Part 3 | Hiring
In this module we are going to talk about hiring. In the previous modules we talked about why you need to hire someone and now we will address when to hire someone.
When to Hire
You want to hire when you have more money than time. One way to think about this is how much money you make per hour if you worked 40 hours a week. Let’s say you are making $600 an hour. You want to look at the things you do with that time. You are likely answering emails, planning your calendar, returning phone calls. There are a lot of things that are not $600 an hour tasks. This is why your first hire needs to be an assistant.
It’s important to realize how valuable your time is and that you can pay someone $40 an hour to do tasks and free up your $600 an hour to invest in projects that will greatly impact the success of the business.
Sometimes clients will tell us they don’t know what the assistant would do. There are so many tactical things that can be done. This includes cleaning your house, running errands, making phone calls, doing research, making dentist appointments, signing up your kids for camp, and so on.
Here’s what we want you to do. Keep a time journal for two weeks and record what you do every single day in terms of the actions you take. You will think you won’t have time, but at the end of these two weeks it will be very apparent what you can delegate.
Creating Processes Before Hiring
The skill of taking something you do and turning it into a process is one of the most important skills you’re going to learn as you become a mature entrepreneur. The simplest way to do this is by doing the task yourself, and recording yourself doing it. Literally put it on a video, record yourself doing it, and write down the steps. Start doing this for the next six weeks for all of the tactical things that you do.
Then once you have those processes in place you write the job description. This job description is there to describe the results you want the person to create in your business and sells them on being in your company. Write it as though you are writing to your dream candidate, the person you most wish would accept the job. Include your vision, values, and goals for the business and why it’s enticing for this person. Also include the salary and benefits they will receive from working with you.
We made a mistake once by posting a wrong, much lower salary on a job ad and we didn’t receive the best applicants. Once we changed the salary it was amazing the caliber of applicants. Different people will apply based on what salary you share.
Finding the Right Person for the Job
Once your job description is complete, we recommend you post it on Workable. When you first post your job description, you will want to give very specific instructions on how you want them to apply. Because once you receive applications, you can screen out those that didn’t follow the instructions. We also delete any applications that don’t have a cover letter addressed to us.
For those that follow the instructions, have a cover letter, and fit the criteria of the job, we then give them a project to complete. This is important because the best way to know if they’re really qualified is to give them a project that would be aligned with the kind of work that they would do.
We recommend you have three parts to your project:
- A part where they have to record a video
- A part that includes something to showcase their skill related to the job
- A part that is actually a bit too hard for them to complete and do well
You will want to be really thoughtful about this project and send it out to each applicant with an exact due date. Having a project like this screens out those who aren’t eager and ready. We’ve had applicants beg for more time or not know how to upload a video. These are not the people you want.
Once the applicants complete a project, then you’ll be able to evaluate their video, their skillset, and how well they are able to follow directions. After you’ve reviewed their applications you will want to do a short interview with them through video conference. This is another test of how well they can figure out technology and whether they show up to the interview well dressed and with a clean background.
We do a short interview, like 10 or 15 minutes, through Zoom, and then if we like them we’ll schedule a longer interview for an hour where we can ask deeper questions. The main thing we want to understand in these interviews is whether they are a good culture fit. Do they meet your values? Do they understand your manifesto?
For example, if you know you want blue collar workers that are invested in being an example of what’s possible, and all they want to talk about is the benefits and how you are measured for performance, then you know it’s not a good match.
Once you’ve done the interview and you think it’s a good match, we highly recommend you give them an offer for a three month trial. If they already have a full time job then the trial will need to be part time. Some people won’t be willing to do this and there may be room for negotiating a two week trial. Having some sort of trial period is important because they may interview well, but once they get on the job and experience your organization, they may not mesh well with your values and with other team members.
Having a trial gives you more flexibility in whether or not you keep them. It’s great for you and the candidate to really see if this is a good match.
Overall you need to hire people who are ready to go. It is not your job to develop people into their potential. There is no time for that. You will have to train them about your organization and about your processes, but you don’t want to train them on how to be a professional employee.
Some of you may already have 10 or 20 employees and think it’s too late for you to apply these concepts. We want you to follow these same steps. Pull out a blank piece of paper. Imagine everyone is fired in your mind. Now hire your assistant back and do it properly. Write a job description. Make sure processes are there. Bring them back on for a trial. Tell them things have changed. I promise you this will be worth your time. If you go step by step by step with each of your employees and make sure that you’ve completed this process with them, you will solve so many of the problems that you’re probably having right now in your culture and in your business.
What to Pay
You get to pay whatever you want, and you will want to ask others how much they pay their employees. This is the wrong way to go about it. You need to think about your employees as investments and what the return will be on that investment. You also want to think in terms of salary vs. dollars per hour because you want to pay your employees for results, not time.
For example, if you were to hire an assistant, and the value they create is saving you 15 hours of time each week, then what is the value of those 15 hours to your business? If you could create a whole new program in your business with those 15 hours and sell it for $1 Million dollars, then paying the assistant $100k doesn’t seem like a big investment.
If you are looking at your assistant and thinking, “she’s making appointments with the plumber, that doesn’t seem like valuable work,” then you’re going to miss the whole point and pay less for their service. Employees are an investment, like the stock market. When you invest stock, you aren’t thinking about what you will make per hour, you are thinking about the long term return.
We recommend you pay as much as you can for the position. You will know how much you can afford by going back and looking at your money. (See Your Money and Company Money.)
Some of you will be afraid to make this type of investment. You’ll think you can’t afford it. We promise that your best people will not cost you a dime. This has been true with every employee at The Life Coach School.
Believing in Your Employees
We’ve talked a lot about the entire process of hiring an employee, but one thing that is essential as you bring on employees is really believing in your vision. Many of the clients we work with are not confident in their vision. They don’t trust that they’ll achieve their future result, which makes investing in employees feel scary. Because if you knew without fail that you would achieve your vision and goal, making a decision to hire a great employee would be a no-brainer.
Remember back to Part One where we talked about how your thoughts create your results. The way you think about hiring an assistant, the way you think about creating processes, the way you think about job descriptions is creating your current results. So if you want a different result, you have to think differently.
We recommend you go to a place in your mind where you are accomplishing that vision. You are being successful and hitting your goals. Make your decisions to hire from that future place and live into that future version of the self you want to be. You have to give up being a solopreneur in order to become an entrepreneur.
For example, let’s say your vision is to run a $5 Million business. You go to your $5 Million self and ask them, “What kinds of decisions would you make? How do you show up in the world? What are you paying attention to every day?” You have to believe in something that doesn’t exist, but believing in yourself ahead of time will make all the difference.