Small businesses are generally things that begin with one person — you. Many small businesses never grow beyond having that one fundamental team member, even when they expand and enjoy a good deal of financial success.
But, sometimes, as your small business grows, you will find that you do ultimately need to hire other people to help you out with your small business, to attend to certain specialist tasks that may not be your area of expertise, and to help lighten the workload you experience, so that you are in a better position to leverage your time effectively.
And, of course, hiring the right people is something of an art in and of itself. Here are some tips to help you hire the right people for the job.
Use freelancers and virtual assistants as much as possible
Freelancers are a godsend for small business owners, specifically because you can pay them for particular assignments that you need done, especially during busy periods at work, say, without having to commit to paying them an ongoing wage.
Freelancers are specialists who come and go on demand. Many will also work primarily via the internet, which can also be a great benefit if you don’t have the space or physical office infrastructure to house a team of additional workers.
In addition to freelancers — people who are likely specialists in a given field — you could also hire a virtual assistant, just as the famous entrepreneur and writer Tim Ferriss mentions having done, in his bestselling book “The 4-Hour Work Week”.
A virtual assistant is someone who helps you with the admin work of your business, rather than someone who has a particular specialist role such as accounting, or graphic design. A virtual assistant can help you to schedule appointments, research projects, and manage client lists.
If you’re going to be involved in active hiring, come up with shortlisting criteria in advance
If you’re going to be actively hiring people — in the sense of placing ads, interviewing multiple prospects, and all the rest — it’s important that you are able to come up with criteria to shortlist candidates, instead of having to try and work it out based on gut feeling.
Which exact skills do you want, or need, the individual in question to have? What personality traits will help to make them fit in, in your office? Are testimonials and good references from past employers essential, or are you willing to hire someone who’s fresh out of school and hasn’t yet built up a resume?