Tag 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.


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.


Hiring Questions?

WOW!  I am listening to you and you are stressed and frustrated with trying to hire the right people to build your company.  My clients over the last couple of months have  specifically been tackling the hiring challenge that is a requirement of growth.

“Talmar! I keep hearing that I have to get help.  That I “can’t do it alone”.  And I agree. It is time to get help but…..”

Oh, the “but”s are many. And the crazy stories you share are GREAT because I completely understand.  I have been there.

In an effort to make sure I am getting the answers that would help you, please go to this VERY short survey and let me know what YOU want to know about hiring!

It is HERE.

There is even a place for you to share YOUR hiring horror story if you are so inclined!





How Long Does It Take?

How Long Does It Take?
By Talmar Anderson

A growing company has needs.  You need process. Then you need to write it down to create repeatable procedures.  I know you have heard it before. These are key steps allowing us to hire and have others help grow your company. Today I want to ask you how long does it take to produce each of your services? What about each of your products?  How much time goes into the design much less the manufacturing? How long does it take to just write your proposals? Yes!  It is time to talk about time tracking. Stay with me because this is the secret sauce to successful businesses!

This is not about capturing the details for billing your clients (though we can talk about how this directly determines your true profitability HERE).  I often hear “Oh I don’t bill my clients that way” as an excuse to skip this step. However, as a business owner you need to understand where the bulk of the time is specifically spent within your company to deliver services and products. It is within these details that you can understand how best to create space for high demand or growth periods of your company.

For many small companies, outsourced independent contractors are used to start filling in when demand grows.  I both support and recommend this for most companies as they can be ultra-responsive to client needs and take their time to understand their growth.  Is it consistent?  Is the company going to continue trending up?  What could you be doing to help grow the company faster if you were not completing the deliverables?  As your company’s growth is proven to be the norm then this is when my clients and I sit down to really look at the future of the organizational structure.  If scaling and growth is part of your plan then bringing “employees” into the fold will be a next step.

Why employees?

  • Consistency of quality
  • Availability of labor – IC’s can take on other work and this could leave your clients hanging.
  • Control over brand and reputation.  – them representing you by how they dress, how they answer the phone; how they structure their signature…all influences perception on the size and strength of your growing company!
  • Legacy – building a company that employs people is rewarding on many levels

By only considering invoices from independent contracts for dollar value as a cost of goods expense type, it will be that much harder when you are ready to bring those roles in house.  Getting the time tracking under control for forecasting and strategic planning is taking charge of your business! The more you can understand how long it takes for each task the more success and easier it will be when you are ready to hire.

We need to understand HOW the sausage is made to be sure that we structure our business correctly.  Begin by determining how each service or product is developed then list out each of the separate tasks involved.  Assign time to each project and task. Then over time we begin capturing the length of time it takes to complete each task.  As you start to document these details we will be developing a history.  Depending upon your need and the industry this could take two weeks to two years.  There are a lot of time tracking softwares (i.e., Toggl) out there. Heck, even your project management software wants you to do this and likely has time tracking capabilities. The key is to start capturing the details NOW.

If you are a business plan writer, you may think that your best course of action is to hire writers to help you compose the documents for your clients.  Most business owners would go this route and may eventually experience some help.  This may create a little space for a new client or two.

However, if you start breaking out tasks specifically you may find that researching each client’s industry details and trends can take twice as long.  In this case, your historical data can steer you to hire a researcher and creating double the freedom and space for further growth and development! Understanding how exactly your company works will set you down the path of hiring for the correct positions to allow for less stress, efficiency of focus and, say it with me everyone, profitability.

It is through this type of process that you move from throwing darts with your eyes closed to making strong decisions about the future of your own company.

Now GO! Grow!

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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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Do your Employment Ads Attract CANTidates?

Do your Employment Ads attract CANTidates?
Why those ads are not helping you build the dream team.

By Talmar Anderson

Please stop.  Just stop!  Do you have any idea how much work you are creating for yourself by cutting and pasting that employment ad from some random internet site?  You say you don’t have time to do it properly. You just need someone in the position…yesterday and the ad needs to start running now!  I get it.  Truly I do. However, this is when you get to decide to be a business owner instead of a reactive employer running straight into the self sabotage reoccurring hiring loop!

