Do you know how to outsource successfully? A surefire way to grow your business is to hire a dream team of independent contractors you can rely on to complete the daily business tasks, which frees you up to be focused solely on clients and marketing. While it can sometimes feel like having a team is nothing but a dream, here are some tips to help make it a reality.
1. Know What You Want
Until you are positive about who and what you are looking for, do not begin the hiring process. If you don’t have a clear picture of what you need, you won’t know if you have found the right fit.
- Hire a virtual assistant if you need help with managing your inbox and sending out monthly newsletters.
- Hire a webmaster for managing your business’s website, including fixing glitches.
- Look for a graphic designer for website graphics, eBook graphics, etc.
If it’s important to you to hire people in your time zone, then make sure you ask them where they are. In fact, that specification or requirement should be noted in the application process.
Be specific in your needs, then start looking for prospective contractors.
2. Ask for Referrals and Check References
Ask your professional acquaintances for any referrals they might have. Begin compiling a list of potential people, then research them on their websites reading testimonials, and viewing their social media platforms, etc.
However, note that testimonials are created to provide glowing reviews and might not always be an accurate picture. Once in the interview process, be objective and always ask for references and check them! This is a piece of your business and your reputation is at stake. Do your due diligence and make sure it is someone you can trust with the task.
3. Plan for the Interview Process
Create a set of questions and requirements you will discuss during the interview. Design the questions to help you understand their skill set, experience, and availability. You may be working with people from various time zones. Some contractors may be an excellent fit other than their time zone, so weigh the importance of having a time zone preference.
If you have certain systems, software, and apps you use, make sure the applicant is familiar and comfortable working with what you use. Do not want to hire someone who has never worked with the systems you use.
Another tip is to narrow down the list of applicants by giving very specific directions to follow for when they are submitting material. If a candidate is unable to follow these directions, he or she has successfully removed themselves from being considered any further, which saves you from wasted time and energy.
We’re detailed-oriented as LNCs. You should expect your assistants to also have those skills.
4. Give Your Candidates a Simple Task to Complete
If you’re down to a few candidates and are unable to make a clear decision, provide them with a task to complete. This not only allows you to evaluate their ability to follow directions and validate the skills they say they have, but it also gives you the opportunity to see how they would perform within the position.
When comparing between candidates, you can evaluate who followed the directions. Who met the deadline? Who did not complete it properly, etc. Take this one step further by also giving each candidate feedback on their submission, allowing you to see how they handle constructive criticism.
5. Sign a Contract
Once you have selected your new hire, send a simple contract to them. It should include a start date, job responsibilities, expectations, and anything that will nullify the contract. This is the safest and best option as it leaves no room for interpretation or “well, you said this …” It also can be a great tool for new employees as they won’t have to guess about what they will be or should be doing.
These five tips can assist you in the hiring process. Don’t rush into it and randomly hire someone without checking their references and being clear about what you need. Remember that they will represent you, so don’t take any chances with your reputation.
Pat Iyer is president of The Pat Iyer Group, which develops resources to assist LNCs obtain more clients, make more money and achieve their business goals and dreams.