There comes a time in every small business owner’s life when they must make a drastic decision: Hiring your first employee. Hiring a person to work for your company is no small undertaking. It comes with a lot of burdens and important decisions that have to be made and mountains of paperwork. But, above all, it comes with the responsibility of choosing the right person for the job who will help you and your company grow to the next level. This first hire could be the difference between making it big and closing up shop. Let’s explore some of the fundamental ideas behind how to hire the right person and what ideals are important to us at 208 Cleaning.
Hire Slowly. No Really. Take Your Time.
Say it with me: Slooowly. Hiring the right person is a lot like falling in love. You know that one date is a little quick to decide that they are “the one” but taking seven years is a little too slow. Just as in hiring, you can definitely “take things too quickly” before you really get to know a person. It’s easy to make a great first impression on your “first date” aka the job interview, but that one interaction does not a complete picture make.
Hiring slowly is all about experiencing the person in different environments and challenges and giving yourself time to subconsciously process your feelings and observations. Give yourself time to make this undoubtedly huge decision. We recommend starting with a brief phone interview. Then, if you have good vibes from that interaction, give them an “assignment” via email. The assignment could be something as simple as answering a few questions about why they want the job in the form of an essay, to something more complex like doing a mock report on an imaginary client.
Observe how quickly they get it done and how elaborately it was completed. Did they go above and beyond or did they just hand over the bare minimum? This can tell you a lot about a person right there, and we haven’t even officially interviewed them yet! After this task, if you still want to proceed with that candidate, then set up an actual in-person interview.
We’ll leave the questions up to you but here are some things to look out for:
- Did they show up on time or early?
- How prepared were they?
- Did they bring several resumes and other paperwork?
- Did they have a portfolio on hand?
- What was your gut reaction when you first met them?
- Are they around for the long haul or just passing through?
- What kind of impression would they make on your clients as a representative of your brand?
You’re Not Hiring Someone, You’re Starting a Movement
Derek Sivers gave a powerful Ted Talk in 2010 about starting a movement. He said that being a leader definitely takes guts, but you need more than that. You need someone else to take a leap of faith of their own and decide to start following you as well. Otherwise, you’re just hanging out there all by yourself. He said, “the first follower is what turns a lone nut into a leader.” That’s exactly what’s going on here when you’re hiring your first employee for your business: You’re transforming from lone nut to leader. That first follower is going to influence and inform all the rest of the followers on how to follow you.
Pay Attention To Your Employees And Treat Them Well
Once you do hire that first one or two people, it is important to pay attention to them. Obviously, pay attention to how well they are performing their tasks and generally representing the company, but also pay attention to their tastes and music and other likes and dislikes that shape a person. One great thing to try is to switch up the typical old cash bonus program. If you know one of your employees loves country music, then it could be fun to buy them front row tickets to their next favorite artist’s concert.
Keep snacks around and give them away for free along with bottled water. This is an inexpensive way to keep morale high and to help your employees stay fed and hydrated. It’s important to stand by your employees and to trust them to do the right thing, even if you’re not around. Many studies have shown that happy employees work harder and are more loyal than employees who are paid the bare minimum and have little to no latitude in decision making. Keeping your employees happy isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also good for business!
Best of luck with all of your hiring ventures. If you want to see our wonderful employees in action, give us a call and we can help you with all your residential and commercial cleaning needs: 208 850 0654.