If you’ve been in business for a while then you know that the things you handle today look very different from what your schedule used to look like when you were starting out. At some point, every business owner needs to face the reality that their business can’t just be their baby. It needs to grow and become a fully-fledged company with a team to support its growth and objectives. And this is what inspired me to highlight these four mistakes to avoid when hiring new talent for your business.
But most often, entrepreneurs will leave this hiring decision until they are completely overwhelmed. And worse off, the panic hiring that follows actually makes the situation worse, and not better.
So what pitfalls and mistakes should you avoid when hiring, if you know that you can’t continue trying to handle things on your own?
First of all, please read this blog to find out how to prepare your business for a team. Because it’s not just about finding the right person to support you.
Ok, let’s look at the 4 common mistakes to avoid when hiring. And I don’t just mean a permanent employee. It could be a contractor, a once-off done-for-you service provider, anyone you outsource work to.
1. Waiting until you are completely overwhelmed
The problem with this is that you end up having to take time off everything else in your business to focus on finding and onboarding a new team member. And most likely you end up taking shortcuts to get someone because you don’t have the time (or the clarity) to look for the right person.
Instead, start putting your outsourcing wishlist together. What are some of the tasks in your business that you wish someone else could do at the wave of a magic wand?
Start preparing now. Even if you still have a couple of months or milestones to hit before you can accommodate a new team member in your business.
2. You are not clear on what you’re hiring for
Another mistake to avoid when hiring is lack of clarity. Often when I speak to entrepreneurs about hiring they are usually thinking about hiring a virtual assistant first. But this is not always what you need when you are starting to expand your team.
Let’s say you spend a lot of time creating content. Maybe you need a copywriter or a content manager instead of a virtual assistant. But you won’t know this if you haven’t properly assessed what happens and what you do in your business that is taking away from the time you have to grow and serve more clients.
Once you have clarity on what exactly you need to outsource at this point in your business, you can then start to put a job description together. And putting a cute post in a Facebook Group that you are hiring is not a job description. You need to have clearly thought out
- What this hire will be responsible for
- How they will perform their work
- How frequently they will work in your business
- What tools or support they will need to get their job done
3. You hire first then organize later
This is a common mistake people make when hiring. Because everyone thinks hiring is just about getting someone who’s really great at what they do. But they need to be in an environment that gives them the best chance to succeed.
And if you think your new team members are going to come to the rescue and organize your business for you, this almost always doesn’t happen.
Instead, you spend a lot of time trying to handhold and get your new team member up to speed. And sometimes even get distracted from the things that only you can do, as you get used to working with someone else in your business.
Maybe they even start suggesting different ways of getting things done. But because you haven’t thought through this, you dismiss their suggestions.
It is so crucial to set up the systems to support your team members before you hire. Once you have a new team member, you are going to have to make adjustments in how you get things done, how you track and delegate, and without the foundational systems in your business, this is going to be an uphill battle that you don’t need right now.
So if you already had a team and made the mistake of hiring without any organization or systems in place, that’s ok. You can always start putting the systems together, and even co-create them with your team. I always say that yesterday was the best time to set up systems, NOW is the next best time to do so.
4. Thinking that hiring is a magic bullet
Yes, hiring someone will definitely make a difference in your business. But if you think that your new team member is going to solve all 55 of your problems in one week, think again.
The onboarding process alone could take up to a month especially if you do not have a business operating system in place.
I also see entrepreneurs not adjusting their ways of working when they hire someone. And then blaming that person when things aren’t going the way they imagined. You are going to have to change your processes and adjust to having someone else in your team. This could mean,
- Explaining why you are doing certain things a certain way
- Getting things done earlier than usual if there are dependencies in tasks that you have delegated to your team
Let’s say you’ve just hired a podcast manager, and you would easily record and edit a podcast episode the night before it was meant to air. You can’t do this and expect your team member to edit and create a high-quality episode unless you change the way you get things done.
So hiring definitely requires some adjustments in how you do things in your business. But it is possible, and it is very rewarding if you set your team up for success. The return on investment is far outweighed by the upfront work, systems, and organization that is needed before you onboard new team members.
If you want to know my exact method to prepare your business for massive growth, check out this free training.