Episode 92

Episode 92: Hiring For Success


What you’ll learn in this episode:

Building a successful business is not a one-person endeavor; it requires a strong and dedicated team. As your company grows, you need to hire the right people, with the right skill sets to support your business growth. When hiring, prioritizing finding individuals who help create a culture of collaboration, innovation, and accountability, where every team member has the opportunity to contribute and grow, is critical.

By carefully selecting and investing in the right talent, you can build a team that shares a common purpose, embraces challenges, and strives for excellence. Hiring for success means recognizing the potential in individuals and providing them with the right resources, support, and opportunities to thrive, while aligning them to the company’s goals and results.

Through this approach, you create a dynamic and high-performing team that drives the growth and success for your business, and helps you create a greater impact on your clients and others.

In this episode, I break down the best practices for hiring for success that I’ve developed over several decades in corporate America, as well as what I’ve used running my business. I also explain why each one of these best practices is essential to not only create a business that thrives and grows, but also fosters innovation and an environment that people want to work in and continue to excel in over the long term.

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • Understand why you always want to hire slowly (even when you feel like you needed to hire someone yesterday!)
  • Uncover why starting with a short-term project, or a trial period, is good for everyone
  • Embrace why holding people accountable to outcomes versus processes is a more powerful way to manage your team
  • Learn how and why to give clear direction and manage to specific timelines
  • Explore why weekly touch points or meetings with your team is equally as important as meeting with people individually (even if you have a team of freelance workers or contractors versus W2 employees)

Mentioned in this episode:

Canyon Ranch Fall 2023 Retreat

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Work/Connect with me:

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Magnetic Offers

[0:00] Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the It’s Your Offer podcast. I’m Jess Miller, and I’m so excited to be here this week to talk with you about hiring. As a business owner whose business is growing, you cannot do it alone. We all know this intellectually. But a lot of times with growth comes resistance to hiring. And I wanted to talk to you today about my experience hiring both in my company, and as someone who worked in corporate for 15 plus years before I became an entrepreneur, entrepreneur.

[0:31] So hiring is one of the most important things that you can do for your business. You need support, in order to grow to new heights, you need to hire the right people to help you along the way, you need to know what to do with the right people once you actually hire them. And for many people, hiring can be super stressful, especially if it doesn’t work the way we think it’s going to work. But in order for you to grow, in order for you to scale, in order for you to serve more people and have a bigger impact, you need a team of people to help you.

[1:03] Now whether those people are W-2 employees in your company or they’re contractors, it doesn’t really matter. I have had some of the best people work for me that were not really employees of my company, they were not W-2 employees. They were technically freelancers and contractors, but in the eyes of my business, and in the way that I interacted with them, they were part of my team, and they were an integral part of helping my business grow. Not every hire is created equal. And not every person is the same. And so having some of these sort of foundational pieces when you’re hiring and how to utilize staff correctly when you hire them, and then being able to customize that to different people is all part of the game. It’s all part of how everything works together in this beautiful win-win way.

[1:53] So today, I want to talk to you about some of the things that I think are the most important when it comes to hiring and how you can hire for success. Because that is the best kind of hiring. We have those situations sometimes where we don’t it’s not exactly the right fit, or maybe you know, things are changing. And we need different people for different things. And that is also part of the journey. But I think if you take the three or four things that I’m going to teach you today, and you really implement that, you will be able to hire the right people, you will be able to train them the way that you want to train them, you will be able to give them clear direction, and you will be able to empower them to make great decisions, do great work and be one of the biggest and best assets in your business. And again, if you want a business that thrives if you want to not burn out, if you want to create more than you could ever create on your own, you need to hire a team, and you need to learn how to hire for success.

[2:51] So today, I’m going to tell you exactly how to do that. So I want you to grab a pen and paper and I want you to write these things down. These are five things I’m going to share with you. And you could take these things right now and either go out and use this as your hiring people, or if you have people that you’ve hired already, you can implement this in your business to make those hires even more of an asset for you. So it’s something you can use immediately. Okay, so let’s jump right into it.

