While it might seem like a cost-effective choice to remain a solopreneur, the reality is that a business cannot scale without a team at its helm. There are only 24 hours in a day and there’s only so much a single person can accomplish. At a certain point, there will come a time where the business grows too large for its owner to handle alone.
However, building a team for the sake of having one isn’t the solution for success. In fact, an inefficient or unskilled team can ultimately hold you back further than if you were going solo. To truly capitalize on your business’s growth, you have to find the right team—or, in other words, your dream team.
What does your dream team look like? Who does it include? Those are questions only you can answer, as nobody understands your brand and your business goals as intimately as you.
Use these tips to determine who to hire and how to know if someone is the right fit.
Sit down for a brainstorming session.
You know you need help, but where? Grab a piece of paper and start writing down everything you do in your business, from the exciting responsibilities that fill you up to the mundane tasks that drag you right back down. You need to have a clear picture of your current workload so you can identify the areas you can delegate to your team.
Once you’ve exhausted your list of regular tasks, start categorizing them based on how much you enjoy them. This may look like a T-chart, a handful of sticky notes on the wall, or a numbered rating system. However it makes sense, begin teasing out the responsibilities you love from the ones that you dread.
As you likely guessed, those that you love should stay in your domain. You’re good at them, they make you happy, and they contribute to your business’s growth. Easy. Everything else can be moved off your plate to someone who is better equipped, like a virtual assistant, a social media specialist, a bookkeeper, or an operations manager.
Look for candidates in the right places.
When you know the roles you need to fill, create comprehensive job descriptions that outline the responsibilities for each position, the qualifications you’re looking for in a candidate, and the expectations for the job (i.e. hours per week, pay rates, etc.)
Then, share your job description(s) all across your network! You may be wondering: “What about all of those job listing sites, like Monster or Indeed?” While you can certainly post on general job boards, your inbox will likely be inundated by unqualified applicants.
Instead, leaning on your network can turn up great, qualified candidates recommended by those you already trust. Share your job description(s) on social media, send it to your industry email list, and submit it to your associations to share with their members.
Go beyond basic interview questions.
A resume is a great way to review an applicant’s experience and qualifications, but it does not reveal one of the most vital elements of a good hire: their personality. That’s why the interview stage is a critical part of building your dream team—one wrong hire can result in inefficiencies, lost business, and internal drama. No, thank you.
Consider starting the interview process with a personality test to get a general feel of who a candidate is and how they’d fit into your business. Since personality tests are not 100 percent reliable, these results should not be deciding factors. However, they can still clue you into someone’s strengths and weaknesses, particularly in interpersonal situations.
It’s also smart to schedule working interviews, which allow a candidate to shadow you for a day and participate in the business as if they were an employee. This approach allows you to present real-world challenges and pose in-the-moment questions that force them to think on their feet and find creative solutions. In an industry where it’s essential to be adaptable, this opportunity lets you assess their problem-solving skills and how they interact with clients and other team members.
The hiring process can be long and frustrating, especially when the right candidate doesn’t seem to be showing up. However, there’s no reason to rush a hire without being fully confident in the decision. A poor hire is worse than no hire! After all, you’ve been getting along without the support so far; bringing the wrong person in can negatively influence productivity and force you to go through the hiring process all over again.
Do it once, and do it right. The effort will be worth it when you have a supportive team that understands you, your brand values, your business goals, and how they fit into the big picture.