Category Archives: Hiring

phone notebook and glasses

What to Do BEFORE your Hire, Part 3

What to Do BEFORE your Hire, Part 3
By Talmar Anderson

Today we discuss the last piece in this 3 part series addressing some of the actions you can take BEFORE you spend your dollars on employment ads, block out time to review resumes and weed out the unqualified people that would rather work in a cave than in a culture like the one you have built in your company. Over the last month we discussed:

  • Creating the transitional work list – and helping you play catch up HERE
  • Considering where they fit and who they talk with operationally HERE

This third piece, on actions you can do before you even start the employment ad, can keep a business owner stalled in the hiring process especially if this will be a newly created or defined role. “Where I am getting the initial cash outlay to bring this position on?” Don’t get stalledI say take action.

Hopefully you are hiring because your deliverables are trending up and growth is knocking on your door.  But sometimes the next leap in your business growth is a position that may not be 100% billable or billable at all!  From Assistants to Project Managers to operational point people, investing in the structural staff to allow your organization the space and process required for real growth is pushed out because the ROI (return on investment) is not a direct cash payout on the income line.

What can you do to help ease the increase in your payroll? Start a new sales effort. I know it seems crazy to suggest MORE work but action creates the opportunity for cash to flow and more clients to come in your business’ door.  So roll out a strategic marketing campaign to get a new push of cash rolling in over the next 90 days. Can you incentive additional work that pulls in deposits, partial payments or even pre-orders? Focus on either your highest profit margin products and services or deliverables that will be specific to the new employees work load. This can give your payroll a real chance to be covered more quickly. Not to mention that with that added work you will best be able to enjoy the benefit of an extra pair of hands meeting those deadlines more easily than ever before.

The key is to start this sales push WHILE planning your hiring needs.  Make a plan. Develop your hiring process.  This is an operational need that will be used throughout your whole career.  There is a reason that everyone can relate to all the HR horror stories.  We have all been there.

Regardless of your industry.

Regardless of your specialty.

Regardless of whether you run a brick and mortar operation or a professional services firm.

Even if you are an ecommerce or technology solution company.

If you are committed to growing your business then you are committing to the hiring process. Growth is the same for all business.  Growth = More people.

Now GO! Grow!

 

P.S. Make sure you are on the list to be first to know about Hiring resources for your business as they become available and I’ll send you a FREE Test you can use to see if you need to hire an employee or can work with Independent Contractors! Click HERE

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Do This BEFORE You Hire! Part 2

Do This BEFORE your Hire! Part 2
By Talmar Anderson

We are in the middle of a 3 part series addressing some of the actions you can take BEFORE you even place your first employment ad to give yourself a chance at success in your hiring process! While finding, hiring, and training your new hires for your own business can be challenging for most employers, I am excited to be focusing on this short series for small business owners discussing what can be done BEFORE you even place that employment ad to get the most out of your new hires. The first step started with a great way to ensure you can keep the new employee busy while rolling them into your organization.  Check it out HERE if you missed it.  Now we are going to address pieces that can wreck-havoc on the organization as a whole if not carefully considered BEFORE hiring. Let’s talk about a plan for the oversight, daily communication and work environment…in other words “who is the boss” and “where they park themselves”.

Getting help can keep a business owner so focused on the candidate and whether they are really qualified or if they will be a good fit culturally, that they can forget to think about HOW the new role will fit into the current business’ day to day operations.

  • Is there physical space for them?
  • Will a new hire be happy sitting next to the door of the bathroom?
  • If you work out of your home, will you have them work from your house? How will that work with your family? Is the new candidate allergic to cats?
  • Do you have space in your office for a new table set up for once a week face to face meetings?
  • Do you have the equipment or access to tools they employee needs to perform the job (if there a phone jack if answering lines? Can calls easily be forward to a company phone? Will they need a desktop or a laptop?

Physically consider how a new employee will be accessing and performing the job.  This allows you to carefully advertise for and screen a candidate that will have success in the environment you are planning.  Are they a loud talker? You may have difficulty if they are supposed to share space while working the phones for your events.

