When you're just starting out and kind of building your business on a shoestring, which a lot of people do, you have to kind of be the doer of all things, you have to learn all the functions of the business. But at a certain point, your time is much more leveraged. If you can get things off your plate. Welcome to thrive by design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing and scaling your business. So you could spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make money. You ready? All right, let's do
this. Welcome to the thrive by design Podcast, episode 406. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, chief visionary officer of Flourish & Thrive Academy, and the host of the show today. And I'm excited because this is one of my favorite topics, talking about reducing your overwhelm by hiring a new team member. Now I see a lot of people who struggle, they end up getting to a certain point in their business, it's what I usually see, it's usually around 150 to $200,000, where maybe they've done some things really well they started selling their collections that are crushing it. And obviously, this depends on your price points. If you're selling fine jewelry, that might be a little bit of a higher marker. And if you're selling low end jewelry, it might be a slightly lower marker. But you've gotten to this point where you're doing everything yourself. And at a certain point, you just can't keep growing without outside support. And I see people like you listening to this podcast, very resistant to hiring virtual assistants or a team member or team members. For a variety of reasons. Some of the things that I hear come out of your mouths are things like, I don't want to have a big team or, you know, I really like making the jewelry, that's my favorite part of the business. And not that you don't have to do that. Or, you know, it's just easier to do it myself, like these are all things that I hear people say over and over again. But what ends up happening is they feel extremely overwhelmed. They feel pulled in many directions. And the first marker of this is that they start hitting a profit or growth plateau. And the second marker of this is that if they continue in the state for a while, their business might start backsliding. And then eventually, they might start to suffer from burnout. And I mentioned this because if you are resistant to hiring a team member or you have a team and you've been struggling with how to lead and train them, and or maybe you haven't hired a players and all those things, then you're going to love this episode, I hope so whether you haven't hired anyone yet, and you're thinking about it, or you want to know what's on the horizon, maybe someday when you want to hire, or you're someone who already has a team, and you're thinking about bringing on more people, or wondering how you can do this more efficiently and effectively. Let's dive in, this is going to be a great show. So over the years, I've experienced all of the things that I just said earlier, the overwhelm the growth plateau, feeling like my business is backsliding or my business actually backsliding because things got really disorganized inside the business. And I was like messing things up myself. Because I, you know, I know I have my skill set. But I don't have every skill set it takes to run a business. And the truth is, when you're just starting out and kind of building your business on a shoestring, which a lot of people do, you have to kind of be the doer of all things, you have to learn all the functions of the business. But at a certain point, your time is much more leveraged if you can get things off your plate. So your first hire might be a virtual assistant of some sort. It might be someone to help you with operations. It might be someone who helps you with shipping or help you make your jewelry. It might even be some sort of contractor or manufacturing solution or an agency even for marketing. But in any of those solutions, you need to be thinking through this hiring process, so that you are properly training people so that you're not frustrated throughout the process. And so that you stop using these words. It's easier just to do it myself. I want you to remove that from your vocabulary, because at a certain point, it is not going to be easier to do it yourself. It does take time and patience to hire great people. But at the end of the day, when you have people who are bought into your vision and excited to support your business, you're gonna watch how your business can thrive and grow. And if you're already in that spot where you've been hiring people, but it has hasn't quite worked out in the way you expected. You're going to love this episode too. And I made an amazing free download for you that goes with this episode. You're welcome. It's called The Ultimate marketing and social media VA hiring template for jewelry business owners. And this template is basically a step by step guide on an A checklist and a sample job description, where you can basically swipe it, edit it to fit your needs, and go, you're going to love it. So head on over to flourish, thrive academy.com forward slash hiring template, and make sure that you download that right now it's only going to be around for a limited time. So get it right away. I'll also have it in the show notes over at flourish thrive academy.com forward slash 406. All right, so today, what I wanted to walk you through are the steps to hiring. I've identified nine steps to successfully hiring an awesome team member. So let's dive in to what these look like. So the first step of this is to define the role. And more importantly, to determine what needs to be delegated. Here's what I mean by that. A lot of times we bring someone on, but we're not really clear what we need them to do. Or we have a bunch of stuff that we need to get off our plate. But we haven't like clearly, you know, made a do ditch or delegate list like anything where we can like write down, okay, these are the things that I love doing. These are the things that I don't love doing. And so what I want you to do, after you listen to this episode, if you're not driving, and you're wanting to just do it right now, I want you to make a list of all of the low leverage tasks that are outside of your zone of genius, or that are outside of the things that you actually love doing. And I say low leverage. And what I mean by that. These aren't things that number one you have to do as the founder of the company, a lot of people want to outsource