need more help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions--I'd love to hear from you!