Employment ads are the opportunity to attract the people you WANT to work with every day!  Is that part of your business owner dream? Only working with the people you want?  No more “it’s not MY job” types.  No more supervisors that take credit for your brilliant ideas.  No more of the “I can’t help with that project. I have to cut my toenails at my desk while waiting for the clock to tell me I can go home’.

While I understand that taking the time to develop a hiring process seems counterintuitive during the demand driven need of hiring, consider this thought. This is you taking the time for the big breath before you dive in to the water.  Making sure that you take the time to look at where you are jumping into the pool, ensuring your suit is tied securely and making sure you have taken a life-saving deep breathe to hold are all preparations for what you are about to do.  Why can’t we invest the time and energy so easily now?

The hiring process does not need to be so overwhelming however it does require your attention NOW before anything else is done. Let’s be specific to you and your business to set up the hiring process for true success. Start by deciding and defining why, what and who.

  • Why are you hiring? This is the goal.  Are you trying to free up time on your calendar? Improve productivity for clients? Take on more work?  When you set out a specific goal for this position, not only will you know how to hire correctly you will also know when an employee is successful…or not. This is you stepping into the management role that is required with each new hire! But back to the employment ad…
  • What tasks and responsibilities will this position need to fulfill to meet this goal? (See any similarities here to a job description?) List it out. This should not be a wish list but a thoughtful consideration of what will need to be done on a regular and consistent basis to achieve the goal. This is about meeting your business needs now and less about future aspirations for the candidate within your firm.
  • Who will have success completing this role? Consider experiences and skills that are required to complete the tasks and meet the business goal.  This part should also consider the kind of person that will fit in your culture.  If the position needs conflict with culture needs…the position needs win!  Your business needs different skill sets and different experiences to have true growth and success.

Defining these items and including them in your employment advertisement will help you to attract an employee that wants to work in this position within your company as much as you want them to come and get it done! Are you ready to dive in? Take the time to consider what YOUR business needs!

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Stars-In-Your-Eyes Hiring Loop

Stars-In-Your-Eyes Hiring Loop
By Talmar Anderson

Interviewing for employees. It can be a rollercoaster ride. This is the part of the hiring process where we get to see if the paper and person actually are as good as we hoped. Too often hopes are crushed under the steady gaze of an overly aggressive person who neither felt a shower nor a clean shirt were worth the effort of a first impression! So it is no wonder we get overly excited when we meet someone that is actually capable and professional.  But can you relate to the Stars-In-Your-Eyes feeling of a person you actually feel you might enjoy working with?  That person who will breeze into the job, pick it up quickly and immediately take over that portion of the workload that MUST be handed off?

But whooooa…cool your jets. While it may be true that you could find a great candidate that will grow into a C-level role, there is something you need to understand. It is unlikely that the employee will be with you long enough.

Overqualified can quickly lead to a short employment thus feeding the feeling of a never ending hiring loop.  This candidate very likely will get:

  • bored and therefore make mistakes,
  • bored and therefore look for something else to do including a new job or,
  • bored and they may completely disengage from the work and your mission while offending your clients!

Make sure you are considering what your business needs RIGHT NOW.  Not next year, “someday” or even during your world domination organizational chart forecasted for 3 years from now? If they are overqualified, that can be just as expensive and indicative of a hiring loop as an overpromising, far reaching candidate.

The truth is NOT every person you hire in the first few years will grow to hold a seat in your C-level suite. You wouldn’t want that anyway.  What makes them the right fit during start up and rapid or responsive growth likely is going to make them unsatisfied during diversification and slowed strategic growth processes. If the great new candidate is not interested in managing people anymore, then you should not plan around them taking on that role.  Yes, someone will need to take that role eventually, but we can hire for that need when your hiring triggers for that position are met! (Don’t have Hiring Triggers yet? Might be time to call Talmar It Up.  Just sayin’.)

Certainly there are exceptions!  Sometimes very qualified people want to step out of high stress, highly time consuming roles.  But this also means this person likely will not want that role when you grow to needing someone to take on a full load.  AND THAT IS OK!  As long as you both are clear about what you each want, this can work for your employee and your company.

So with that exception tucked into your memory banks, I give you one of the hiring rules for my clients.  Hire for what your business needs right nowDo not let the stars-in-your-eyes blind you to the responsibility you have for your company’s growth.

Have you ever suffered from the overqualified hire? How did it work for your company? Were you able to find a way to make it work for everyone? I’d love to know!