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Three Big Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Help

by Karen Talavera

09 10, 2013 | Posted in Digital Marketing, Marketing Vision, Resources for Getting It Done | 0 comments

Melanie Benson Strick teaches how to avoid top 3 mistakes when hiring help

After focusing on specific email marketing conundrums over the past several months, the Enlightened eMarketing blog is taking a breather to  focus on a major business conundrum we all face: hiring effective help. This month’s guest post on the topic is courtesy of small business optimizer Melanie Benson Strick (pictured here).

Melanie’s advice isn’t just for small businesses: whether you’re a solo-preneur, small local enterprise, entrepreneurial start-up, or marketing professional in a large company, everyone eventually needs to hire help. (As you know, here at Synchronicity Marketing we offer digital and email marketing help: if you’re wondering how we can become part of your Dream Team let’s talk). 

Read on to learn three big mistakes people make when hiring help so you can avoid those pitfalls and take the straight and narrow to getting the support you need.

Every small business owner and entrepreneur knows that in order to grow they will have to hire help along the way. Let’s face it – there is a TON of stuff to get done and there is no way that any one person can do it all. Besides, if you want to enjoy your business it makes sense to spend more time doing the activities that you thrive in, right?

But knowing you need a team and hiring the right people who will really free you up for your higher payoff activities is a totally different thing. After 24 years of building and leading teams and 12 years mentoring other entrepreneurs on how to expand their bandwidth with the right people on their team – I’ve witnessed the same three mistakes over and over again. 

These mistakes are more than just a small snafu—if you find yourself in one of them it could cost you upwards of $20,000 – $50,000 by hiring the wrong person. Not to mention the impact on your stress level and the quality of your performance in the marketplace.

So before you jump into hiring help for your business, take a look at these three common mistakes so you don’t make then too!

Waiting Too Long

A classic mistake many make is waiting too long to hire help. Often it’s because you’ve received conflicting advice. If you want to maintain your sanity and deliver excellent value, you’ll want to hire help earlier on in your growth process. If you wait until you are working seven days a week and you are losing business because you can’t keep up, you’ll feel desperate. Desperate people make poor choices when it comes to hiring. Plus, you’ll feel even more stressed out trying to slow down to hire high-quality help.

If you hire the right help to create your future business success, you’ll find that your team is more productive. You’ll hire people because they can deliver results (instead of just finding someone to fill the hole.) And when you hire the right talent to achieve your dream, you’ll be happier with the results.

The Gut Hire

A common issue in fast-paced or high-growth businesses is the “gut-hire.” This hiring mistake is
when you hire the first person who makes you feel understood. Now, since you wouldn’t get married after one date, hiring the first person who impresses you is not a good idea either. The gut-hire has a 95% failure rate (even though the first few weeks will feel like you are in heaven, these candidates rarely last more than 6 weeks.)

One of the hiring steps in the Build Your Dream Team system is to interview at least three candidates. This approach forces you to slow down, evaluate all of your potential candidates and to follow a proven system designed to balance facts and data with your gut instincts.

Budget vs. Expectations Mismatch

When your budget is low but your time is at a premium, you may consider low-cost outsourcing or bargain rate employees. But when you discover that your time is spent managing and training instead of focusing on the activities that will be growing your business, you may feel resentful or wonder what you are doing wrong!

An important step in building your own dream team is to understand the cost vs. competency paradox. Often our real need is to be freed up to focus on other pursuits but the competency level of a low-cost employee doesn’t allow you to enjoy that freedom. Many overseas outsourcing firms have created employee mills – providing just enough training to get by but not enough direction to take ownership of a role. Getting things done quickly is the goal at the expense of quality results.

If your real goal is freedom then you’ll need to adjust your budget for higher quality talent or create a good training system that can teach your team how to get the job done right.

For every mistake made in the hiring process there is definitely a system for better results. The key is to know what to do and how to do it. Sometimes an entrepreneur will hold back out of fear of making costly hiring mistakes. Instead, try this free training program to learn how to eliminate those costly mistakes and accelerate your results with talented people on your team!

About the Author: Melanie Benson Strick, America’s Leading Small Business Optimizer, guides fast-paced, creative entrepreneurs to uncover costly profit leaks and implementing simple strategies that generate exponential growth. Find out how you can accelerate your business results through leveraging other people’s talent at this free webinar on September 12, The Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon.


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