Chances are, when you first opened the doors of your company, you were simply a Company of One.   As you grew, you picked up a few new employees and you also learned a lot about "who" you actually needed to do the job and grow your company.

It's quite likely you hired a lot of people that you didn't need to and lost a lot of money to learn what skills you needed to develop in your staff and which ones you needed to seek out in the hiring process.  In the end, there are two schools of thought on hiring, but those ideas branch into a variety of ideas when it comes to execution.  Let's take a look at these differing ideas and how they actually apply in your company...

The first school of thought is simple - hire the most experienced staff you can.  This applies in nearly every area - from the administrative assistant all the way to the sales team.  The logic is great, too:  the perception is that "experience" means less training and that means that you'll recoup your investment faster while your new hire is providing value for your company instead of "training."  It sure sounds good on paper. 

The challenge is that you can't easily quantify the "experience" they've brought to your company.  Of course, you can ask all about it in the interview and you can check their references, but the fact is,  you aren't likely to get all the details of your applicant and really be able to judge how well their knowledge, skills, and abilities interplay with your own team and company until they have been on your team for awhile.

...And then there's the temptation to hire team and then pay them as contractors to escape certain tax liabilities. 

What you've essentially done is to "hire" people who are excellent in their field, with plenty of experience, and then NOT made them feel like they are part of the team - Is it any wonder why they usually leave your company?

Lest it be said that this system can't work, it most certainly can, but the successful entrepreneur who is utilizing highly-skilled team members as contractors is the one who has set clear expectations in place for how the working relationship is executed - and usually, those contractors need to handle fulfillment or administrative tasks, NEVER sales. 

Your sales team needs to share your passion about your company and your products.  You might pay them a straight commission and no benefits, but they need to be comfortable and clear on how every process works in your company - from the sales funnel, the marketing, new customer onboarding, and, of course, how and when they'll be paid.

Oh - about that payment - you need to be crystal clear about where the "gotchas" are in their commissions and overages, too.  If they are expecting a 25% bonus and don't get it because of something you glossed over in their training, they WILL leave - the world is filled with sales jobs for the men and women who know how to successfully close business.

As you build your own enterprise, it's important to understand that there isn't one magical hiring system, website, or special place to solve all your staffing issues.  On the fulfillment and administrative side, piecework might be the most logical way to handle a lot of the daily tasks that occupy your time as a small business owner.  If you must create a team to handle sales, then one of the keys to that hiring process is to make sure your sales team not only brings experience, but your training system lets them understand, quickly and easily, "how we do it here."

Published on: Apr 4, 2018