Hiring takes time, energy and money, and when Agency Owners are already strapped for time, hiring can feel like an impossible endeavor. From figuring out who to hire, to creating the job post, to hosting interviews, to creating everything needed for successful onboarding… the hiring list can seem endless. It may have you feeling like you’d rather just stay stuck then add even more work to your plate!
In this episode, we break down the mindset behind the hiring process and how your thoughts can impact whether or not you take action. We also discuss strategies to make the hiring process feel less overwhelming and way more doable.
If you’re ready to take the pressure off hiring and actually get the support that you need, this episode is a must listen!
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Hey everyone. Welcome back to the show. Today we are in the middle of January and you may be thinking about how you really want to grow your business and your agency, and part of what may be involved in that is the idea of hiring in new team members and new forms of support.
Now, when I say the idea of, I say that very intentionally because if you’re somebody who feels like you don’t have enough time to hire or enough energy to hire, It’s typically because of how you are thinking about hiring, not the actual steps involved in hiring.
So this is what I mean. There is time, energy, and money that’s associated with making a new hire. I think many times when we say that we don’t have time for something, it’s really that we don’t feel like we have the energy for it, because that’s usually why we’re not prioritizing the time. And the reason why typically we don’t have the energy for something is because of what we think about it and what we make those thoughts mean.
And I know this has been true in my own business, not necessarily with hiring, but with doing things like creating standard operating procedures or implementing things inside of the business that just seem like too much. And so of course I don’t have the time for it because it feels like an impossible task.
The reason why hiring can bring up a lot of thoughts and a lot of beliefs is for a few reasons. One, maybe you are someone who’s hiring in the past and it hasn’t worked out, and you wanna make sure that you’re not repeating the same thing over again.
I recently spoke with a new client inside of our agency program, and she had shared, like I’m tired of putting, I put the time in, and so this, this was based on past experience, right? And yeah, it can feel really discouraging if you’ve tried something a bunch and it hasn’t worked out. Who wants to keep doing that?
It could be the time that you feel like it might take to. Onboard someone and train someone. It may be because you feel like your business has to be perfect in order to set that team up for success. Maybe you think that you need to have all of your SOPs ready and everything set up so that it’s really clear on what that person needs to do so that they don’t mess up in their role, or if they do mess up, it’s on them and not you.
So these are just some of the things that might come up if you’re thinking about hiring and a lot of these thoughts and beliefs, they just use up a bunch of energy. And it’s not to say that they shouldn’t be there at all, or that you should just stop thinking that way and stop believing those things and just get past it, because that’s really not realistic.
I think the first thing to do though is make yourself aware of what you are telling yourself about the process and what you’re making it mean about you and your capabilities as a business owner about you and your capabilities as a leader about you and your capabilities of running and growing an agency.
Because the truth is that hiring someone, while, yes, it does take some time, that time is a direct return on investment when done properly. And it would be, obviously you wanna be able to continue to deliver for your clients and if you’ve promised them something you need to deliver on that if you don’t have a full team in place.
But, just continuing to do client work is not necessarily giving you a return on your time investment. Putting time into creating a job post or a process. That’s something that will either immediately or eventually create a return for you, but it’s really hard to see it that way when you’re so used to just like going in and doing it yourself.
So here’s how you can start setting yourself self up for success with hiring. First is to be aware of what you’re telling yourself about the process, and know that by getting started, You are not making any form of commitment to another person, right? Think about this as you going out there and seeing what’s available and communicating what your business needs are and seeing who applies.
You might not have anyone apply at first. And then you might have to go back and revisit your post and application and where you’re posting and all of that stuff. You may have a ton of people apply that have different backgrounds that would be really supportive for your agency that you hadn’t even thought of.
But you were not going to know that unless you actually start the process. So what I recommend for people who are hesitant to really start hiring is to think of it as gathering information. You’re just gathering information and nothing has to be set up. Nothing has to be perfect.