Where they will perform all of their work must be carefully consider to provide the correct environment and tools for each employee to have success.  Once this is defined, reverse engineer it. Consider what traits someone working successfully in that particular type of work environment would possess.  Those traits are now a requirement for employment in this role.

Next consider who the new employee will report to and how. Not just training. Training is a finite time.  On a regular basis,

  • Who will answer this position’s questions?
  • How regularly will they be able to access their supervisor? Does that support your business and clients?
  • How frequently will the supervisor meet one on one? How often will they meet face to face?
  • What is the course of action if the new employee feels they cannot get what they need from the supervisor?
  • Have you considered if the new supervisor has ever managed employees? Do you need to offer them training and support?

Develop a path for communication – both for an employee to be advised and evaluated but also a resource or starting point for clarification and answers. The expectation of consistent meetings needs to be calendared and planned on before you hire whether they are being performed by the business owner or another staff member in the company. Management time will be required.

Small businesses lose good hires if they play this part “by the seat of their pants”.  Employees want to feel like they are entering a company with a clear role and contributing to a structured organization even if that organization is a company of one right now.  If their first mandate is to “figure out” how they can get the job done, you are very likely to be back in the hiring process in the next 3-6 months. It is not enough to know what you want them to accomplish. You must provide a space, communication process and support system to allow them to successfully contribute to your company’s growth!

Now GO! Grow!

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femenine-4

Do THIS before you start to hire! Part 1

By Talmar Anderson

If you speak to business owners that have had a rough time of finding, hiring, and training the first few hires for their own business….well, then you know business owners that are in the majority! I am excited to be focusing on a short series for small business owners discussing what can be done BEFORE you even place that employment ad to get the most out of your time with new hires. Let’s start with an easy step.

Start a Project List

Seeing a calendar consistently filing up and a “to do” list getting longer, business owners begin to get serious about the idea of hiring.  The stress of trying to find a candidate much less manage an employee can keep business owners stuck in the “consideration” space far too long. However one of the most limiting issues revolves around what to do if the new hire is not busy enough right away?

“I don’t want to pay someone to play on Facebook.”

“I can’t sit with them 100% of the day for the first two weeks.”

“The last person I tried drove me crazy with the “Now what? Now what? Now what”s!”

Hearing these excuses reminds me that most people will decide to hire on an impulse.  It may be an overwhelmed or stressed-induced impulse but the point is that there is VERY little consideration in their decision.  It is usually a decision that stems from the idea “I am tapped OUT”.  Either short on time or energy, a decision to hire leads directly to shopping Craigslist or Indeed for ideas for employment ads.

I would like to challenge you to start a different way!  Take note of that very first time you get an inkling that you will need help.  When you are noticing that you can’t get it all done by yourself, start a portioned off piece of your “to do” list.  You know those items on your list that you really would like to get to but keep getting pushed further down under immediate client needs and sleep?

I’d like you to start a project list.  These are the items that are not currently on your calendar to be completed in the next 30 days. This can include ideas for new markets, researching potential business tools or cleaning up a database. Capture all these great ideas and PARK them.  You know, the items that would 100% help YOUR company grow and get organized?  If it is not on your calendar now then it will be waiting until your calendar has available time. There is only one of you so these great ideas are put on hold until…well, either you can get to them or you have an extra pair of hands around….which leads to the point.

Take note that this is NOT their job description.  These are items that can be slowly addressed as time fillers but are NOT a priority. Most of these projects can be allocated (or at least the digging) as time fillers for any level or skill scope that may be required as a next hire for your company.

Hiring for a new business development person?

  • Hand them a list of adjacent markets you have been meaning to reach out and get to know.
  • Have them research new ways to be visable in your community.
  • Have them start on reconnecting with past clients.

Hiring a social media person?

  • Have them research and propose new avenues for messaging.
  • Have them investigate content statistics.
  • Have them learn the technology behind the up and coming social channels.

Hiring an Assistant?

