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    The 3 Biggest Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Hiring Their First Employee

    September 21, 2022

    by Kiley VanGilder

    Contrary to popular opinion, the people operations side of a business is not a “luck of the draw” situation. It becomes about luck only when new bosses make mistakes that result in feeling like growing their business is impossible. Here are the The 3 Biggest Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Hiring Their First Employee.

    Taking the very important, yet very scary step of deciding to hire a team is one that many small business owners suddenly find themselves forced into. Forced into, in the sense that your cup is not only filled but pouring over with water, and your business needs the extra hands IMMEDIATELY. With the lack of clarity and time to make thoughtful and strategic decisions around hiring, many business owners make costly mistakes.

    Today we’re diving into the three biggest mistakes we see business owners making that end up bottlenecking their business, and find solutions to avoiding these painful and costly mistakes. 

    Mistake #1: Hiring for the Hemorrhage

    In other words, business owners are looking at where things are falling through the cracks within their business and piece-mealing a job description to hire someone to bandage the cracks in their company, with no strategy behind it. Without strategy or intention behind hiring, companies are limiting themselves by hiring for the fix instead of the long-term growth plan. Hiring takes time and should be thought out, with both the cracks of the company and the long-term growth plan being taken into consideration.

    Let’s look at a real life scenario.

    You might see the cracks of your company telling you to hire a marketing assistant because you need someone to schedule posts, finish up graphics, write some copy or whatever other core job duty a marketing assistant could help with. Fixing the hemorrhage, GREAT! But what happens once you’re finally caught up and those core duties you hired the marketing assistant to complete no longer take up 15 hours a week because the back-log has been completed. Now what? You likely need help with the operations of your business, but your marketing assistant knows nothing about ops, and now you need to make another irrational hire because you weren’t intentional in the first hire. 

    You’ve not only cost yourself money in the time it takes to write a job ad, description, post the job, conduct interviews, and then train someone, but you’re also paying a marketing assistant for 15 hours of work that can be done in 10 hours. Was it a bandaid for the hemorrhage or a good long-term decision? Probably not the latter. Though you could use help with marketing, you could have also used help with your operations and hired 1 person to do the job of the 2 you now have on your team. 

    Mistake #2: Hiring Without a Plan

    Similar to what we mentioned above, it’s important to have a long term growth strategy planned out. If you’ve watched our Start a Team Workshop, you already know the importance of planning your org chart. But take caution when building out your growth plans AKA never marry your org chart. It’s easy to build your first ever org chart, get extremely excited and never stray from it. This limits your business and scalability because you’re looking at org chart first then business needs and not vice-versa.

    When we help out clients build their organizational growth plan, we always plan for the future needs, while also managing the now and short-term goals.

    Looking at your metrics first, and then organizational plan will help you set realistic expectations around what and who it is you need to hire for.

    Mistake #3: Lack of Attention to Legal and Ethical Compliance

    Building a team is not easy. There is a lot that goes into building a team that many business owners are not aware of, and oftentimes aren’t ready for. Compliance, documentation, managing employees and all the moving parts that come along with managing humans (eek) are some reasons why new bosses bottleneck their company.

    Building a team is a commitment, a permanent solution to scaling your company, and not something to take lightly. Being aware and doing your due diligence when preparing the documentation and the compliance pieces such as following Federal, State, and Local Laws will go a long way to easing your mind when hiring.

    The misconception that growing a team is easy and doesn’t take work is just not true, but that doesn’t mean it has to be torture. But if your goal is to grow your business, you can do it with intention and awareness, setting the stage for your ultimate goals to unfold.

    Taking the appropriate care can help you save money, time, energy, and help make building a team an empowering transformation – because it really truly is. I promise you it is worth it.

    We’re here to help make this journey magic and not so tragic.

    We’ve created the Start A Team Workshop to help you get into the mindset of just that: intentional strategic team development, that’s also exciting and fun!






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