5 Keys for Hiring Your First Team Member

When you’re an entrepreneur who is ready to advance your business, the first thing you’ll likely look to do is hiring a team member or two.
Doing so can be challenging because there is a misleading mindset amongst entrepreneurs that you can’t afford to hire people to do the “grunt” work in your business, but in reality you can’t afford not to. If you find yourself performing non-profit producing tasks (i.e. administrative work, file management, organization, need I go on?!), you are leaving far too much money on the table. That reason alone is enough to venture out into hiring your first team member.

And the truth is, if you want to advance your business and take your rightful place among profitable entrepreneurs and business owners, scalability through team building is a must-do.

After all… Teamwork makes the dream work.

I have to admit, when I was first starting my business, I was so busy doing everything myself that I didn’t even realize that my busyness was part of the reason I didn’t make any money that first year. In fact, knowing what I now know, I’m clear that is the reason why my business didn’t exceed $25,000 that first year.

There are approximately 22.5 million self-employed people in the country who are classified as non-employer firms because they have no support staff. As a result, I can easily make the correlation between that statistic and these: 67.53% of solo-preneurs had annual gross receipts less than $25,000 and 21.59% between $25,000 and $100,000 (according to the Small Business Administration).

Basically this statistic says that being a solo-preneur likely means your business won’t exceed $100,000.


Since I’ve begun working with six-figure business owners, I’ve helped many of them establish their own talent management system. (It’s one of the 7 systems I teach to help business owners leverage the five pillars of business optimization)

Nearly three years ago, I recorded an episode of Incredible Factor TV where I took a question from an advancing entrepreneur named Jill.

Take a look:

Like I told Jill in the episode, she should be proud. Realizing that you can’t build your business by yourself is huge. The fact is your business will grow as soon as you bring in a team member because you’ll be free to work on tasks that bring you more money. And honestly, all you need to focus on in your business is marketing to get clients and client service delivery. Period. Anything else MUST be delegated.

Now, bringing on a team member is a big deal and you have to be crystal clear on exactly what you need to grow your business, so here are a few tips to get you moving in the right direction:

1. Create a job description. Just like you shouldn’t go to the grocery store without a list, you’ll never find the right person without a detailed description of who they must be, what they will do and how they will be compensated. I highly recommend that you take your time to get clear. It will save you in the long run.

2. Create an interview process. I like to have 2-3 interviews with a candidate. Do not just take a referral at its word, but call their references. Don’t just look at their resume. You want to experience them in person (where applicable) to ensure that they are the right fit for your brand AND business. Be sure to validate that they are the right fit for your company in a way that speaks to you, your goals and your mission.

3. Have your new hire complete the right assessments to learn about their talents and gifts, so you can ensure you have the right person for the job you’re filling. Often, we hire people we like (which isn’t a bad thing), but we don’t test their skills and validate that they can not only do the job they’re being hired for, but more importantly they can be proactive in the position, anticipate your needs and work towards moving the needle in your organization. I believe that every member of your team is a member of the sales team, regardless of their position and day-to-day responsibilities. You’ll want to make sure your new team member has an aptitude for positioning your company correctly.

4. Create an operations manual. To make sure that as they begin to work on your behalf that all of their job functions are appropriately documented. It’s possible that they may decide to move on and you want to make sure that your business doesn’t suffer if they do. In fact, while you are now busy being every position in your company, make it count by documenting everything that you do. This is the fastest way to get leverage through delegation.

5. Determine an appropriate trial period to ensure that the hire is the right fit for your company. I would recommend that you give at least a 90 day trial period that includes training time and an evaluation at the end of the 90 days to let them know how they’re doing. While I also agree that being slow to hire and quick to fire is important, don’t wait 90 days if you realize that they aren’t the right fit. This is why taking the time to keep your job descriptions updated is so important. That way, as soon as you realize it’s not working out and get more clarity about who the right person needs to be, you can repost the position.

These five tips will help bring the right team member on board. And be sure that you have your HR procedures in place as well based on the rules governing your state. By adding at least one person to your team, you’ll free yourself up to focus on what should be your focus anyway (I’m just saying 🙂 ).

  • Marketing to get new clients
  • Client service delivery

And, even a part-time person will give you a few hours back you can spend on the phone prospecting for new business each week.

Now I want to hear from you, what’s your two cents?
What’s the process you’ve used successfully to hire a team member?

©2016 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Business Optimization Coach and Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises®, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program so you experience financial and spiritual abundance in your life because of your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Must Avoid for Clients, Connection and Cash Flow!” just fill out the form below.

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