[3:17] So number one, is hire slowly. Now, some of you might be listening to this and saying to yourself, ‘Jess, you just told me that if I’m growing, I need to hire people. And now you’re telling me to hire slowly.’ And that is exactly what I’m saying. But I don’t mean delay hiring. What I mean is, when you are making decisions to hire someone, do not do it in a rash way. Do not jump into it, do it in a way that is thoughtful, and is thorough, and allows you to hire someone after you have gone through the steps that you need to go through to make sure that this is the right hire. And this hire is going to be the right fit for your company. And it’s going to be what you need. So when I say hire solely What I mean is, do your due diligence, do your due diligence. We live in an information age. There is so much information that we can find out about somebody online, through social media, through Google through all sorts of things that you can add, you absolutely should do your due diligence before you hire someone. Where are you finding them on the web? What kind of accolades are they out there? Do they have a presence that is professional? What are the things that are on your checklist when you’re hiring someone that you need to go out there under the interwebs and really make sure that all those things sort of check out? Okay, so you want to do your due diligence. You want to make sure you check references. I know this sounds so old school, but let me tell you, do it. Ask people for references and go and speak to those people and make sure that all the T’s are crossed, and the I’s are dotted, and things are checking out. So make sure that you check their references and then make sure that you make a solid decision that you can support yourself.

[5:03] And, as I mentioned, do not rush into this. The worst thing, the only thing worse than not having someone is having someone that is a really bad fit someone that isn’t going to help you and is actually going to cause you more stress, because you rush into it and didn’t really make sure it checked out. So, again, number one, hire solely make sure that you have the right person, make sure all the things check out. And make sure that when you make that decision, you have done all the things so that you can support yourself going forward, regardless of what happens because nothing is a slam dunk, and people are people. So you know, once we make those decisions, some pieces of this are out of control. But if we’ve done all the things that we can do to make a good choice, and we’ve hired solely, we haven’t jumped into it, we can support ourselves through the entire process. Okay, so that’s number one.

[5:51] Number two is start with a trial period. So many people think that they need to enter into a contract with someone or hire somebody for the long term. I will tell you that way back in the day, when I first started working, were going back a long time. My first job was in a coffee shop at a hospital. And when they hired me, I thought I’d hit the jackpot. It was back way back in the 90s, and I think I was hired for like $15 an hour, which at that time was literally like robbing the bank, it was one of the most lucrative jobs I’ve ever had. And it was also one of the best jobs. And I was so excited. And I got the job. And I remember them saying that they had a probation period. And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I need to what, like I don’t really have the job. It’s the probation period.’ But it put me on sort of notice, like, ‘Hey, I need to show up. And I need to do a great job here. Because this is a trial period as much for the company as it is for me.’

[6:48] So when you hire someone, I want you to keep this in mind. And I want you to think about how can you start slowly with someone. So how can you create this type of a trial period. So maybe that’s something like hiring someone for a project. So it’s a project-based contract to start, or, you know, there’s a 90-day period where you’re going to do a certain, you know, set of tasks, and you’re going to essentially give it a try for a certain period of time. I’ve also done things where I’ve worked with people where there’s sort of an escape clause that we built in, like within the first 90 days, if for whatever reason, I’m not happy or you’re not happy, we can just cut ties and go our own way. When you create something like this, I think you give yourself that period of time where it’s not too short. And you don’t want it to be too long, where you have to commit to this very long-drawn-out process. You could give yourself the set amount of time and these clear directives for you to find out and feel out and soak in the person that you hired, if this is a good fit, and if it’s working. And it just gives you some peace of mind that if for whatever the reason is, it’s not working out, you’re not stuck with a long-term commitment right off the bat.

[8:01] I also think like I mentioned earlier, it does put people in this frame of mind, like I’m here, and I need to sort of step up to the plate and deliver. So that, you know, I kind of put my best foot forward and I show people what I’m made of. And I think that that actually raises the bar for everybody, and actually makes the outcome much, much stronger and much better. Because everyone is bringing their A game. And I think when we come to the table with that energy, we then invite other people to come to the table with that energy. And I feel like it is one of those things where it just kind of like that rising tide lifts all boats is so powerful for everyone. So start with some sort of trial period, whether it’s a project based or it’s a time-based period, if there’s an escape cluster some way that you can see, you know, is this gonna work for both of us.