sales as the first thing, I think that's a bad idea. There are things that are taking up your time that are busy work, administrative tasks, and things along those lines that are not necessary for you to do. So when I think of things like this, I would think of, you know, shipping your products like you could have train anyone to pack your boxes, and ship them. And that's something that you could hire a high school intern to probably do and come after school a couple times a week. So that's one type of role or function of your business that you can delegate, maybe it's social media engagement. And while I do think that this, this is an important function, to get your social media posts out in the feed, you could potentially hire a social media intern who can go and post your content. And then make sure that she's engaging with your followers and other people's stories, and commenting on the posts and responding to the DMS in a timely manner. That that's helpful in a lot of ways because it helps get your, your posts in front of the people who want to see them. So make a list of all the low leverage tasks that you want to get off your plate immediately. And set that aside. Now the next step of this is to write a job description. Now I want to be clear that unless you're hiring, like a multifunctional virtual assistant, you got to be realistic about what someone can do in your small business. For instance, one of the mistakes that I made when I was first hiring people, when I had my first jewelry company, is that I tried to make my production manager slash head designer, a salesperson. And even though she had a strong desire to start her own business jewelry business one day, she really wasn't adept at sales, but I was like, well, she makes jewelry, she knows about the product, I could bring her on the road and help me sell the products. Well, every time I would bring her, it actually ended up doing the business a disservice because she doesn't, she didn't feel comfortable getting in front of people and selling the product. Instead, she would just stand in the booth sound really shy and felt embarrassed. So that's like a good example of how you can't necessarily cross function roles. Like for instance, your shipping person probably isn't going to be your salesperson, or your admin bookkeeper is probably not going to be you know, making the jewelry. Does that make sense if you're bringing someone in in the office for those types of things, so get clear on the things that you want to delegate, and then turn that into a job description, the kind of functions of the business that are similar. So if you're hiring someone for general, all around office assistants, or something along those lines, that type of person can do a variety of different things often and they might be able to like do the shipping, maybe do some bookkeeping, organize the orders for production, like things like that, that are more administrative work. And so think through that type of thing. Unlike what is the big function of the business that you want to get off your plate right away and hire for that, then once you have that job description, you want to post it on job boards, internship sites, schools that might have the type of people that you're looking for LinkedIn, social media, and other hiring sites like zip recruiter, or indeed, there's lots of them out there, you can Google them. There's also a great website. I haven't tried this yet. But I've heard some of my colleagues posting on Create cultivate for jobs in more creative veins. So if you're looking for someone for marketing, that might be a good place to start to look for a candidate. Now, step number three, is to pre vet an interview the candidate. So one of the things that I like to do is I write a job description, kind of like what we would do for a sales letter, like we're basically selling the candidate on why they would want to work for flourish and thrive, then what we do is at the bottom of that job description, there is an application form where they can apply on some of the different job posting sites, you have to position this a little bit differently. Because you can't just put a link to an application, they're going to require you to request a resume first. So what we do, so that's just a side note. But if you have this posted on your website, and you're driving traffic to your website, you can have a link to the application right there. And that application, gives them instructions on how to apply and gathers all the information you need. So I call this a hiring hurdle. So we want to capture all the unnecessary information. Similarly to like you would do for a custom jewelry client, let's say you need a lot of information about to to determine if they're going to be a good fit. You want to do the same thing here. So you ask them a bunch of pre vet hiring questions, you ask for personality assessments, maybe a few little mini tests in their different things that are going to really support you in understanding is this a candidate going to be a great fit for you and your team? And this kind of helps you narrow down the pool of people into a smaller pool of people? Now, you might be asking, what do you do about a resume. So we do collect resumes, just to preview them, but we don't necessarily hire on resumes. Resumes don't tell you that much about people, except for maybe their work history, the types of companies that they work for, you don't really know how they work until you experience them working. And I'm gonna explain what I mean by that a little bit later. And I also want to mention that we're coming up on a sprint, in our momentum program, we're going to be teaching this whole hiring process, top to bottom, and I'm going to be showing you exactly how we do it, and how we've got gotten great candidates in the process. So you may collect a resume, but it's not the thing that I would necessarily hire on this, these interview questions are extremely important. Now, the fourth step to this is to vet and test the top talent. So from that interview stage, where you're pre vetting, and gathering information about the candidates, you select three to eight winners from there, and then you start narrowing it down to the vetting process. Once you have this narrowed down, you're going to pick three candidates, and check their references and ask your candidates to do a test project. Typically, the Test Project is something that they will be doing in their actual role. So it's about five to 15 hours of work, maybe a little bit