Obviously, we wanna set your team up for success, but there’s ways to go about doing that so it doesn’t feel like your business has to be at a certain point in order to begin bringing on a new team member.
I’m going to just talk really quickly about creating a delegation strategy for yourself, because the first thing that we wanna make sure that you’re doing is hiring the right role at the right time.
And this is something that I teach inside of my AGENCY program, which is specifically designed to get agency owners out of anywhere between 50 to 90% of client work, depending on where they’re starting, depending on their starting point. And the first piece of it is when you are hiring to make sure that you are hiring strategically and delegating strategically.
What I want you to do is I usually have folks go through a delegation task assessment and see what is actually the most important thing that needs to come off of your plate next, and rating everything that you’re doing and evaluating and determining what those areas are so that you make sure that you’re hiring someone that’s actually going to take the right things off of your plate.
And then the second piece of that delegation strategy is to make sure that it works financially for you. Wouldn’t it be great if tomorrow you could go out and just hire everyone to do everything in your business and then you’d be totally out of client work and management, but it’s probably likely that your business isn’t set up to do all of that just yet, or you might need to hit a few more financial milestones in order to be able to hire out all of those roles.
So we wanna make sure that first, you’re hiring the right person at the right time for the right role. And then we also wanna make sure that it works financially for you and if it doesn’t, to understand what needs to happen financially and make some goals so that you can even start the hiring process and then as soon as you hit those goals, you can actually hire that person into your business.
So that comes before the next part, which is the actual hiring process. If you feel a little bit fuzzy about who to delegate or what to delegate next. I recommend you spend a little bit of time there first, because a big mistake that I see agency owners making is not hiring the right person or taking advice from other people on who they should hire or following kind of like a one size fits all approach of every agency owner needs this first or this next, and not really hiring based on their business, and then spending a lot of money and not really getting the return that they expected. So we wanna make sure that’s set up first.
If you are already to a point where you’re like, I know the role I need to hire for, I know what needs to come off of my plate, then what I want you to do is just create a job description.
You should have this anyway because it should be a role and responsibility inside of your company if you don’t have it, create it. And it can literally start out as an outline and you can just list off all of the things that you want this person to do inside of your business. Okay. And then from there you can determine, okay, what part of this is like more of an internal document and what goes onto a job post, but just start with brain dumping.
And as you go and edit it, you can start to think of it as a sales page. So you are actually creating a sales page to attract your ideal team member. This is where you’ll want to infuse some of your company’s values and beliefs and what you’re wanting out of this role onto this page, so that as somebody’s reading it, they can determine if it’s aligned or not. And if it is, they’ll continue onto the application process. And if it’s not, then they won’t. Right?
And then you’re not reviewing an application of somebody who’s not an aligned fit and they’re not wasting their time applying for something that’s not gonna work for them. So that’s really what the sales pa or sales page, it is a sales page, right? This is what the job description and job post is all about.
The next part is creating an application. Create application questions, especially if you’ve hired for this role before and it hasn’t worked out, or you’ve hired other team member members and it hasn’t worked out. Think of what those situations were and then make sure to include questions on the application that would help you determine if this person would be different or not.
And inside of my program, I have a resource it’s called Hire Your Dream Team that walks you through some different situational questions you can ask, but obviously you can ask about their contact information so you can get ahold of them, but also, ask them about their skills and give them a situational question of something that might happen in their role and ask them how they would handle it.
There’s lots of different things that you can do here to get creative, and while this is a little bit more work upfront, it’s gonna save you a ton of time and actually reviewing the applications and not getting on a phone or video call with someone who might not be a good fit at all, and you could have just asked them one or two simple application questions to avoid having a conversation with someone who’s just not a good fit.
Okay? So create the job post, create an application. And make it live. And post where you wanna post it. And then depending on what your industry is, there may be different posting boards that you can post on. And that’s, pretty easy to find online through searching. You can ask around to your network as well and see what happens. See what happens.
