7 Steps to Hiring Your First Team Member
Are you an entrepreneur who loves your work and serving your clients, but you wish there were more hours in the day? Do you find yourself falling behind on certain tasks or putting off the tasks that you dread? You might even be feeling like you’re spread too thin, and that work-life balance you’ve worked hard to create is suffering.
Is that speaking to your soul right now? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and there is a solution! Entrepreneur friend, it may be time for you to outsource tasks and hire your first team member. I know it can be scary! You’re probably so used to doing it all, DIYing the tasks you aren’t an expert at, or possibly even holding your business back from the potential it has because you just don’t have the capacity to do it all alone.
Where do you even start? When do you know it’s time to hire your first team member and expand your business? How do you begin the hiring process?
As a website design agency that started as a single entrepreneur with a vision and has since grown into a team of 6+ team members, we’ve learned a lot over the years when it comes to growing a team. Read on to discover our 7 step process for hiring your first team member and expanding your business!
1. Know when it’s time to hire.
The first step in hiring your first team member is knowing when it’s actually time to grow your team. If you resonate with one or more of these scenarios, it may be time to start the hiring process.
- You don’t have the capacity to take on more work by yourself.
- You want to retain and bring in new clients.
- You have ideas for new revenue streams and new projects.
- You have trouble keeping up with customer service.
- You dread certain tasks.
- You don’t have the expertise for certain tasks, such as bookkeeping, SEO, etc.
- You have trouble hitting deadlines due to the amount of work on your plate.
- You work long hours and feel spread too thin.
- You’re struggling with work-life balance.
2. What to do before you start the hiring process.
Before you start the hiring process, it’s important that you take the time to write out your business and personal goals. Ask yourself these questions.
- What is my business vision and mission?
- Where do I see my business going?
- Who are my ideal clients?
- How many hours per week do I work?
- What tasks do I manage?
- What tasks will my teammate manage?
- How will I work with my teammate to grow the business?
- Do I have enough money coming in to pay a teammate right now?
Once you’ve reflected on these questions, you can determine if hiring a team member is a financially sound decision for your business right now.
3. Where to find your first team member.
When it comes to finding your first team member, think about the personal and business connections that you already have. Ask other business owners where they’ve found their teammates. Maybe their teammates are taking on new clients, and they can refer someone to you.
At Neapolitan Creative, we’ve built strong relationships and connections with good friends such as Sarah Noked, certified online business manager trainer, and Micala Quinn, owner and founder of the Overwhelmed to Overbooked (OTO) program, which teaches women how to start their own freelancing businesses. Often, we collaborate with Micala and her course members in their Facebook group community and their job leads board. Most of our teammates came from the OTO community! There is so much power in personal and virtual connections!
Another way to find potential teammates is to join Facebook groups for business owners, such as Boss Moms, Living the Laptop Life, etc. You can even niche down and join groups for entrepreneurs who have a specific skill set that you are looking for. For example, if you are looking to hire a social media manager, you can search groups like The Social Media Society and post what you are looking for in the group. Many of these groups have their own job lead boards, so you can also submit your job listing there.
4. What to look for before interviewing.
Before you start the interview process, there are a few key things to consider to ensure the person you book a discovery call with has the potential to be a good fit for your team and business. Here is a list of things to consider and look for before interviewing:
- Look over their pitch and email and check for grammar, details, and a sense of interest/professionalism.
- Are they personable?
- Did they do their research on you and your business?
- Do they have a portfolio and/or work samples?
- Does their portfolio and/or work samples look professional?
- Do they have a good writing “voice?”
- Are they timely in their responses?
- Do you have a good gut feeling about this person?
If you answered yes to these questions, go ahead and book a discovery call interview with them. If you would like to see a small sample of work to ensure they can match your voice, style, and brand, you can arrange this with them, potentially for a small price.
5. Start the interview process.
The next step in hiring your first team member is to start the interview process and get on discovery calls with your potential teammates to discuss the goals, tasks, and role the teammate would play. Ask any questions that you have and let them share their plan for helping you in your business. During the interview and directly after, ask yourself these questions:
- Do they seem confident in their skills?
- Do they have a plan of how they’ll help you?
- Are they willing to learn new skills/platforms?
- Do I think they’d be a good fit to work closely with me and my customers?
- Were they positive and professional on the call?
- Did they timely follow up with a proposal and email?
These questions will help lead you to your final decision of who your first teammate will be. Trust yourself and your gut when making this decision. Once you’ve made your decision, kindly email all other applicants to let them know that you’ve found your first teammate and that you enjoyed meeting with them. Let them know that you’ll keep their information for later on down the road when you’re ready to expand your team again. Then, send an email to your new teammate telling them the good news…they’re on the team!
6. Start the on-boarding process.
Once you’ve hired your first teammate, signed the contract, and paid the invoice, it’s time to start the onboarding process. This process is crucial in getting expectations and lines of communication established. Your teammate will most likely have an onboarding process of their own as well. Make sure you send them any login info, branding information, or important documents they’ll need.
It’s advantageous to use a project management system such as ClickUp with your team to keep everything organized. Determine how you’ll communicate and what your working hours are. You may want to use email, Slack, text, or another form of communication.
Once all of these items have been shared, have a kick-off call with your new team member to ensure they’ve received all the logins and materials they need and to discuss their first tasks. On this call, you can set due dates and discuss the plan together. Clear up any questions, and get ready to start working on your first tasks together!
As they complete their first tasks, give positive and constructive feedback, and work together collaboratively to help train them on what you are looking for. You can also ask them to share their feedback on processes and what opportunities for growth and simplification they see in your business.
Once you have completed their on-boarding, it’s time for you to step back, trust the process and your new teammate, and let them work their magic! Use your time doing other things that light you up or create more work-life balance for yourself!
7. Strengthen your team’s relationship.
Once your new team member is on-boarded and helping you outsource tasks, it’s important to strengthen your relationship and grow together. You can host team meetings as needed to check in on each other and your team tasks, strategize, plan content and projects, and simply stay connected. It’s so important that you have fun together, making the work environment that much more positive. Communicate to your teammate how their work impacts your business and transition them into a critical role that helps make decisions for the business. This will help them take ownership as well. To show your appreciation for them, write a positive testimonial for them and give them a great rating and review on their website or social media.
Do you feel more confident in growing your team and expanding your business? We hope these 7 steps to hiring your first team member are helpful and encourage you to take the leap towards outsourcing and creating more work-life balance.