Category Archives: Hiring

Train? Yes. Teach? Not If You Are a Small Business In Growth!

Train? Yes. Teach? Not if you are a small business in growth!
Know the difference to hire for success.

By Talmar Anderson

When you know it is time for your business to hire, please ensure you are hiring the absolute best person to solve the issue that drives this need.  Do you need more people on phones? Find the best person with a track record for excellent customer service.  Need someone to help organize and coordinate the pieces of your clients’ deliverables?  Hire a project manager that has supervised people and deadlines in the past. DO NOT hire an intern that you can “train” to do it because “it is easy.” you say.

***sigh***

Let’s take this apart shall we.

“It’s easy.”

Consider that it is easy for YOU because you are experienced. Because you are driven to complete these tasks to get to the other needs of YOUR company.  Because you have been doing it for a while. And yes, because you are brilliant. You are a business owner and this requires a certain amount of smarts and initiative.  MOST employees will not possess both from day one. Easy is relative, my friend. And in this example, it is relative to experience. Many people consider skiing easy and you should probably know now…I am a professional bar stool ski-bunny.

“Hire an Intern’

When I hear this, I hear that you want to pay a low amount and do not feel you can pay the correct person for your company the value they deserve for their expertise or skillset. But, and I believe you know this deep in your heart of hearts, this costs your business money!  Interns are TEMPORARY help that are specifically there to LEARN! An intern is not about building, protecting or delivering for your clients and company.

An intern is there to gain experience for themselves.  They need to be consistently supervised, constantly redirected, given teaching moments to understand why or how to complete ALL tasks. If your company is in the space of allowing time to TEACH then you are probably not at a hiring trigger moment.  You are in a place where your company can design a “give back’ initiative program to cultivate future professionals and foster potential employment candidates for the future.  But they will want to be paid an accurate rate when they graduate! 

Oh ya, and now that they know how to do what you want them to do, it is time to start the entire hiring and teaching process all over because their internship ends.

“I can train them”.

This is the last piece to this heartbreaking comment that I hear far too frequently from small business that need to hire for growth.

Yes.  New employees need to be trained.  A new employee needs to learn the nuances of what makes your firm YOUR firm. They need to learn cultural norms like when lunch breaks occur and how an irate client is handled. They need to learn where the coffee is and how to answer the telephones.  Onboarding and training can create an instant bond, ease a fit into a new team and build employee confidence.

Please note, I did not write how to answer A phone. If you are explaining why, what, where and when to someone then you likely are TEACHING them. If your company is in a true need for a hire then teaching is not a benefit to your firm.  Hiring a person that you must teach most or all of the process and systems defeats the purpose of HIRING! New hires are to allow a business to become more efficient and lessen workloads of current staff / self.

Don’t get me wrong, an experienced project manager may not know the project management system your company uses but they MUST understand what a project management system is for and have experience using one successfully somewhere else.

Your marketing coordinator may not have used your exact email automation software but they must have experience in email campaigns and AN email automation system of some kind.

Otherwise your inexpensive new hire is costing their hourly rate AND yours!  That is not growth.  That is not looking out for the best interests of your company.

When the decision to hire finally comes to a head, most business owners go straight to consideration of the budget. I recommend considering first what we need, how that will benefit our company, how will it fit (who supervises) and what is the industry paying for these needs. In small business, bringing on those entry level (and thus lower dollar) hires create more chaos than in large corporations.

Large corporations have human resources departments. They have video tutorials for getting new staff up to speed on systems.  They have onboarding training programs that move employees from department to department and therefore only demands a little bit of a lot of people’s time…as opposed to the small business reality of defaulting responsibilities! (Who has time?  Could you show…..?)

Hiring requires a training period.  I swear by this for creating your dream team. However, to really find the team that will be with you on the path to success, they should bring the education and experience that enhances your company. You have decided to hire because your company has a need. Is that need really to spend time outside of the company’s current demands?

Hire to enhance and build your team. Teach after you have established your firm’s success. Recognize that these are not interchangeable processes.

Now GO! Grow!

If you are looking to set up Hiring Triggers, a new business or join The Influence Circle Mastermind, Talmar It Up would love to work with you! Reach out NOW to TAnderson@TalmarItUp.com.

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Strategic Growth Starts with the Action of Hiring

Strategic Growth Starts with the Action of Hiring
By Talmar Anderson

Why DO you run off incessantly about hiring Talmar when we know you are a strategic business co-creator? Hiring is just a piece, right?” I talk about, write about and promote hiring strategies, process and best practices non-stop.

I do this because I watch you struggle. I watch you create your own chaos. I watch as you settle for good enough. Worse…I watch as you set yourself up for frustration, heartache and continued financial expense! 100% of successful business strategies include finding the right team. Please, let’s find a way to build a process and system that you can get behind and commit to spending time upon because it IS the singular piece that will ensure you love your business for a long, long time.

But first, we need to set reasonable hiring expectations with YOU by way of some Talmar’s Truths…

  • ​No. We will not find you a number 2 that will stay with you for the next 15 years.
  • ​No. We will not combine 3 part time needs into one full time underachiever with little to no chance of success in all, much less 2 different skill sets.
  • ​No. People do not leave a company for more money but they will choose to start with your company over money!
  • ​Yes! You must call all of those reference checks. (More on that in the next blog!)

“What if “they” do it wrong? What if they leave after I spend 3 months and money training “them”? What if “they” can’t do it as well as me? What if “they” take too much of my time asking questions and interrupting my work?”

I get that the human resource side represents all that we business owners fear…lack of control!

One more Talmar’s Truth. It is gonna happen. Staff and employees demonstrate a myriad of human complications. Planning to build and grow a sustaining and scaling business? Your company is sure to experience these situations. There are ways to manage each possibility but we ARE working with humans and these are the realities.

So let’s plan for people.

  • Let’s hire the best for each specific role within our company. We need to take the time and follow our internal hiring process. Not missing a step will help us weed out the good enough for the “Wow. What did we do before them?’ team.
  • Let’s plan to clearly lay out expectations for peak performance through documentation and communication. Draft operations manuals, employment advertisements, job descriptions, and 1-1 management schedules that build and protect our teams.
    • Ohhhh….You thought all those documents were to protect the company? Silly rabbits, those documents are to define how a staff member can be successful in your organization!
  • Let’s start recruiting as a part of a proactive plan based on your strategy. You need to know what HIRING TRIGGERSto watch for and take the stress out of the “when” question.

Make time to find the person before your company is drowning! Too often we put off this piece. It is the piece that we try to create short cuts around. The piece that gets pushed so far to the bottom of our to do pile that by the time we have a “MUST” driving our actions we take what we can get …***Sad trombone***. You deserve better and so does your company!

When you dream about your ideal company…did you really hire the first person that lived close enough and showered that day?

The right team gets “it”. They find satisfaction delivering on their responsibilities that rivals your satisfaction. They get excited for a new client because they are enjoying their work and feel supported by the company. They come to work knowing what needs to be done and offering possible improvements. Being surrounded by THESE kinds of people are what make rapid growth, impactful innovation and financial success a reality. Why would you hurry through or try to “fit in” the discovery and on boarding of the people with whom you will be spending your best days? This IS your dream team!

Now GO! Grow!

Talmar

P.S. Ready to create a change for you AND your company?  Check out this Free 5 part video series because it is time to Get Your SH*FT Together!

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

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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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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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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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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