  • Have them research a customer relationship management (CRM) software
  • Have them FULLY learn the CRM you are already using!
  • Have them research new ways to thank your clients

That list of overwhelming stuff on your never-ending “to do” list is a GREAT place to start planning projects for the in-between time with a new hire.  Either to fill the space waiting for clients to understand that they can use the new hire or to fill the space when the new hire is waiting for assignments from you!

Likely you are hiring so that YOU will have time to get to all those things listed out.  Over the first few months, you can move the deliverables or assigned workload to them as they get proficient at the role you hired them to perform. You will be able to lessen their assigned projects as you have more time from the growth of a newly trained and fully engaged employee!

THAT is what a strategic plan for your hiring can do for you and your company! Next time we will discuss what to consider before hiring by addressing the new employee’s work environment!

Now GO! Grow!

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Phone and notebook

Are You Plugging the Dam or Building a Foundation?

Growth Strategy
By Talmar Anderson

One of my favorite client “aha’s” is when I can help create a real opportunity for finding scaleable, qualified and culture fitting help for business owners.  If you have worked with Talmar It Up, you know that while the answer is delivered quickly so is the reality check of making a strategic plan to develop success in hiring. What?….you thought hiring was all about ….”My hair is on fire!  We must find anyone to get this off my plate RIGHT NOW!’  Certainly most business owners spend their time this way. It is their….ahem, “hiring strategy”. ***sad trombone**

Because I know you are spending all that time and money to grow your business through your marketing and sales efforts…I challenge you to spend a chunk of your time on a hiring strategy. What if we could ensure potential team members

  • Will be able to understand your industry, process and your customers,
  • “Want” to be a part of a team like you are building,
  • Hold matching values to your company’s core values and
  • Can contribute to your company’s growth?

By making a plan to be in front of these potential team members BEFORE we have a need, we can position our company for some seriously successful business growth!

Think about how much less stress you would have if you already had a few names in your rolodex (yes…I am that old. The rest of you Google it!) that you had already vetted? Knowing them to be able, knowledgeable, a good personality and culture match leaves only the conversation if they want to be a part of your team (availability and money). Soooo much easier and maybe even exciting now! Can that new team member drive a dramatic shift or change in your operations?

How do we make sure we can be in the know? One of my favorite ways is to build on the concept your brand strategist and marketing peeps are probably already giving to you! Drive your positioning as a thought leader or expert in your industry by offering a facilitated place for you and good possible matches to get to know each other.  Host regular Meet Ups for those skill sets that your company will need in the future.  Build and facilitate a Group on LinkedIn for professionals in areas into which you want to expand. There are many communities and networking opportunities out there where you can even just consistently participate to get to know potential candidates. But start doing it NOW!

When you meet people consider what they do, not as competitive but, as possible future enhancement for your own firm.  Maybe they have a skill for something you will want to offer through your company in the future. You can get to know them. Ask question about the specific market place. Look at their work or talk with clients.  This can all be done without a specific job or assignment on the table today.  This getting to know them and their work over the next 3 months can help when your business has a rapid expansion need 9 months from now.

The benefits for this type of invested time are exponential.  You can

  • be relevant in your industry,
  • be out and hearing from others how the market place is reacting to their businesses and
  • be creating your own personal back book of who YOU would LOVE to have on your company’s team.

Doesn’t this sound infinitely better than the last minute rush to read through a mass of resumes or referrals which is only the starting point of vetting a team member for your company?

It is your job as the business owner to be looking ahead and not just stuck reacting to each leak in the dam in the moment. If you are not making the time for these kind of actions to build the foundation of your for the future of your company…I wonder what could possibly be different in the future for your company? No forward look. No change.

Tell me where you can be in front of possible independent contractors, vendors or employees? I’d love to know! Email me at TAnderson@TalmarItUp.com

Now GO! Grow!

 

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Telecommutinng or bonbons

Telecommutting Productively or Eating Bonbons?

Telecommuting Productively or Eating Bonbons?
How Do You Know?

