How to Figure Out Who You Need to Hire First (or Next)
You built your handmade business as a solopreneur, so it's entirely normal for us to feel a little uneasy about hiring our first team member or independent contractor. That's completely normal, but it's also required as your business grows and scales beyond what you can manage on your own. This post will talk about figuring out who to hire first or next for your handmade business and finding the right person.
Step 1 - Hiring Role
Do you want to hire an independent contractor or a part-time or full-time employee? That's the first step we need to figure out before jumping into who we need to help our business.
An independent contractor has their own business and is hired on a contract basis, with no payroll. Whether you work with an independent contractor on a package rate (such as a set of deliverables every month for a set price) or hourly - there are rules that go along with it, legally speaking.
With an independent contractor, they usually work remotely, use their own equipment, and work their own hours. Be sure to check your state's employee vs. contractor rules and regulations to make sure you aren't overstepping any legal boundaries! You can’t legally set required hours or available times.
However, when hiring a part-time or full-time employee, you are hiring an employee to join your business or team. You would need to add them to payroll, look into insurance, benefits, compensation, worker's guidelines, etc.
Step 2 - Determine What You Need Help With
The next step is determining what you need help with. Think about the things that you are continuously putting off or just don't enjoy doing. Most of the time, those will be what you can outsource to an independent contractor or employee first.
This will help you start building out the role and skill set of the person you are looking to work with or hire and what their role will look like.
Make sure this is in place, not only so whoever you end up hiring knows what you expect and what their tasks will look like, but also so you can make sure you know what to look for in the hiring process.
Step 3 - Determine The Team Culture
Knowing how you want your team culture to look will help you understand the most important personality traits when finding the right person.
You might even consider doing a Strengths Finder test with your top few applicants for an employee role to make sure they will be a good fit for your business and team culture.
Step 4 - Post Your Job Description
When posting your position, you can use job sites like Indeed.com to find the perfect employee who is local to your area. If you are looking to go with the independent contractor route, there are several great Facebook groups to post your job opportunity in, such as:
- Virtual Assistant Savvies
- Bucketlist Bombshells Community
- How She Did That- A Community for Virtual Assistants & OBMs
You can also reach out to colleagues and other entrepreneurs and ask for any referrals or recommendations for the role you are looking to hire for.
Step 5 - Vet Your Applicants
After reviewing applications, we want to have a way to vet applicants, especially if you have many people applying for the role. You could even start with a paid test or trial project to be more confident about who you pick for the role for specific roles.
Hiring for your handmade business is an exciting next step. It can be overwhelming, and you might not find the right person the first time or two; that’s normal. You will continue to grow as a leader, and all of these hiring experiences will become learning experiences and lessons.
Are you planning to hire your first (or next) team member in the next 12 months? Let me know in the comments!