Ep 32: How to Hire Your First Employee

Hire your first employee.

Are you ready to make your first hire? Learn how to find the right fit, and why retention is so critical. Keirsten A. Greggs, the Founder & Principal Talent Acquisition Consultant of TRAP Recruiter, tells Andrea what small business owners should consider at this important stage of growth.

(02:22) Considerations small business owners should make when they hire.

(05:24) How to find the right fit when evaluating applicants.

(07:08) Andrea lists the key takeaways from the episode.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:02] Keirsten: What are the things that you don't need to do? And I think some of those are not just unique to me being a recruiter, but things like scheduling, things like putting up social content, things like, you know, things that are taking up my time that are also taking away from my real subject matter expertise. So it's the things that you have to give up. And then again, I think it's a matter of looking at, you know what, I'm turning down a lot of work and I would be able to do these other things, these cool, fun things, if I had some help, if I had some assistance in these areas. There comes a time when you do need to scale and you can bring those things in house and do them under the banner of your own brand.

[00:00:48] Andrea: So, you'll know when you need to hire an employee when it starts to affect your workflow and you find yourself turning down opportunities because you're too busy doing work that someone else can take on. [00:01:00] So as a next step, I want us to talk about how to go about hiring employees when you’re first starting the process as a small business.

[00:01:08] HOST: Hi, This is Small Business, a podcast by Amazon. I’m your host, Andrea Marquez. This is one of our Minisodes, which are shorter episodes packed with helpful information for those of you who want a quicker binge. On this episode we'll be talking about hiring and digging deep into key considerations you should make when you’re first starting to hire employees for your small business with Keirsten A. Greggs, the Founder & Principal Talent Acquisition Consultant of TRAP Recruiter. To learn more about her visit our website at thisissmallbusinesspodcast.com. Also, remember that if you want to hear your story on This is Small Business, we have a voicemail line where you can ask questions or share your entrepreneurial story. We want to hear from you! Find the link to the voicemail line in the episode description.

[00:01:50] Keirsten: I'm Kirsten Greggs, originally from South Jersey. I am a talent acquisition consultant and founder of Trap Recruiter LLC, [00:02:00] which is a small black woman owned business that bridges the gap between job seekers and employers who are looking for historically excluded talent. I bring trust, relationship building, accountability, and a proactive approach back into the recruiting life cycle. And that's what the TRAP acronym actually stands for.

[00:02:20] Andrea: Jumping right in here, given your expertise, what are some considerations you think small business owners should make when hiring, especially if there isn't an HR team yet and it’s some of their first hires?

[00:02:33] Keirsten: Well, you definitely need to consider the “why” you need to hire someone. Do you even need someone to fill a new role? You need to decide if it's going to be a longer-term position, meaning you're going to actually develop that person and they're going to have opportunities to grow into either an adjacent role or go up the ladder in some way. [00:03:00] You have to think about how much money you have to spend and how much of that is going to be dedicated to the recruitment of people. You can look at your networks and say, you know, do I know someone who can maybe take, take this role on for, like I said, if it's just going to be a short-term project, a few months or so you might, you know, do better just reaching out to a staffing company that, you know, has a bunch of people who can fill that role for you. So cost is always a consideration.

Time is always a consideration, like how quickly you need to do it. And again, thinking about time, not just in hiring, but thinking about time and retention as well. I think a lot of us, regardless of the size of our companies, we don't think about retaining talent as much as we think about hiring them with like, let's get them in the door, but then we have no plan for them once they get there. So retention is also going to have to be a consideration when you're looking to hire people. And then, you know, the type of work schedule, all those things like, you know, am I going to advertise? Am I going to spend money? [00:04:00] Am I going to create things? And first and foremost is knowing the why. So did we win a new contract? Or, you know, do we have so much work that the current employees are overwhelmed and they're not working up to their previous level of output. Are we having to turn down business?

Because again, we don't want to overload our existing employees to the point that they don't want to work for us anymore and they go someplace else. And then again, just think about is there someone internally who is maybe , a web designer who likes to do other things, and is good at it and they want to transition into a different type of role or the role that they were initially hired to do is, I don't want to say obsolete, but no longer gives them the satisfaction and again, no longer gives the organization the value it did when you were a startup or when you were at a different time frame in your organization. [00:05:00] So, there's a lot of considerations, but the one thing I do want to caution folks on, for the small businesses that I do support, be aware of like how big you are and don't try to compete with a company that has 20, 000 employees when you have 20 employees, you're not going to go about the hiring process in the same way that they are.

[00:05:22] Andrea: How do you think that small business owners can go about finding the right fit when evaluating applicants? What types of questions should they be asking?

[00:05:30] Keirsten: I ask people in every phone screen, what their must haves are. Because a lot of people don't think about that, like, what do you want from the role? What attracted you to this position? That's a great question for anybody. And there are ways to garner interest above, again, you're like the up-and-coming small business, you're a great place to work. People have heard great things about you, but you know, that person may not really be connected to the work. [00:06:00] So they talk about it in more lofty ways, like, Oh, I just want to work here or I'll do anything, you know, when they give those kinds of answers, you know, there may be someone who's better suited, but asking questions that are generalized or can be applied regardless of the role, like I said, what are your must haves, like, what are your deal breakers? What are you looking for your next role? What attracted you to this position? And you will get the answer that you're looking for from the right person or persons.

Also think about retention, like if you're going to hire someone, I'm going to say it every time I get an opportunity, always think about retention and what that really means for you. Like, how long do you really want this person or how long do you really want these employees to be in your organization? Again, do you have a plan for them to develop? And if not, how are you going to help them to move on to their next step?

[00:06:52] HOST: That was Keirsten, the Founder & Principal Talent Acquisition Consultant of TRAP Recruiter. She talked about key considerations you should keep in mind when hiring employees, [00:07:00] especially as you’re making your first hires. As always, here are some quick key takeaways from this episode:

  • One. For a small business without an HR department, hiring can seem daunting. So before you go out and look for an employee, think about why you want to hire someone. Maybe you could get away with outsourcing help or freelancing. Kiersten suggested that you know when it’s time to hire your first employee once you’re missing out on opportunities because of doing work that someone else could be doing. Think about time and cost and evaluate the benefits of adding someone to your team.
  • Two. Retention. When you decide you want to hire someone, retention is just as important - if not even more important - than the hiring process. An important question to ask a potential employee is: what are their must haves for this job? And then think about the plan you have for them to develop once you hire them.

[00:08:00] That's it for this episode of This is Small Business Minisodes, brought to you by Amazon. If you liked what you heard, make sure to subscribe and tell your friends about us by sending them a link to this episode. And we would love to know what you think, so please please please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. It's easier to do it through your phone. Or send us an email at thisissmallbusiness@amazon.com with your thoughts.

Until next time – This is Small Business, I'm your host Andrea Marquez -- Hasta luego -- and thanks for listening!

CREDITS: This is Small Business is brought to you by Amazon, with technical and story production by JAR Audio. [00:08:45]


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