I hear it all the time:
- I hired a VA but it didn’t work out.
- It’s so hard to find a good fit for my team.
- Every time I hire someone, I get burned.
Hiring isn’t for the faint of heart, but if done right it is possible to find the perfect team member for now and as you grow.
If you do it right.
But chances are that you’re making a few key mistakes that have you broiled in frustration and ready to throw in the towel. Before you do that, hear me out. You don’t really need to pull your hair out yet, as long as you stop making these key hiring mistakes.
Hiring from a Facebook post
I know that making connections on Facebook is a good way to grow your business. It’s where so many new (and even some seasoned) business owners find new clients and biz besties. I’m known for hanging out in a few key groups too!
But if you’re posting about hiring in one of those groups, be cautious. It’s common for people to shout out and recommend their friends, even if they’ve never experienced working with that person before. (So while the person they’re recommending may be a great person, they may not be the person you’re looking for.)
Aside from that, it’s difficult to get fresh blood in your business when you’re posting in the same groups over and over again. It feels like the same people get recommended, meaning that there’s a lot of talent sharing going on–leading to cliques and work that looks very similar across multiple businesses.
What to do instead: If you want to post in a Facebook group, by all means do it. But vet any candidates carefully. I also recommend letting people outside that Facebook group know that you’re looking to hire. Post in other groups and on online job forums, do a LinkedIn and Google search and even look locally. The more places you post the job description, the more variety in applicants you’ll get. And that means a better chance of getting the right person on board the first time.
Hiring too fast
When you’re ready to hire, you’re ready to hire. Now. But I like to say that if you feel the need to add to your team you should have started looking weeks ago.
If you’re coming into hiring in a place of stress and overwhelm, it feels easy to bring on the first candidate that seems like she might be a good fit. But if that’s the case, you’re probably skipping some key steps in the hiring process, like checking references, conducting a detailed interview or even onboarding carefully. All of these are non-negotiables.
What to do instead: First, stop wasting time in the hiring process. Don’t go after people who aren’t a good fit and do your research before you start the process in the first place. And start looking for your next hire well before you hit the overwhelm stage so you don’t feel rushed to make a decision.
Hiring your friends and family
Hiring friends and family feels like an easy fix to the “I need some help” dilemma. They’re right there, you trust them and they could be a good fit for your business. The problem is that you’re probably too close to them to manage them effectively. So when something goes wrong, having difficult conversations is…well…difficult.
Often business owners will bring friends and family into their business because someone needs work or they’re good at something that you need right now. But really, this is a recipe for disaster–in your business and your relationship–if something goes wrong.
What to do instead: If you must hire a friend or family member, treat the new team member as you would anyone else–with a contract. Even better, don’t even go there and talk to other business owners who your friend or family member can help instead. Sometimes the best answer is, “No.”
Not knowing what you need
Without a clear organizational chart or an idea of how your business operates, it’s difficult to know exactly where you need to hire first (or next). But you also need to know where you really need the help in your business.
When you don’t know what you need, hiring is inefficient and may not really fill the needs you have. Job responsibilities blur and cross borders so new hires are confused and ineffective–making your job even more difficult.
What to do instead: Most business owners will want to hire for the business tasks that they’re not good at or that they don’t like to do. That’s a good start, but you should also consider outsourcing tasks that are a time-suck or that aren’t directly related to your revenue. Create an organizational chart and know exactly what responsibilities and tasks fall into each role.
All this boils down to clarity. When you’re clear on what you’re looking for and the type of person who would fit on your team, you’re much more likely to be successful with your next hire. And that next hire will appreciate that you did your homework before hitting “go.”
In fact, start putting together your organizational chart now!