By Talmar Anderson

When working with clients to define their organizational structure and hire strategically, my clients all want to know how to manage telecommuters efficiently! While we all make sure to hire the right candidate with strong skills and train them on our companies policies and procedures, we must eventually turn them loose to do the job. But then the business owner’s devil on the shoulder wonders, “Am I really getting what I am pay for?  What if they are really eating Bonbons and Doritos while watching a documentary on hoarders?  What if they have kids under their feet when they are billing my company and clients? How do I know that they are doing what they say they are doing?’  Control issues much…? I COMPLETELY understand!

The desire to attract employees and build a company that includes freedom does have to come with a vigorous hiring process and a healthy dose of faith on YOUR part.

  • Faith that your employees want to be productive.
  • Faith that they will always do their professional best.
  • Faith that they will prioritize your business needs equally with their personal needs.

Even the best reference checks and a consistent weekly management meeting schedule can sometimes lose out to that inner voice of doubt that all entrepreneurs’ share. You have two options if this is constantly running around in your head. And yes, this is about managing YOU but will require a strategic decision for your business model.

You can stop offering telecommuting and start creating an office space.  There ARE great benefits to having a collaborative working environment that houses all the employees under the same roof.  Often times, company and staff communications can be stronger. There is also a higher probability of achieving a successful culture that “feels like family”. However, this is counter to the “ideal” some business owners feel driven to offer when flexibility is a part of their core values.

If managing telecommuting employees is a business model you are drawn to, there are a few steps you can take to create consistency, customer service and keep YOUR sanity.

So here are my 3 tips for successfully building and managing your telecommuting staff:

  • Clear roles and expectations –
    • When they will work, how they will communicate, accountability buy in and specifically assigned responsibilities help here.
  • Reward performance instead of hours logged –
    • Consider salaries based on the value of the end results as opposed to how long or how quickly a project takes (This does NOT relieve you from managing and understanding the workload required for delivery of your products and services!)
  • Care less about face time! –
    • Instead of worrying that you did not SEE how the sausage was made exactly, get comfortable with the sausage being delicious, delivered on time AND one less thing that YOU have to do. Consider the value to your business that it is finished well and on time?

The decision to use telecommuting roles in your business model requires you to look into how you not only want to see your company’s daily operations work but also how to build a company that can meet your clients’ needs while reassuring yourself that your employees are on the same mission as you.  Freedom still needs to include satisfying the business owner that everyone is operating at peak performance. Know yourself well enough to know if you will be satisfied paying for the employees to meet your deadlines EVEN if they were eating bonbons. If you have the right team…YOU need to be able to let go.

Now GO! Grow!

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flexible work culture

Employees Want Flexible..

Employees Want Flexible
But Does Your Business Need Structure?

by Talmar Anderson

When building our teams, I hear from my clients that they want to offer the flexibility of schedule. They want to be competitive, build loyalty or think that employees will only want to join teams that offer work life balance and “support” employees that want to have it all. Please be aware that if you are hiring with a promise that “we will work around your scheduling needs”…well, you will either be closing up shop or have a crazy stressed out and overwhelming life as the owner of this business. Can you identify? Then here’s more to consider.

Do you know anyone that has had an employee that is a great assistant and asked for the flexibility to work around the caseloads for a Master’s Degree?  Each semester they both determine the exact timing of the work schedule that will support the company’s needs and the employee’s class or project load.  Even if that is not inconvenient or less than supportive of the company and business owner, you need to understand their loyalty will eventually shift even though you bent over backwards for them. A graduate with a Master’s in Psychology is unlikely to want to continue on as your right hand man after said achievement. They are building toward advancement in their personal and professional life.  And THAT is OK.  If you want to hire young and ambitious people then it is time to understand that they are each likely to hit a spot where “more” means more than your company.

The key is to consider the impact on you and your business with each change or benefit of flexibility you offer. Don’t bend over to keep an expensive or overly educated or growth oriented employee if your company neither has the need nor honestly the means!  If you need someone consistently available for calls because high touch availability is one of your core offerings, the business owner “filling in” should not even be on the table.  You hired for a reason and knew that your business was better served by having call availability staffed regularly.