more for a senior position. Basically, you know, you don't know if someone's going to work out work for you if you don't see how they work. And anytime I've skipped a step, even in the higher level positions, it's really bitten me in the ass. And I'm going to be honest about that. And so you pay the person for this test project, they get paid basically close close to or at the rate that they will be making for in their role. And this is just a, a way for you to see how they work and the kind of content that they deliver. Now, let me share an example of why this is so important. We recently hired an operations manager over here at flourish and thrive. And we had probably about 50 people apply to the position. We narrowed it down to about three to five key people. And the top three people that we interviewed. One of them was someone that actually my integrator knew about Danny she knew her before. So it was an interesting coincidence when they got on the call and had their interview. They're like oh my gosh, I know you before. And then there was a candidate that came referred by someone else on my team who was completely 100% qualified for the role and on paper would look like the perfect choice to make. Then we had someone that was also a referral from someone else on my team. It was interesting that all these people kind of came in semi or referred from other people who did not have direct experience, who wasn't a natural fit for the role. And it was interesting, because I, you know, we went, I kept an open mind, we brought everything to the final interview. And Danny spoke to them, I spoke to them. We had our normal behavioral interview questions, we talked a lot, and then we put them all through a test project. And what was fascinating to me is the person who was the most qualified for the role, had an insane salary request requirement. Basically, she wanted to get paid what the CEO of a major corporation wanted to get paid. And my little business couldn't afford to do that. But I also was checking like, kind of gauging personality type. And I realized that CNN how she worked, her work was excellent. But I knew that I probably wouldn't work well for her. And even though she said that she would come in at the, at the salary that we were offering for this role. I know when someone has like an exorbitant salary requirement or desired salary that they want to make. And that's kind of what they're presenting upfront to you that more than likely, they're going to leave really quickly. Hiring someone who requests a lot more money isn't necessarily doesn't necessarily mean that they're better for the position. And I can give you multiple examples of this, in my experience, that you other candidates were willing to come in at the at what we basically had budgeted for this. And we also offered them a bonus compensation after their first 90 days based on some markers and milestones that they're supposed to hit. So this was interesting, because when we got all the test projects back, the person that came in referred by our integrator, I thought that she would probably have beaten out the other, the other candidate that we were considering hiring, but in fact, when I saw the work from all three candidates, it was very clear who was going to be the best for this role. And it was the person that we ended up hiring who had the least amount of direct experience in this role. So and she's doing a great job. She's been with us for a month. And I'm really excited to see where we go with the business because she's on top of it. She is humble, hungry, and smart. She is kicking butt with all the things and we're going to be moving really fast, real soon. And I'm excited about that. And so I just want I want to mention this, because it is really important to do your due diligence. And this vetting stage is extremely important and selecting the right person, for your team. On paper is just on paper, you need a personality fit, you need someone who's going to be a culture fit, you need someone who is resourceful, hungry, humble and smart, as I mentioned, and someone who is aligned with the goals of your company. And if
they aren't financially aligned, they're probably going to bolt as soon as they find something that's more aligned to financially, especially if money is a key motivator for them. And I'm not saying that you can't offer people great a great salary we have it's just some people have like something in their mind that's like way beyond maybe the scope of what you could afford at this stage in your business. So step number five is to send an offer letter. So this is important. This can also work as a contract, we have an offer letter that is a combination, basically employment contract and offer. It's written in legal terms. And all those things and we send out the offer letter, they sign the offer letter, and that is as their basically employment contract. And then they also sign a nondisclosure agreement and determining whether or not they're going to be a contractor meaning they're going to be working for multiple people at the same time, or an employee they're working just dedicated for you and coming into your office or however you look at that is something that needs to be considered upfront in this stage. So obviously, every single state is different. You need to look at the laws in your state or your country to see what is best for you. Certain people would qualify to be independent contractors. And if that's the case, you want to make sure that your contract indicates that they are independent contractors. And the languaging is proper for that. And if they're an employee, you need to also indicate that they are an employee and list out the benefits that they'll be getting as an employee of your company in that offer letter. And then once you've sent out the offer letter and it's been accepted, you want to make sure that you message the other candidates and tell them that you've moved in another direction. And for anyone you finish the test project, make sure that you pay all of those people for their test project time that you've given them. Now, step number six, onboard your new team member this is something that is challenging for creatives, like you and me. It's So the best thing to do is to have a solid onboarding checklist and really understand like, what are the tools that you need to onboard them on to? What are the things that you need to train them on before they can get started? If you have a team handbook? Do they have to read that and sign it? Do you have