[8:52] The third thing is make people accountable to the outcome versus micromanaging them to the process. This is one of the most important things I ever learned with hiring people both in corporate and as an entrepreneur. People love to have a purpose. This is true of everyone. I’ve noticed this is especially true with young people, you know, my stepsons are in their 20s I’ve been watching them grow up. I’ve worked with a lot of millennials and people that are much younger than me. And I think it is universally true of humans. But definitely for younger generations. People want to have a purpose. They want to feel like they’re part of something. And when you can show them how they’re part of something and what they’re part of and you can give them that autonomy and really give them that responsibility, incredible things happen. And I say this because it is often, especially for us, kind of like old school people. It’s sort of counterintuitive. We really think like you need to have this boss looming over you and somebody who needs to be telling you what to do every second. But actually the opposite is true if you want to motivate someone. So when I hire someone, I try to hire the best people that I can with the best experience. And I tried to make sure that they understand what it is we’re trying to create here, what is the outcome and what they are responsible for.

[10:09] So for example, I’ll just give you an example, when I hired people to help me with the launch of my programs, I had a 10k Accelerator program, it was a group program that ran every quarter, when I hired people to help me with that launch, whether it was creating content, or writing the copy for, or setting up some of the systems for it, I made it very clear, our goal is to get at least 10 people into this program, and your role in that is XYZ. So if it was someone who was creating the systems, for example, or maybe they were like creating the sales page, their responsibility in that was to have the sales page done by a certain date. And we talked through what that looked like, what we wanted on the sales page, how we thought that was gonna look like; it was a collaborative effort. And then I sent them off with their marching orders, and at the end of the day, they knew what they were responsible for, when it was due, and what we needed it to produce.

[11:09] Once I did that, I got out of their way. I don’t care how they created that sales page; I don’t care. If they were sitting on the beach doing it, I don’t care if they did it the night before, I don’t care how they made it come to life, I just cared that it produced the outcome we were looking for. So did they give it to us on time? Was it created to the specs that we wanted? Did that page actually convert people into that program? And that’s what I was holding people to. And if it wasn’t working, or one of those things wasn’t, you know, fulfilled, then I can hold them accountable to that. The process by which they created it, how they did their work, you know, what they chose to don’t do in between, I just stayed out of that. And part of the reason I did that was because I wanted people to be able to work in the capacity that they worked best. And only they really understood how to do that.

[12:02] And then the other thing that I really tried to, you know, help people understand was, I really believe that they were the expert, and they were going to know how to do this better than I was. And that is why I hired them. And so I held people to the highest standard of the outcome. But I didn’t hold them to how exactly it had to be done, and I really opened the line of communications for them to inform me as to what they needed in order to make that outcome happen. I also wanted to hear their expert opinion on the best practices that we could utilize in order to get that outcome. And maybe there was something that I wasn’t seeing in what I was asking them to do. Like maybe they had some better ideas that would actually get us to where we wanted to go faster, more easily, quicker, whatever it was. And I was open to that. And by giving them that responsibility and that autonomy, I really empowered them as a member of my team to make those choices. And nine times out of 10, it actually worked out really, really well. Because again, they were the expert, they knew their craft, and I was taking cues from them. Now, the 1%, 10% of the time, where I felt really strongly about something I would weigh in on that we were collaborators and we respected each other in that way. But giving them that outcome that we were looking for and giving them the autonomy to do it, however they needed to do it, in order to make that happen was awesome. And it really, I think helped people feel that they were a valuable member of the team in that I really respected them for their expertise, and that they were free to get the things done that they needed to get done in the way that they wanted to. It also gave me a very clear way of holding people accountable. Because if they didn’t hit one of those, you know, mile markers, or one of those deadlines, it was really clear that they missed that mark, and we could talk about that, and we could learn from that, and we could work through it. But without that autonomy and that clarity, to really like hold them accountable to that outcome. And to those things that we you know, decided it would have been much more difficult to really, you know, pin people down and, you know, hold them to something that what they weren’t clear, they weren’t attached to what they created in the back end. So that is really important, make people accountable to the outcome, versus micromanaging them through the process.

