Carla has run her start-up company single-handed for three years and she is doing well. In coaching her, we have started to work on her time management only to realise that she has worked every weekend for two years, has not taken a holiday for 18 months, and now finds it hard to dedicate time in the evening to her family or friends. She felt the best option was to recruit her first employee.
Be clear what you expect
We created a job description of what the employee’s duties would be, how they would support Carla and what skills and experience are required.
Find the right attitude then train the skills
Recognising we are unlikely to find a clone of Carla, we decided to find someone who matches her general attitude and approach to work, customers, and business. After all, with the right attitude, we train up any skills gaps as we find them.
List the interview questions
To ensure a fair selection process, Carla wrote down the interview questions to ask each job applicant. As she interviewed them, she wrote their answers against the list to help her remember who was interviewed and what they said.
This interview record is proof (suitable for a tribunal) that everyone answered the same questions and the process was fair – meeting the needs of our employment laws that proscribe discrimination against gender, age, race, religion or anything else ‘personal’.
Only recruit the best
Carla interviewed four people but was not happy with any of them. After discussing her feelings and conclusions, she decided to re-advertise the job and do another round of interviews. Although this delay was frustrating, the second bunch turned up two good applicants and she offered the job to one of them.
Now that she and her new employee are working as a team, Carla is back to working a 35 hour week. I expect that next month, we will refocus the business coaching on reviewing the skills that need training and looking at how the business processes need to change to fit the new business team.
Adrian Pepper coaches people through business and personal difficulties, helping companies figure out what to do, how to move forward and what to get organised. You can contact him through Help4You Ltd , through his website at http://www.help4you.ltd.uk or by phone +44-7773-380133. At http://feeds.feedburner.com/help4you , you can listen to his podcast for small businesses.