training materials that they need to go through? Is there stuff that they need to study about your offer, or the collections that you design and stuff like that. So create a training and onboarding plan so that you can train your person properly, or create the onboarding plan, so they can be onboarding properly. And then the next step is to train your team member. And this is the place where I see a lot of people struggle when they bring on new team members. And primarily, the reason for this is that they haven't created SOPs or systems standard operating procedures, or systems, or training materials that allow their team to thrive in that role. And quite frankly, we're a small company, too. We struggle with this, sometimes I'm not gonna lie, you know, we were moving really fast. A lot of people come in with a specific skill set. So they don't, we don't need trainings in every single function of the business. But whenever someone is struggling, and they haven't really figured out exactly what they need to do it the right way, or they're not doing the job in the way that we expected them to. It typically comes down to the fact that either the SOP that we've created hasn't been outlined very well, or there isn't proper training for that team member. So for all of you who have said something along the lines of it's easier to do it myself, you need to listen here, because this is the thing that is probably tripping you up. You need proper training. And yes, it does take a little bit of time, upfront in the beginning, probably more than you're comfortable with. But it is important. And especially if you're hiring someone who's like your second hand or your second person meaning like an operator or you're number two in your business. I'm going to be doing an interview with Karla Garrow of Lita seaglass. She was on the podcast actually a couple weeks ago. But then I asked her, if she and her integrator would come on and talk to us a little bit more about how they work together because they have a great partnership. And I say partnership, meaning that they're building this business together. And it's incredible to see how they work together. So I'm excited to share that interview with you. And when when we get a live. So make sure that you're training your team members, because you can't expect them to do the job that you want them to do. And to know just what to do without you setting expectations and telling them what they're supposed to do. Step number eight is hold your team members accountable with KPIs and goals. So KPIs are just key performance indicators. These are a way to track the success or give people markers of where they're going in their role. So a KPI for a marketing person might be grow our social media following by, you know, 100 followers, every single month like that would be a solid KPI. Another KPI for a team member in a marketing position would be something along the lines of like, have all of our social media content batched and ready to go one week before launch date. So the week before they have everything ready, the marketing calendar is planned out, you have time to preview it and check it out and get through it. So there's a lot more different things that you can do to create KPIs for your team. But that's just an example of how you can create measurable performance indicators that are going to help them know that they're doing a good job. And then there's other things like OKRs, and goals that you're setting for them, and your vision of what success looks like in that role, et cetera. So make sure that you list all those things out and make whatever it is measurable so that you can track it. It's not just like, post on social media, that's not a trackable enough goal, you know, you have to have a metric tied to it. So maybe it's seven days a week or four times a week with the specific type of content that you want them to post, etc. Now, the next step, step number nine is 90 day evaluation, you could do 3060 90 Day evaluations, or just a 90 day evaluation. I think getting in a regular cadence 3060 90 is a great way to get started when you're just starting with a new person. And you could do a check in at 30 days, check in at 60 days, check in at 90 days and also have 3060 and 90 day targets that you have expectations of them to hit. And it's important to check in because if they don't hit the target, you need to evaluate why was the target too ambitious? Are they not the right fit, etc. So I have a friend who I do have an accountability group with and she hired an ops person a while back and she had given her this goal of reorganizing and restructuring all of her content for this event and This is something that was in the skill set of this person that she hired. This person was trained in events. And it's a totally different type of business. But she kept checking in like, Hey, I'd like to see progress on where things were going. And after a month, she realized that that person hadn't done any work at all. And this is why it's important to have these markers and check ins because you might get to a point where you're paying someone for 90 days, and they're not actually getting what you need them to get done, done. And so I want to just remind you that that's really important to be able to track their progress and success. So I hope these nine steps of a hiring process were helpful for you. If you are thinking about hiring someone and you'd like some support, and you want to follow our step by step system, and learn how to develop and create better SOPs, how to create a team handbook, how to hire vet, and manage team because that is the key. The managing piece, I think, is really challenging for a lot of creative types, and become a better leader in your company so that people stay for the long haul. It's really expensive to have churned with your team members. Then download our hiring template, I think you're gonna love it. And also, let's get on the phone and see if we can help you with that. You can head on over to flourish, thrive academy.com forward slash discovery call and book in your free discovery call and we can talk about your business and our upcoming momentum. Train your team sprint that's going to be starting real soon. We'd love to invite you to join the momentum program. So once again, head on over to flourish thrive academy.com forward slash discovery call. Let's connect and chat and see if it's a good fit. All right, this is Tracy Matthews, signing off. Until next time, thanks so much for listening today. Ciao for now.