Need help with your business or to support you around your home as you work? Read seven tips to help you find and hire the right people.
There comes a point in your journey as an entrepreneur where you find yourself becoming overwhelmed and stressed at the daily workload, and the realisation of the size of the challenge you have embarked upon. Or your business had grown to a point that it requires skills you simply don’t have.
The time has come to outsource work to someone else – an employee, another business or a freelancer. But with the relief of sharing the burden comes a new worry. How do you find and hire the right person for you and your business?
Performance management expert Sally Marshall shares seven tips to help you hire the right people for your business.
Seven tips to help you hire the right people
Whether you’re looking for a bookkeeper, social media expert or personal assistant, or even someone help around the home with housework, ironing or childcare, it’s important you hire the right person – someone who will support you and be a pleasure to deal with. Here are seven tips to help you find them.
1) Understand your core values
Before you can even think of assessing whether someone is right for your business, you need to know what type of person would be the best fit with you. And to do that you need to know your own core values. Some examples of core values are passion, kindness, efficient, motivated, sympathetic, etc. – and in this scenario they’ll be a mix of personal characteristics and how you feel and behave in a business context.
Your core values are important; they define you and who you want around you. You will respond better to someone who shares your values than someone who doesn’t, and knowing which values are important to you will help you evaluate other people to see if they are aligned with you.
To find your own core values, make a list of all the words that you believe describe your personality or qualities that are important to you. Then ask your family and friends do the same – how would they describe you? Take your long list, and slowly whittle it down until you have 10 core characteristics that feel like ‘you’.
2) Evaluate other people
Once you have defined your own values, you can then compare them to the people around you. Take a few minutes to write down the names of the people closest to you, both business and personal, and see if their values match yours – or at least most of them do.
If you think of someone you don’t get on with, you will soon realise that their values are not aligned with your own and that is why you may not always see eye to eye.
When you’re considering potential employees or suppliers, try to evaluate their values. Are they aligned to yours or at odds with them? And if it’s the latter, will that impede or enhance your business?
3) Do the BBQ test!
If you’re considering hiring or working with someone, ask yourself this question: “Would I invite them to a BBQ at my home?”
If you decide that you wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon or evening with them, why would you want to hire them? You are free to decide who you work with – just as you are who you socialise with – so choose carefully.
The same goes for suppliers you work with. It’s a fact that people buy people, not products or services. Very few people have a unique business, so if you don’t like the person offering the product or service you want, then find another supplier.
4) Hire people you know, like and trust
Would you head to the register office or church with someone on your first date? Hopefully the answer is no! And just as you wouldn’t commit to someone new romantically, it’s wise to take your time to get to know a potential employee or supplier before signing up to a legal relationship with them.
We work best with people we know, like and trust, so get to know people and build relationships before you commit. For example, if you interview someone you like, offer them a probation period. This gives you both chance to assess whether you’re the perfect fit for each other, and for you to find out if they have the skills and personality you’re looking for.
Probationary periods usually last three to six months, and involve the following:
- A clear explanation of what you expect your employee to achieve during the period.
- A clear definition of any attendance or behavioural expectations.
- Regular review meetings to discuss progress and areas for improvement.
- A plan of action and support to help with areas of improvement.
- An agreement as to how any problems will be addressed.
If it’s obvious the probationary period isn’t working out and you want to terminate the employment, you can do so. But you must ensure you follow the correct legal process for dismissing staff.
Likewise, make sure you have a reasonable trial period with a business supplier or any kind of home help before you commit to a long term contract with them.
5) Define the core values for your business
Having a clear idea of the values of your business is just as important as it is for yourself. Once defined, your business values can form part of your vision or mission statement, letting everyone know what is important to you.
Your mission and values could be great customer service or being passionate about helping customers achieve their goals. Whatever you decide on, be very definite about what it is you want your business to be known for.
Core values are often built around words that describe the essence of what your business stands for. Here is a list of common core values shared by businesses across different industries:
To help you work out your own, write a list of 20-30 adjectives that describe what you do and stand for. Then reduce that list to 10 words, and cut it down again to five words – these are your core values.
6) Share your core values
Once you have identified your core values, make sure you tell everyone what they are. Make sure your strap line or mission statement is on your website, your marketing materials and your email signature.
If you don’t yet have a strap line for your business, it’s a good time to create one. Here are some excellent examples of strap lines that convey their company’s values:
- Apple – Think different
- Subway- Eat fresh
- HSBC – The world’s local bank
Each of these strap lines conveys one of the company’s core values – being different, freshness, and international-yet-local.
And if you’re writing your company’s mission statement, make sure it answers these four questions:
- What do we do?
- How do we do it?
- Who do we do it for?
- What value do we offer?
Not only will being clear about your core values help to attract the right people to you in the first place (and put off those who don’t share them), but it gives you a clear benchmark to measure people against. Do they fit your mission and values, or are they at odds with it?
7) Use the law of attraction
And finally, remember that like attracts like. So the more certain you are about what you or your business stands for, and the clearer you convey it, the easier you’ll find it to attract people who share your values, and are the type of people you want to work with.
So make sure you use the law of attraction – be specific about what you want and get it!
Review your values occasionally
As your business grows and evolves, so too may the values you work by. So make sure you review them occasionally, and enjoy the rewards that come from knowing what you do and stand for, and attracting and hiring people with similar values who can help you steer your company to the success you want.
You can find out more about core values and growing your business on Sally’s website.Sally Marshall