The upside of owning and operating your own business is that you get to be your own boss and call the shots. The downside is that you have to put in a lot of time and energy to make your business successful. However, when all that time and energy pays off and your business is the success it was meant to be, you can finally step back and hire other people to take over some of the work. Of course your drive and determination–the things that made you such a successful one-man show–are the very things that might make it difficult to hand over the reins to someone else.
Below are some tips for delegating your tasks, and finding the right people to take over. These tips could apply whether you are creating positions and hiring employees for the first time, or the fifty-first time.
Creating the Job Opening
1. Figure out what you need. As a business owner, you might feel that you have to do everything because you’re the only one can trust to do it, or because it would be too expensive to hand it off to someone else. The truth is that freeing up your schedule will give you time to do more important things. Also, you might find that there is someone else who is actually better suited for the task. Do a brain dump and make a list of all the tasks you complete in a week, and ask yourself which tasks you can delegate to others.
2. Create a clear description of each job. Writing a clear job description serves two purposes: It helps you find the best match for the job, and it also helps the candidate know what you expect of them. You should include the amount of experience and type of education you require, and the type of skills you need (i.e.: customer service skills). You also need to be clear on the type of work environment you can offer, the type of hours the candidate can expect, and whether or not travel is required.
3. Have a clear idea of what you can offer an employee. Make sure you know how much you can pay, and what kinds of benefits you can offer long before you start looking for employees. You should also go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find out what the average pay range is for the job. You don’t want to pay too much, but you don’t want to pay too little and risk alienating good candidates. If you are looking to offer health insurance, go to Healthcare.gov to find out your responsibilities as a small business owner, and to discover what’s available on the small business marketplace You can also go to a private healthcare provider to determine your options.
4. Write down your processes. If you have a specific way that you want to do things, put them in writing so that whoever takes over the job has a clear blueprint to follow; but don’t make everything set in stone. As the candidate becomes more comfortable with the process, he or she should have some latitude to refine it and make it more efficient. It’s also a good idea to create an employee handbook of your general policies and procedures so that everyone is on the same page.
Filling the Job Opening
1. Contact an employment agency. On the one hand, advertising in a newspaper, or on a giant employment board like Monster will get you the most visibility, but it will also get you the most applications. On the surface that might seem great, until you realize that you will need to wade through them all yourself. An employment agency will charge a fee, but they will also do all of the preliminary screening and interviewing. Once they have done their part, they can then present the best candidates you.
2. Conduct the interview. When interviewing your candidates, you should pay as much attention to the actual person in front of you as you do to the resume. There are several stock interview questions that you can ask, but as the candidate answers you should also be asking yourself the following questions:
a. Do I like this candidate as a person?
b. Does he/she have enthusiasm and passion for the position?
c. Will he/she fit into my company culture?
3. Hire the candidate on a trial basis. Set up a six-month contract. If the candidate is a good fit you can hire him on permanently at the end of the six months. If he is not a good fit, his contract will terminate and, in the meantime, you can work on finding another candidate.
This is just scratching the surface on finding the right team players to take your business to the top. There are some key steps and my own trade secrets I have used to not only build a rock solid team in several companies, but keep them happy and motivated so you can step up as the CEO you are meant to be.
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Voice for Business Success
Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, The World Leader in Scaling Businesses. She is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of, Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19. Her client list has included Ben & Jerry’s, Supercuts, Charlotte Russe, and Allstate.
Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success and create a more meaningful life. The Pinnacle Global Network, her private mentoring and mastermind enterprise has guided thousands of business owners over the past 10 years. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox across the US. Allison has also hosted her own podcast, The Scale or Fail Show, since 2011.