dream team

How To Get the Right People On the Bus

According to US Department of Labor reports, 2 out of 3 new hires prove to be a mistake within the first year – costing companies thousands of dollars for each departing employee. Hiring mistakes negatively impact productivity and erode your company’s profits.  You can accept this as a cost of doing business or take the steps needed to get the right people into your company.

Tips to Hire Good People

Build a Case for Hiring

Before you replace someone or add a new employee, take the time to build a case for your decision.  Too often when one team member leaves, we rush out and replace them.  Instead, use this as an opportunity to look at your entire company.

Can you restructure some positions and hire for different skills than the departing employee had?  What goals will the position allow you to accomplish – revenue, productivity, profitability?  Should it be a full or part time position or should you outsource the tasks instead of hiring?  What is the full cost for the employee based on wages, bonuses, taxes and benefits?  Now you are ready to move forward.

Create Good Job Descriptions

Most business owners use job descriptions to insure the candidate is clear on the position duties and responsibilities.  But a good job description also helps YOU find the right people — those that possess the skills and competencies to do the job and fit your culture.

In addition to tasks and skills, include the following:  (a) certifications, education or experience required or preferred, (b) work environment and any special physical requirements, and (c) how you measure success – the performance indicators you will use to evaluate performance for this position.  Good job descriptions for all team members keep you focused on what you want, ready to execute when the need arises and communicates your expectations to candidates and current employees.

Market For Employees

Recruiting, like marketing, is most effective when it is targeted, planned and executed with consistency.  Start with the basic question, ‘What makes your company a great choice for potential employees?”  If you are not sure, ask your current team – they’ll tell you.

Identify Best Method to Reach Candidates

 How will you reach potential employees? Today you have a lot of options from online recruitment sites and social media to networking, referrals and print.  The best method may vary by position and experience requirements. Be open to various approaches — especially if you want diversity within your company.

Always be on the lookout for good people who can bring value to your organization.  Make recruiting something that is ongoing, not haphazard.

Make Hiring a De-Selection Process

Your time is valuable and you don’t want to waste it interviewing people who don’t possess the skills you need for fit into your culture.  You can improve your process and save time by incorporating a phone screen on candidates that pass your initial resume or application review.  Stay disciplined and only interview candidates who make it through your process.

Once you decide to bring someone in for an interview, email the job description to them in advance. So they are clear on the expectations before they arrive.  This also paints a professional image of your company.  The interview is an important step in the process, so have the candidate meet with multiple people, where possible, and use behavior interview techniques to probe for the skills and competencies that are most critical.  Be disciplined and be patient.  Be willing to turn down candidates who are not the right fit – don’t settle.

Do Research 

Most experts agree that hiring success hinges on job fit more than any other factor, including experience and education. So before you put out that job offer, do a little research. Today it’s easy.

Search engines and social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can help you uncover more information about a potential employee — good or bad.  They offer clues on hobbies, personal preferences, likes/dislikes and more. Stuff that doesn’t necessarily appear on a resume.

Fill the Gaps 

Many businesses include background and reference checks in their hiring process. Don’t skip these because you are in a rush to hire or the candidate was referred from an employee. These can often uncover potential issues but only if you take the time to call former employers and run background checks.

Believe You Can and You Will

When you tell yourself “I can’t get good help” — you defeat yourself before you even get started. We make true whatever we believe. So if you have a great team — own it and go hire more just like them.

If you have weaknesses in your team, then make fixing the culture, environment and people a priority. As the business owner, you own this as well.

So there you have it.  I use this method when I hire people and with hundreds of small businesses that I work with. They work. So start putting this system to work in your business and you too can have a team worth talking about.

On a final note, once you have the right people in your company, consider the words of Stephen Covey, “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers”.

RELATED:  How New Hire Orientation Creates Productive Employees

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3 Hiring Secrets That Save You Time and Money

Hiring secrets Need to add staff?  While it may be a challenge sometimes, here are a few hiring secrets to make your job easier – and save you money too!

Market for Employees.  If you want to attract quality people to your small business, think like a marketer.  Put the internet to work for you.  There are dozens of job posting boards – some are free and most offer a lot of flexibility so you can get creative.  One of my favorites, Indeed.com, offers both free and sponsored (fee) options plus a convenient way to track candidates from start to finish. In addition, don’t overlook your own website, especially if traffic to your site is consistently high.  Add a career page and make it easy for people find you.