[14:22] Number four was, as I alluded to in this last, you know, step was giving them clear direction on timelines. Clarity is so important. It’s so important in every part of your business. And it is especially important when you hire people. What is it specifically that you want people to do? Is there a way that you’re capturing that that’s easy for people to see? Do they understand why those pieces are important in the whole scheme of what it is that you’re creating? So if I just go back to my sales landing page example, you know, it’s not just enough for people to understand that their response for creating the sales page, it’s important for them to understand that this is what we need. And this is when we need it by because it is actually an integral part of a whole complex a series of steps that gets us to, at the end a successful launch. And not just all the pieces are in place, like, hey, everything is done, check, check, check, check, check all these boxes, it’s coming together in a way to produce a result, which is people paying to be in this program. And not just people 10 people, right? It’s very clear, like, we have to touch this many people with these assets in order to get 10 of those people just convert into this program.

[15:38] So when people can see that big picture, and they understand what needs to be done in the timelines, they are able to understand how they’re an integral part of making that whole thing happen. And if they have pride in what they do, and they feel like they are a part of your team, and they are a part of the whole process, they understand how what they do impacts other people on your team, how it impacts the results, how it impacts everything, morale, and the momentum of the entire project. And those pieces are really, really powerful.

[16:07] So giving clear direction and timelines, helping them understand how they are part of a bigger ecosystem, and what that means, again, empowers people; it makes them feel like they are really part of something and they’re part of something important. And they are not just some, you know, peg in the whole process, they are an integral piece of the puzzle. And so that clarity, and those timelines, and that understanding within the bigger system is really, really important for people to feel like they’re part of something, and that they understand how what they do really impacts other people.

[16:37] And then last but not least, we would have weekly touchpoints, both individually and as a team. And so we would be able to come together, and we would be able to mastermind with each other, we would be able to have visibility to what other people are doing, we would be able to offer support where we could, if there was something you know, like handing that baton offer, you know, where we could or jump in to help each other. When we were needed to, I mean, life happens, if only everything in our plans just ran perfectly, it wouldn’t be a problem. But when you’re truly a team, and you’re supporting each other coming together like that, and having clarity around what other people are doing is really important. So you feel like you’re part of a team, also pulling people offline. So you can really dig into it with you know, what they’re doing, and where they might need support is also equally important. So having those, you know, various places where people can come together, and running your team, like a team is really essential. And that is, I have to say, it is something that we would do in corporate all the time.

[17:41] So the corporate structure, the way that it’s set up, you know, having team meetings and running with agendas and bringing people together, it’s almost like sometimes you’re like over communicating, it’s like, there’s too many people in the meetings. I used to feel like that in corporate, like do all these people really need to be here. But in the entrepreneurial world, we have the opposite problem, people are kind of working in silos, and it happens a lot, because people, you know, think like, ‘oh, they’re just a contractor’ or they, you know, you’re hiring this one person in and they’re not part of the same company as maybe the other people that you’re working with. So they tend to kind of sit on an island sometimes. And that communication can really break down when people don’t have visibility to each other, or there isn’t a way for them to interact with each other inside of a system that you’ve created, to make it easy for people to communicate and connect with one another.

[18:30] So I found that bringing people on team calls is a really easy way of doing that, like, hey, we’re just gonna get on the call once a week at this time for 30 minutes. And everybody gets on and there’s an agenda, and we kind of run it very, you know, sort of, I don’t wanna say strictly, but there’s, it’s, there’s a formula, and we would run it through that formula very, you know, nicely so that people could kind of stay within that structure. But you could also do it within systems, like if you use Slack, or if you have a Facebook group, or if you use Click Up, or any of those types of systems, which we use almost all of those systems within our business. You can bring people together in an asynchronous way too, you don’t have to actually get on a Zoom call with them every week. But either way, you want to make sure that you’re bringing people together so that there’s visibility across all the different, you know, work streams, and people can see what’s going on. And again, they feel like they’re part of something.

[19:24] It’s also extremely efficient, you don’t have to repeat the same thing 17 times on 17 different calls. So it saves your time and saves their time. It’s just a great way to bring people together, and so that they can kind of see across all the pieces of the puzzle.

[19:39] It’s also crucial that there’s a way for you to track the progress so people can see you know, where they need to be and so they see those project plans, they can let you know and communicate where they are. It just streamlines everything so that things are working well and then you also can ask people, you know what is working what isn’t working. How do you know where do they need help? Real time as you’re moving through the process, and this type of communication, of talking to people about what they’re experiencing, and where you can help and how we can make it better, also encourages creativity. And it encourages sharing across people. And there are so much that you can learn from each other, especially in the entrepreneurial space. You know, entrepreneurs are creative, they are resourceful, and they are incredibly good at sharing best practices with each other when that kind of environment is, is really fostered. So I highly recommend having those weekly touchpoints reaching out to people individually, but also bringing them together, it’s a great way for people to network. I’ve seen so many beautiful partnerships be born off of projects that people have come together on because someone else has hired, you know, each of them, and they’ve pulled them together in the same space. So it’s just so great for everybody.