So that is how you get started with hiring. Make sure you’re hiring the right role at the right time, and then just start creating the job post. And what’s fun about this is that this can actually be… make it like… make it your own, make it fun. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, put on some music. I’m looking at my diffuser. You can do some essential oils and diffuse it, like whatever feels fun to you. And then dream. Dream of the what support you would love to receive inside of your business, and really channel that as you create this job host and application.
And then, pass it around, see who’s out there, see who’s interested. And what we’re looking for is momentum. Because momentum builds and builds and builds, and that’s what’s gonna help you move forward. If you think about everything at once, it’s likely going to be overwhelming, potentially.
The next piece of this is talking about the idea of having everything set up perfectly inside of your business to be able to support this team member. And while yes, you definitely have a responsibility for making sure that there’s a good onboarding plan in place, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have every single standard operating procedure done inside of your business before this person comes on.
What I recommend to my clients is to create an onboarding for this team member, and you can make it a three month onboarding plan. And it’s like week one. I would love them to take over this area. Week two. I’d love to take over this area.
Let’s say you’re hiring an account manager. Week one, maybe they’re just reviewing your business and reviewing some of your internal documentation. They’re meeting with you, they’re getting an orientation. Week two, they’re shadowing you on some of the client accounts. So they’re in the email, maybe they’re attending some of the calls. By week three, they’ve started responding to some emails. They’ve started creating some of those client project plans. They’ve been introduced to the team by week four. They are managing the team’s delivery for your clients. And then by week five, they’re taking over client management and team management for maybe six of your clients. And then by week eight, it’s eight of your clients.
Do you see how this like naturally progresses? They’re not doing everything that you want them to do in week one. That’s impossible.
And I think what happens is that we know someone’s not gonna come into the business and be able to just take everything over immediately, but we never create a plan for ourselves or for them on exactly what those expectations are and what those numbers look like.
For example, maybe they’re taking over 25% of the clients by week three, and then 50% by week four. And really coming up with some goals and then, Being able to meet with a team member and check in on those goals. Are we hitting them? If we’re not, why? What do you need from us in order to move forward? If you are great, maybe you’re exceeding it and we can give you more sooner than we thought.
So creating this onboarding plan. And then what’s great about this is that after you meet with them and you get the feedback on the plan, make sure it’s good with them, you can say, okay, well if in week one they’re reviewing our company documentation, let me now before their first day make sure that company documentation is updated.
Great. If by week two they’re starting to take over and shadow you on client communication and calls, and on week three is when they actually get into your project management tool and start assigning things out. Then you know that by week three you need to have a process in place for them to be able to know how to use and operate your project management system, the templates that you have in place, and all of that.
So that does not need to be created, necessarily, way before the person starts. It could be, but I don’t want you to be waiting to hire until that’s done, because it really doesn’t need to be completed until later on. Okay?
So to recap, we talked about the things that keep us from hiring. We talked about time, energy, money, and really what thoughts are coming up for you, what you’re making them mean about hiring.
We’ve talked about creating a really good delegation strategy and that needs to come first. And so if you have any hesitations around that, I understand why that might be preventing you from hiring, and you should spend some time there.
If you know who you need to hire based on where your business is at then just take the first step. We wanna build up that momentum, start creating that job description, create the application, and test it out and see if people apply, see if people don’t. We can always tweak it and it, just because you are creating a job description again, does not mean that you are committing to hiring a person immediately. This is just starting that process.
And then once that person is on board, you can create an onboarding plan for them, which will help them and you be on the same page in terms of expectations, but will also create a plan for you to know what documentation you need to create and by when so that you don’t have to do it all at once. You don’t have to make this into a huge project that you’re never going to have time to do. And instead really be strategic about the work that you’re doing and when you’re doing it so that you can continue to make that progress and have that momentum while also making sure that your team is set up for success.
All right, everyone, I hope this was helpful. Happy hiring. You’ve got this and I will see you next week.