Phone Interviews.  These offer a quick way to weed out unqualified candidates and save you a lot of time. Have specific questions to help identify skills, experience and other key requirements for the position.  Ask the same questions to each candidate.  If you are doing a lot of phone interviews in a short period of time, take good notes and possibly rate each applicant.  It makes choosing the top candidates to move forward a lot easier.

In addition to saving time, phone interviews also allow you to evaluate a candidate’s verbal communication skills. This is a critical competency for many jobs so why wait for the face-to-face interview to determine their skill level.

Online Research.  While you should always check personal and professional references, there’s no need to stop there.  Facebook, Google+ and Linked-In make it easy to learn more about potential employees.  In fact, you may be surprised at just how much you can learn – good and bad.  Take a few minutes to do a little research before you put the offer on the table.

When it comes to building a quality team, nothing beats a good hiring system.  Make sure yours includes some of these elements.  For additional hiring tips and other ideas to grow your small business, check out my article library.  

New Monthly Article & Business Tools

For new business improvement articles, exclusive tools and insights on entrepreneurship, click here to subscribe to my monthly eNewsletter. When you do, I’ll also send you my FREE eBook, How to Build Profit Through Leverage.


7 Questions to Ask Before You Make Your First Hire

Question To Ask Before First HireIt is rewarding when a plan comes together. You’ve worked hard and your business is taking off.  But if the growth leaves you with little time to enjoy your success – or worse, dreading new business, it’s time to get some help.  Before you run out and make your first hire, get clear on what you need and why you need it.

Whether you are considering your first hire or looking to add to your current staff,  ask the right questions to make better staffing decisions.

7 Questions To Ask Before You Hire

Is your current activity level temporary or sustainable?  Don’t let ‘crazy busy’ drive you to make a rash decision.  Hiring is a long-term commitment – in terms of time and money.  If you have a short-term need, you may wish to consider temporary labor or retain someone on a contract or freelance basis.

Do you need to delegate some tasks? For most business owners, the answer is yes.  So maybe the better question is are you willing to delegate some tasks? Unless you are willing to let go of some tasks, hiring or outsourcing won’t free up your time.  The key to going from technician to entrepreneur lies in your ability to focus on the tasks that only you can do – and delegate the others to someone else. Be an effective delegator.

What tasks do you need someone to perform?  As a small business, don’t trap yourself by thinking along traditional roles or titles. Build a list of tasks and be specific.  If you are not sure, start writing down all the tasks you do for the next 7-10 days.  Also, jot down the tasks that you should do, but aren’t because you simply don’t have time.  Look at the list and I’m sure you will find a lot that you could pass on to someone else.  Use this list to create a comprehensive job description. And yes, you should always have a job description before you hire!

What skills could a new employee bring to your company?  We all have our strengths and weaknesses.  It is human nature to gravitate toward people who are like us and often possess the same skills. When hiring, consider bringing in someone who can compensate for your weaknesses. In other words, hire for your weaknesses!  It will make your life easier and will actually strengthen your company.

How will the employee contribute to the bottom line or success of your business?   Whether it is generating sales or new business, delivering quality service, improving efficiency or freeing up your time – have a reason and expectations when hiring.   Know how you will measure success and the expected contributions the new hire will bring. Share it with the employee so you are both on the same page. This is especially true when hiring millennials — who want their jobs and related tasks to have a purpose.

How will you find the right person?  Before posting an ad in print or on job boards, start by reaching out to your own network – business contacts,  suppliers, friends and even your social connections.  Let them know you are looking to hire. Share your job description and other relevant information so they can help you find the perfect person. A phone call, email and social posts or messages can often uncover potential candidates. If your real or social network cannot provide qualified applicants, consider online job sites. For small, local businesses, I recommend Indeed.com. They offer both free and paid options and some tools to help manage the pool of candidates.

What do you need to properly train and develop a new team member?  Finding the right person is important. But even the most skilled individual will need training – to learn how YOU do things!   Written procedures and/or training videos for the tasks you need done make training easier and more effective. They allow the new employee to hit the ground running and quickly contribute – while saving you or others valuable time.

That first hire can make a big difference – but only if they stay and contribute to your success.  Invest the time to do it right and it will be a win-win for you and your new team member.

New Monthly Article & Business Tools

For new business improvement articles, exclusive tools and insights on entrepreneurship, click here to subscribe to my monthly eNewsletter. When you do, I’ll also send you my free eBook, How to Build Profit Through Leverage.