Finding and retaining quality staff whether you’re hiring employees or contractors, can be a difficult task for many entrepreneurs. There are a myriad of reasons this is true. It takes a focused, strategic approach to hiring and growing your team that will help propel you and your business forward.
Sometimes, though, no matter how well you have hired and how many strategies you have in place for a “good hire” it just doesn’t work out and you have to start over. Starting over with hiring and training a new employee or even getting a contractor up to speed on what you need done is a drain – physically and emotionally for the entrepreneur and financially for the business.
How can you find and retain quality staff?
Here are 7 steps to take that can help you increase your success.
- Be very clear on what you want the individual to do. If you hire someone and they think they are doing A and you want them to do B and perhaps C, and you didn’t tell them up front, they may balk and leave. If you hire for task A but then add on B and C without further compensation you may have to re-hire or pay to train them, if you are interested. If you believed you were hiring for A, B, and C, you need to be clear about the tasks and the expectations for everyone’s benefit.
- Leave the door open for negotiation on tasks and responsibilities. You may hire someone who far exceeds your expectations, and your business grows. It may get to the point where, because of growth, you need to hire a new person who can take on tasks D and E. Don’t forget to ask the original hire whether he or she can, or wants to, take on those new tasks, if they have the skill set to do them. Don’t overlook a chance to promote from within. Just because you hired for a person for ABC, doesn’t mean that individual doesn’t have other hidden talents you’ve never discussed. The people that get you to one level, might be or might not be the same people to help you get to your next level of success.
- Have a very clear and specific written job description. It is not enough to simply say what you want done. Give the new team member a detailed job description – not so detailed that it’s novel length, but detailed enough that you both understand the deliverables and agree to them.
- Be open to suggestions on potential changes to procedures. If you have a new staff member who looks at some of your current procedures (assuming you have all tasks documented, which most firms don’t) and can streamline them, ask for more details about what they’re proposing. If they can help make things easier, more streamlined, or better in any way, encourage them to do so.
- Treat your new hire as a member of the team. No one wants to work with a dictator or a micromanager. If you were clear in your hiring requirements, you should be able to rest easy that the tasks you’re hiring for are those which you can delegate and trust the new hire to do on your behalf.
- Train the new hire. Yes, you’re hiring the best expert for the job you need done, BUT this new person needs to know how you want things done. Just because they were a bookkeeper in their former position, doesn’t mean they will address your books in a way you are expecting. Before you can train, you need to have a clear picture of the tasks you’re delegating. Again, this may be a time to say, “We need A done, this is how we’ve always done it. Hand them a procedures manual to review each procedure. Do you have any suggestions on how to streamline the process?” Don’t make them answer immediately. Give them time to settle in and then discuss the task again. If you throw a new hire into the fray with no training, it will be frustrating for both of you and take them a lot longer to get up to speed than it needs to take.
If you don’t currently have documented procedures for all activities needed to be done for each job, you need to make sure they all get documented. This is very important for many reasons. Have the new person document everything as you train them (or update the existing process, if one exists), so you have these procedures as current as possible going forward.
- Ask an employee who is leaving for the reason they decided to leave. A brief exit interview is a great learning tool for you. Why did they leave? Money? Working hours? Misplaced expectations? Tired of being the only A player among C players on the team? Don’t make the exit interview an interrogation. Let the individual know you are truly interested in why they’re leaving. You may or may not take that information and use it to try and get them to stay, but again, it may be eye-opening enough that the two of you may find a way to work, and stay, together (if it makes sense). If someone is leaving for more money, it’s usually not a winning game for you, the employer, to up the ante to get that person to stay. Eventually they may come back and say someone else offered them more money and will you match it – you could be over a barrel at that point. If, however, you discover you were paying well below industry standards for the tasks this person was doing, it makes sense for you to evaluate your pay scale.
What is your biggest challenge when you’re hiring a new staff member or contractor? Do you do exit interviews and truly look at the feedback? How can you be even better at hiring and retaining great staff that will help your firm grow? How often should you be interviewing people to make sure you have the best staff possible on your team?
Download your complimentary support team performance assessment, so you can customize it for your team and hold them even more accountable. Great communication tool. https://www.accountabilitycoach.com/support-team-member-progress-assessment/