It’s 2017, and one of the things this means is that it’s a great time to be a solo entrepreneur. The accessibility of business resources and guidance these days means that it’s easier than ever for someone to run a profitable direct sales business with little more than a device and an internet connection. However, if you want your operation to grow, you’ll eventually need to hire a dedicated team of staff. Running your very first recruitment drive can be a daunting prospect, but sticking to a few proven principles can make it so much easier. Here’s a list of tips for highly effective hiring.
Be Clear About your Needs, Both Present and Future
When you’re running a small direct sales business, your staffing needs will change fairly often, as will the business’s direction, long-term goals, and products. When you’re looking to hire effectively, you need to let prospective candidates see the whole picture. You’ll pretty much be asking for turbulence and high turnover if you don’t manage candidate expectations before you take them on at your company. Unsuspecting new hires can often feel overwhelmed with their unfamiliar responsibilities, and will find it extremely hard to adapt if you have to tweak their duties every few weeks. If you want to hire the best possible staff, make sure you disclose all the current expectations of the role, as well as how those expectations might change as the business progresses towards its big milestones. Fail to prepare your workers, and they’ll quickly become burnt-out and bitter.
Make the Benefits Amazing
You should never tempt someone into working for the company with false promises. Major stock pay-outs are more of a myth than a certainty in a lot of modern job listings. Instead of anything solid, monetary, or otherwise measurable, try to attract great talent with things that will actually make them satisfied with the job they’ll be doing. A few cost-effective things to dangle in front of your prospects are the freedom to take on new responsibilities and challenges, as well as any clear career opportunities you can accommodate for. If you can throw in free gym memberships and accounts for travel expenses, then great. Just remember, you don’t always have to pay for great benefits.
Enlist some Help
Even the greatest entrepreneurs that ever lived have needed to reach out for help from time to time. Hiring, like many other processes that are part of running a direct sales business, is a skill, that needs to be developed with experience. If you’re determined to hire the best people possible for your business, you may need a little more counsel than what you have already. Consult people in your professional network who have had experience hiring for a similar business. Ask about their big successes, but more importantly, their big failures. You may want to hire a reputable HR consultancy to help you with the recruitment drive and the tasks that are tied to it. Job evaluation services, such as that provided by Croner, are a way of determining the value/worth of a job in relation to other jobs in an organization. Other services will help you run background checks, screen candidates to see how they’ll fit in with the company culture, and generally make the whole process easier. If this is your first time hiring, don’t do it all by yourself!
Build Positive Relationships with Everyone You Meet
Although you can’t, and shouldn’t, hire everyone who applies for a job you advertise, running a recruitment drive will give you a great opportunity to develop good rapport and a generally positive relationship with a wide cross-section of professionals. As a recruiter at a small business, you should be going out of your way to foster a reputation for the business as a place where everyone wants to work. If you take someone on and they turn out to be a bad fit for your business, just write off the lost time, and do your best to salvage the problem by turning that person into a brand advocate instead. When you reject candidates, explain your reasoning, and encourage them to refer other job seekers with an incentive like a finder’s fee or a promise of a good reference for other positions. If the candidate you do choose leaves in a couple of months, you may have someone to call about the vacancy straight away. Interviews may not get you the employee you were looking for, but that doesn’t mean they have to be a complete waste of time.
Close the Deal, Twice!
Finally, bear in mind that your hiring work isn’t done when you call someone and tell them they’ve got the job. It’s good practice to continue selling the job to the new hire throughout the first couple of weeks they spend with you. Make sure that the onboarding process is as seamless as possible, helping the employee to feel confident in their new role, and excited about the company they work for. If you’re planning any tasks specifically to test a new hire’s abilities, be very selective with these trials, and do your best to avoid scaring them away. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with giving new hires challenges and prompting them to make a real, measurable impact to the organisation. However, it can be a big mistake to overwhelm them intentionally, and try to gauge how well they respond under pressure. If it won’t get in the way of the business, make your newbies feel like part of the family. Give them all they need to achieve their goals, remove any barriers in their way, and provide them with all the information and resources they need to succeed. In time, you’ll naturally begin to gauge how well-suited they are to the role.
If you’re about to launch your direct sale business’s first recruitment drive, and all the pressure is starting to get to you, I hope that this post has helped. Hire the right people to your business, and you’ll be amazed at where they can take you!