[20:52] So, in recapping, if you want to build a business that has scales, that has a big impact, that touches a lot of lives, that creates amazing things, you need to hire a team. And you don’t need to just hire a team, you need to hire a team for success. These are the five things that I have learned are the most crucial to hiring successfully.

[21:14] Number one, hire slowly. Do your due diligence, check those references, make a decision, and do all the things that you need to do to support yourself in that decision. But do not make a rash decision. The only thing worse than not hiring someone is hiring the wrong person and hiring them too quickly.

[21:33] Number two, start with a trial period. See if you can start with something project based or something that is a short period of time, so that you can find out whether or not this is going to be the right fit both for you, and for them. This is a good thing. Here’s the thing, if you hire a rockstar, they’re going to be a rockstar anyway. And then you can continue that contract on it, everybody’s happy. If it’s not the right fit, or you feel like it’s not working or they do, then you have an out and you’re not locked into something for 12 months, or for a time period any longer than it has to be. I also feel like people bring their A-game when they know there’s a defined period of time at which everyone is deciding whether or not this is going to work. They show up to the plate and so do you.

[22:14] Number three, make people accountable to the outcome versus micromanaging them to the process. Hire people that are smarter than you in what you’re hiring them for. Make it clear why you’re hiring them and what results you want to create. And then manage those people to the outcome. Stay out of their way with how it’s going to get done. And what it’s going to do. Of course, barring, you know, any like crazy things, I should have said that when I actually was talking about this, you know if someone’s going to be acting in a way that’s unprofessional or kind of doing crazy things. Of course, you know, you’re going to put the kibosh on that you have the guardrails, but for the most part, hire great people and give them the latitude to create the things the way that they’re going to create it, and just get out of their way. And really hold them accountable to the outcome, what it is that you’re trying to produce, and those results and their role in creating it.

[23:01] Number four, give them clear direction, and timelines, make sure people have clarity around exactly what they’re responsible for and what is needed. And not just in a silo, let them see the big picture. Let them understand that how what they’re doing is impacting other people that are part of the team in the project, how it’s impacting you and how it’s impacting them, and why it’s crucial that they need to stick to those deliverables and the timelines.

[23:26] And number five, last but not least, make sure that you are holding touch points both individually and with your team as a whole. People want to feel like they’re part of something, whether you’re having people that are your employees that are W-2 employees, or if they’re people that are just contractors that you have hired, bring people together to feel like they are part of something, it will give them visibility across the project, you know, timelines and the project workstreams, it will give them an opportunity to network with other people, it will give them the chance to feel like they are part of something, and here is the million dollar tip: When people are invested, when they care, when they feel like you care, when they feel like they’re a part of something, guess what happens? They produce extraordinary results. The worst thing you can do is treat your team like they are just some peg in a board. Right? You need to treat them like the assets that they are, they are one of the most crucial assets to the success of your business and to your success.

[24:24] Because you cannot do it alone. You cannot do it alone. And it is one of the hardest things that I’ve seen. entrepreneurs that are growing, that are at multiple, six figures and seven figures, like many of you listening to this podcast is that they cannot get over this hump of finding the right people and hiring that team. When people feel like they are part of something, and you value them they will never leave you and they will produce things beyond your wildest dreams. And that’s when things get really really, really fun.

[24:54] So I want you to take these five things and I want you to go back to your business. And if you have a team, I want you to make sure you’re doing every single one of these things. If you don’t have a team, but you know, listening to this podcast and I see you out there, that you need to be hiring people, I want you to start implementing these things right now. This is the thing that is standing between you and your next big leap in your business. You are hiring great people and hiring for success. So there is no time like right now, to go out there. Find those people, invite them to be part of your team, and let’s get going. Okay? And I want to hear all about it. So, go out there, implement these five things, and let us know how it’s going. You got this and until next week, have a great week everyone. Take care.