Decide what your business needs before you give up the farm.  Seriously…No one is going look after your company like you should.  And while employees are the piece that will bring you success…not everyone is going to be the right employee for what your business needs right now.

There is definitely more than one person that can do the job.  They will all do it a little differently but there is someone else that can get it done within a set time fame, with specific results while ensuring that quality is on target.  Certain business models will not be able to achieve this consistently if you are letting your staff work when they want and how they want.

You do not need to keep them at all costs.  In fact, here is some news for some of you.  The employees you hire now are VERY unlikely to all be on staff 5 years from now! If they are able to meet your company’s needs for 2-5 years…That is great and successful. That is business and professional growth.  And that is what you want!

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Training New Hires Got You Down?

Training New Hires Got You Stressed?
Do this to smash your stress!

By Talmar Anderson

For entrepreneurs that have had bad experiences hiring, the training is the “thing” they point to as the worst part. Have you ever been disappointed? That seemingly smart and motivated person now seems unfocused. That new hire that sold themselves as a self-starter is jamming up your email inbox with questions. That outgoing people loving candidate keeps coming back to your office and seemingly hiding while interrupting YOUR work flow after every new customer call to discuss deliverable options. Have you had any of these experiences? I have even heard some clients complain they weren’t sure it was worth the growth and scaling of their business! YIKES! Other people can and will help you build your business. Success does not have to be created only by you. If you have ever thought “it would be awesome if I never had to do this again”, I have 3 steps you can do to make hiring and training for the growth of your business MUCH, MUCH easier!

First a truth, training is hard ….if you make it that way! Training can go like clockwork. Planning and process plus a commitment to make your time accessible can give everyone a real chance for success. Let’s look at …

3 New Employee Training Stress Smashers

  • Make time to document and create your procedure manual
    • By creating the written procedures you are giving the employee a place to find success and possibly create clarity and answers for themselves (READ:  fewer interruptions to your workflow!)
  • Hire correctly
    • No rushing. No “good enough”. No skipping references!! Of course you will start with your job description first – your defined requirements…right? (If not, READ THIS!)
  • Make time to manage.  
    • You have to plan to be available for the new employee on a regular basis. Give them ways to communicate their questions and consistent calendared time on your schedule.

Successful employees will have questions at different stages of their new employment.  An employee cannot actually think of every question in the 2 hour training period you schedule on the first day.  The human brain needs time to absorb.

As the job is absorbed and considered over the next few days, weeks, and months, the new employee will start applying their own past experiences which creates the possibility of understanding AND the need for more question time.  They will want further clarification or instruction to ensure this new found understanding is correct and that you are satisfied.  The new employee is very aware that your satisfaction is required to stay employed.  Don’t be so upset that an employee wants to do it the right way…your way!

I can hear you now, “I don’t have time right now…maybe next spring.” Waiting for the slow time to hire because you will have more time is not the right way to think about your hiring process and documentation.  Put in the extra hours now because this is one investment of YOUR time that will always pay off. I promise. Even if you cannot get the full procedure manual done during a real crunch time, you can have your new employee help you fill it in as part of their role!

Please understand that it is 100% unrealistic to assume that a person will walk into a position that neither has a job description of their roles and responsibilities nor a procedure manual on HOW you want your business to perform to create any real satisfaction for you. You will not be able to give them all the details they need, all the locations of answers, or all the possible actionable steps in a quick 15 minute meeting every morning. As brilliant as you are, YOU will not remember to tell them every detail. Then they will disappoint you. Then you both will start to formulate judgements and the snow ball starts rolling!

You might as well start placing another employment ad. A good employee will want a company to offer more structure and stability so they will keep interviewing. A bad employee will stay as long as they can handle your mounting frustration because you will start to pull the work back onto your plate…while they get paid. Ouch….

If you need to hire for your company’s growth, start preparing now.

Now GO! Grow!

P.S. If you are trying to know when you should hire for your company, you could check out my blog post on that topic HERE!

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