More times often than not, we see advice and suggestions for millennials who work in corporate, on how to find their next position, how to properly interview, and ask for the salary that they deserve, but what about the risk taking, boss babes and bros, who are entrepreneurs and own small businesses? For some reason we forget that they exist, almost as if only generation X and baby boomers have the potential of and are the ones running a lucrative and successful business.
Heather McCollum is the Founder of Better HR (mybetterhr.com) where she offers comprehensive resources for emerging business leaders and HR delegates in small organizations to manage people most effectively. She is also the author of WORK LIKE A PRO: Your Guide to Finding, Accepting & Starting a New Job. McCollum shared with us a few tips from for millennial solopreneurs making their first hires.
“In my experience as Founder of Better HR, I help business owners with their strategic human resource planning. One of the biggest mistakes solopreneurs and small business owners make is not taking their workforce planning and hiring processes seriously. Their approach is often casual, and they do not plan for things like career development, pay raises/incentives, succession, etc. Recruiting is pursued as simply calling out, “I need to hire somebody!” to which whoever is in ear-shot serves up someone “looking for a job.” If you know this scenario and you want to do better, here are a few suggestions to get you started on a much better path to making the most important decisions about building your team.”
- Consider the growth plan of your business. This will make all the difference in who you engage to help you build. Think through the workflows. What would make it flow better to ensure your core competency is maintained? Consider what you need to take your business to the next step in your plan. What are you prepared to delegate? What skill sets are needed to take your business to the next level? Do you have time to teach the skills or do you need to hire a seasoned professional? You want to make sure you’re spending money in a way that you get the value you intend to get from your new hire(s). This might mean that you pursue a marketing manager instead of the virtual admin you thought you needed. Or you might outsource to an accounting firm vs trying to hire an accounting intern.
- Job descriptions matter. A clearly written and accurate job description is the most important element of the recruitment process. Leaders who take the time to think through the work they need to delegate and devise a description are demonstrating their preparedness to lead. Likewise, job candidates who seek specific experiences as a way to build their careers are demonstrating their aptitude as a focused worker. As the leader, it’s up to you to set the stage early for what you want. Write a job description and make it good. Don’t start with a title. Jot down an outline of the work you need to hire someone to do. Describe the job first, not the person you want to do it. Too often, employers lead with describing the “right person”, and don’t realize the person they are describing wouldn’t be good at it or want the job. Remember, a job description is to identify a match. Potential hires will want to know why they should pursue your job. At least the ones with marketable talent will. And remember, you’re advertising your job opportunity. Good candidates want to know what’s in it for them if they were to be offered and accept your job.
- Consider hiring a professional recruiter. Unless you have a good amount of experience and time to pursue a search for the right candidate, hiring a quality recruiter is a must. It may be the difference between hiring someone who adds value to your business or hiring someone who derails your business. The advantage of hiring a real recruiter is that they partner with you to force you to think and make decisions about what role you need to fill, and the best potential candidates. They also take note of how you work, so they will be able to gauge the type of person you’d need to hire to be a good match for you and the work you need someone to do. Now, all recruiters aren’t created equal. And the more information you have prepared to guide the search, the better and faster they will be able to help you fill your role. Great recruiters know how to coach you to develop a great job description and shape your expectations about the candidates you will need to pursue. They are also focused on getting the job filled, so you’ll be forced to focus on making the hiring decision right away.
Small businesses and solopreneurs can compete in the labor market if they take the same approach to hiring as larger organizations. It’s all a matter of strategic planning and thinking of human resources management as an investment.