When I started out, I was producing work with little strategy and low prices. Clients thought they were getting a good deal.
The reality is that I was ripping them off. Without a strategy, I wasn’t doing anything for their business. Their sites were just taking up server space.
I realized that if I wanted to provide better, more valuable work with a true strategy and charge higher prices, I needed more skills. Either I could do it all myself, which would take a lot of time and money or I could outsource the things I wasn’t good at.
When you hire the right people, you have the benefit of creating better projects than you could have created by yourself. At some point, you have to put your trust in others.
I didn’t have a specific hiring structure when I brought on my first employee, but since then I’ve been able to identify three key questions to help me hire the right people.
I ask these of every potential new hire.
1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’m not looking for an entrepreneur. If you want to have your own business in the next five years, then I know you have a limited amount of time to help me. I don’t want to incubate you. I want to know you’ll be here for a long time.
Some people are tailored for knowing they have job security while others are tailored for being their own boss. I want you to be the kind of person who loves to work for someone else. I want a team member.
That’s not to say you can’t hire someone who is established and knows what they’re doing, but I want to think long term.
2. How easy is it for you to work from home with no supervision?
We have multiple offices, so works fluctuate a lot. I’m often gone for an entire month. I want to make sure you can execute the same set of tasks with or without me being there.
Are you the kind of person who needs constant confirmation from the person above you? Do you have the discipline to do your job from home when no one else is watching? Can I rely on your work even when you’re away from the office?
It’s important that you keep up your pace of work without someone looking over your shoulder. If you need to stay home for three days and do nothing but you still meet your deadlines, I don’t care how you work.
It doesn’t matter to me how many hours you put in, whether you work in the morning or at night, as long as you can get the work done on time.
3. What do you love to do the most?
I want someone who has a real passion for what they do. If money is your only motivator, I know you’re not a good fit.
That being said, I value my people, and I want to invest in them. I know they are my best asset. There’s nothing in my company that’s worth more than my people.
I want someone who will value the opportunity they’ve been given. I want someone who works hard to learn new things, not someone who thinks they know it all.
Some things can be trained and learned over time, but it all begins with a passion for doing a specific type of work. I want someone who will be there for us as a team. I want someone willing to run at our pace.
I can replace a computer, but I have a hard time replacing a valuable, passionate team member.
When hiring, I always think long-term; I never look for a quick fix. Most people struggle to delegate work because they’re looking to patch a hole, instead of hiring for the long term.
It’s also hard to bring on new people when you’re used to the freedom of working from home or you’re worried about whether someone else will live up to your standards.
Keeping my long-term goals in mind helps me focus to find the right people. When you get this right, you’ll work with people who bring their excellence every day. You have to ask right questions to find the kind of people who will fight for you.