One of the hardest things for any business owner to do is find, what I like to call, “A” Players when building a team. More often than not, they find themselves stressing over what they’re staff are doing – or aren’t doing. But there’s no need to fret anymore, I’m about to take you through our seven step process we use to hire amazing A players, people who can build our business at lightning speed.
Let’s start off by getting really clear on outsourcing and why you need to do it. The internet has been changing by leaps and bounds over the past few years; in my marketplace of Internet Marketing as well as many others in the online space, online business s really turned into a team sport. This means you need to have a team with a variety of skills who can “join in” when it’s their time to “play” – and outsourcing is one of the key ways to ensure your team is well rounded to win the “game”, so to speak.
Some people might have mental hurdles when they’ve thought about outsourcing in the past; maybe they think it’s a bit expensive or it won’t work for them. A lot of people might have even tried outsourcing, but because they didn’t have a good process in place, it didn’t quite work out the way they wanted. So having a process to find the right people is going to make a world of difference.
Ok, first things first. Why do you need to outsource now? Well, when you’re building an online business, there are so many things to be done – you can’t possibly do them all yourself. For example, when you set up a website, you need to install that site, then get the copy right on it, make sure that the graphics look good. Then you might want to load videos onto the site, setting up autoresponders on your emails, not to mention trying to drive traffic to the website itself. That’s when you need to do keyword research, on-page optimisation, off-page optimisation, plus all of the link building and writing of high quality articles and posts. What about customer service? Order fulfilment? And the list goes on and on…
If you can manage to do all these things yourself, that’s fantastic – but it won’t leave you much time to do anything else….so say Hallelujah! for outsourcing right now! 😉
Step 1: Get Clear on What You Want
Create a bullet point list of all of the different tasks you need done. Going back and think about all of those different things that need to happen to make your business work. When thinking of those various tasks, ask yourself: Where are the bottle necks? Where is your time getting chewed up? Are there repetitive tasks? Or are there tasks that you don’t necessarily enjoy?
Once you answer those questions, you’ll know exactly what you want out of your new team member! After you’ve finished your bullet point checklist, think about, how that’s going to look over a work week? If someone came on board, what would they do first? This is a great way to ensure once your new team member comes on board, they get stuck right into the thick of things for you!
Step 2: Write an Excellent Job Ad
A great way to write your job description is just use the information that you’ve already listed out. Because you know what types of jobs need to be done, that’s effectively going to help create the job description. But remember, if your job ad looks like everybody else’s – it’s not going to attract your “A” players!
“A” players are looking for something different; they’re looking for a job where they can make a difference. Think about your job ads like a sales letter – you need a headline that hooks them and grabs their attention. Then we like to use a sub header to draw them into the copy. We like to tell them a story about who we are and what we’re looking for – and that by hiring them, we’ll be able to move to the next level.
So the ‘excellent job ad’ is a sales letter that speaks to the person you truly want: it’s personal and real. Include photos of your office or perhaps a video to introduce them to your team. That’s the type of thing that makes your business stand out from the rest of employers.
Step 3: Advertise in the Right Areas
This step is all about taking your stand-out job ad and putting it in the right place. You want to make sure your message is in front of as many people as possible for the best chance to hire an “A” player. We use mainly a website called JobStreet if you’re here in Australia.
We like to focus in on more of the emerging economies like south east Asia, such as the Philippines and Malaysia. If that interests you, there’s another great website you can check out called bestjobs.ph. The Philippines is great because the people over there are just magnificent. They’ve got a great work ethic, they’re good, honest, hard working people who love to do a great job and have an excellent command of the English language. Not to mention, you get great bang for your buck. You can hire some great team members for $4 and $5 an hour – which is a great rate for them.
Step 4: Get Applicants to Complete a Questionnaire
Now this is a fantastic step for saving you time and making it easy to find those diamonds in the rough. It just gets better in this whole building a team process.
So, straight from the job ad, we send people through to a SurveyMonkey questionnaire because it reduces the amount of work that you need to do flipping through resumes and cover letters.
We ask them ten questions, which will take them about fifteen to twenty minutes to answer. The types of questions that we ask are pretty basic questions too. We ask them things like how many hours would you like to ideally work in a week? What days are you unavailable to work? What is the reason for you applying for this position? What hourly rate would you expect to be paid? That is a great question because there is no point interviewing someone if they think they’re worth $20 an hour, yet for your position you’ve only got a budget for hiring someone for $5 an hour.
Almost instantaneously we reduce the number of applicants that come through our process just by making a questionnaire a requirement of the process. Not only that, the people who do respond, it makes them very easy to filter
Step 5: Provide Top Picks with a Simple Task
The top candidates are now asked to do a very simple task. What task are you going to get them to do? Well, that really depends on the position they’re going for. If they’re going for a writing position, you want to give them a writing job. If you’re getting someone who needs to be a little bit more tech savvy, maybe you get them to install a WordPress blog. If you’re looking to find someone to help you out with your customer support, maybe you get them to answer a hypothetical question from a client.
What you’re looking for here is to see if they follow instructions well. You want to see the speed of execution. How quickly do they get back to you, how quickly do they do the work? What is their skill level at and what is their attention to detail?
You want them to demonstrate those values and those attributes that you defined very early on. Of the people who actually go through and complete and fill the task, you’ll actually have a few people drop off. In fact, along every stage, every step in this seven step process, you’re going to get fewer and fewer people, making it through to the next stage. That’s a good thing.
Step 6: The Prescreen
It’s really at this point where you want to step in and you prescreen your candidates. We actually get them to send through their resume and their cover letter. I like to try and get it down to about three people during this stage.
For those who pass your screening now, it’s time to schedule an interview with them. I recommend to interview via Skype if hiring a virtual team member. If it’s someone locally, get them to come in to your office.
Step 7: The Interview
So, it’s time to interview! As I said, you want to have at least three people coming through for the interview. The reason you want at least three is, even if you think there is one star person who just stands out from the rest, you want to get the contrast of different people. You’ll find if you’ve got three separate people going through the interview process it will make it abundantly clear if someone stands out.
I also like to have a tandem interview, meaning two people doing the interview. It’s usually myself and another team member, another A player. For the actual interview process, the biggest thing that I get out of this is, I want to make sure I ask them questions about their past. I love going through their work history and have the prospective team member retell what jobs they went through, what did they enjoy, what didn’t they enjoy, why did they move from this position to a new position.
What you’ll find at this point in time is “A” players love to talk about their past. “B” players don’t like to if they can avoid it and “C” players steer clear of what happened in the past.
Once you do these steps a few times, you’ll find it gets easier and easier – and before you know it – your whole team will be “A” players, just like you! Oh, and one last thing, for the successful candidates – I always tell them there’s a three month trial (both ways) to ensure they feel comfortable in the position and vice versa. Within that period I like to make things relatively easy for them. I don’t try to give them really complex tasks. I want to throw them a few easy passes because I know if they can’t get the small tasks right, they won’t be able to do the big ones.
So that’s it! The 7 Step Process to finding an “A” player when building a team – the same process we use here at Melbourne SEO Services! If you want to learn more amazing tips on how to hire great members through outsourcing, check out the Outsource Profit Machine.