While your business may be a one-person operation now, you might want to hire employees as it grows. Here are some tips for hiring and retaining self-motivated, talented employees who take your business to new heights.
Finding skilled, driven employees is a challenge for any business, no matter how big or small. Employees are not merely people who perform a specific job – they are critical to how your business is perceived – your brand. Your customers will only keep returning if they are delighted with the quality of service they receive. How they are treated by your employees is an important part of their experience.
If you are a one-person operation hiring its first employee or a small business, having the right employees is even more crucial. Here are some tips to help you find the right addition to your work family:
Know what you’re looking for
Before you advertise for a position, take a pen and a sheet of paper and describe the ideal fit’s responsibilities, skills and personality traits. Do not be too vague – you won’t be able to evaluate employees if you aren’t clear on what you’re looking for. Next, list down anything that you do not want in an employee (for instance, poor people skills).
Aside from having a good technical understanding, your employees should have a pleasant personality. If he or she is knowledgeable but is impatient, curt or dismissive of your client’s worries (no matter how ridiculous they sound), it will result in a very poor customer experience. Remember that fixing computers is only half of your business. The other half is making your customers happy, and it takes more than just technical skills to do that.
Find the right channels to advertise
Once you have a structure ready, advertise for the position in media where the ideal fit is likely to know about the position. Craigslist is an obvious choice, simply for the number of people who see it, but do not hesitate to get creative. You could use social media to reach local applicants, bulletin boards at high schools or community colleges, and local hobbyist / technology clubs.
Don’t be surprised if local centers for senior citizens and veterans throw up experienced people who are either highly motivated or having a lot of free time. And although staffing agencies can’t always find you the right fit, they can save you the hassle of drug testing and background checks, if local regulations demand that. Choose a mix of approaches that best work for you.
During the interview…
Using the description that you wrote down, think of what questions or tests you want to cover in your interview. For one, this will this make your assessments more objective. It will also make sure that you do not miss out on asking anything important.
Even the best applicant can get nervous at the time of an interview… this is especially true for us technically-oriented types. If you already know what to discuss, you can focus on making the interview more conversational, which in turn will help you find the best fit for the job.
Consider outsourcing non-technical work
You might be wanting to hire someone new because you are getting swamped with work. In addition to your bread-and-butter work, have accounts to manage, calls to return, brochures to design and print, and a new website to design. But if that’s what you want a new employee to help you with, perhaps outsourcing might be a better option for you. You’d be surprised to learn how much you can hire another agency to do – everything from replying to emails and logging tickets, to doing your taxes and designing your website.
Any work that your customers are not paying you for, can be outsourced to someone else. Outsourcing doesn’t imply hiring an agency in another country, nor does it have to be expensive. Rather than being a jack of all trades, why not give another company or freelancer a contract for it? It might be a cheaper option than hiring an employee. And if you do not like the service, terminating the contract will be less wasteful than firing an employee.
Have you hired or thought of hiring someone? What has your experience been like? Share your thoughts in the comments below!