How to Hire Accountable Staff for Your Agency
When you first started up, you likely built your agency to serve your clients.
When you’re in the middle phase – delivering and scaling – your team is there to serve you.
And when you do it right, eventually what happens when you have more freedom — you’re able to serve your team without really trying.
It’s the beautiful (and often awkward) flow of building a business.
Hiring and scaling your team can be scary.
Not just administratively (what forms do I need again?!) – but bringing the wrong people onboard can slowly erode your culture and the ability to build something meaningful that impacts your clients.
It’s hard enough to make payroll when you’re operating month to month.
Your employees expect to get paid no matter what.
Even if that means you don’t get paid yourself.
EVERY single team member counts. You can’t afford to have people who don’t pull their weight.
And, on top of that, the cost of a wrong hire is huge.
Not only do you get people who don’t contribute to growing your dream, but when they’re not accountable or motivated, they can bring the rest of your team down with them.
When You Get Hiring Right, Here’s What Happens
FIT > SKILL
Team members have the exact right attitude when joining the team and they learn skills quickly because they’re dedicated, motivated, and believe in the mission.
THEY DIVE IN DAY 1
Instead of taking months and months, they’re already learning, shadowing and meeting with the rest of the team. They want to do a great job and make you and your clients proud.
Clients love them so much they’re raving about how great the experience is for them.
This becomes the first time in a long time you felt like you’ve got it right.
How to Hire the Right Team for Your Agency
1. Hire for attitude as opposed to skill.
Especially when you’re small… it’s all hands on deck so you want people who can roll with that.
Every job involves the role …and all other duties.
You want someone who isn’t afraid of rolling up their sleeves.
Remember, every person’s drives, needs, and behaviours are factory installed.
You can’t change them, so don’t try to.
Here’s how to know if you’ve hired people with the right attitude – That person will have a halo effect on the team, raising everyone up.
2. Update your Job Descriptions.
This repels the wrong people and attracts the right people like a magnet. What are the words you’d be using that would attract exactly the right person? Inserting yourself into that person’s mind about why they’re dissatisfied with their current role and why yours is THE fit for them.
3. Hire Slow. Fire Fast (for real)
A great chef prepares plates meticulously but they will throw out a bad plate before putting it in front of a customer. Interview for fit and take time to decide.
Once hired, communicate gaps in performance right away, and if needed, let them go. Don’t wait on this. Because when you do, you hurt your existing team of high performers.
4. Delegate Outcomes, Not Tasks.
Everyone can set up a list of tasks but this gets boring FAST. Don’t tell your team members exactly what to do, tell them what you want to experience as the result.
Working together with your team is a bit like building Ikea furniture. Even if the outcome is a little crooked, you never throw it away – and you look at it fondly – because you BUILT it. And you probably needed help. If you co-create the work with your staff – they’re going to look at you as the leader rather than a boss.
Your Hiring Action List
- Make a list of everyone on your team and understand whether they can do the job they were given if they’re the right fit and if they truly believe in your mission?
- Make Decisions: Promote people who are a great fit and have the skills, Re-seat people who are not in the right roles, Fire people who are not a good fit and have no skills, or Coach the people who are a good fit but seem low on skills.
- Update Job Descriptions. Not only so you’re looking at who you want – but also who DO NOT want. When someone is reading your job description, you want them to say, “Screw this, it doesn’t appeal to me”. You don’t want anyone in your pipeline that’s not going to crush it on your team.
Remember — Every business owner who has made a poor hiring decision wonders:
- Am I a bad person?
- Am I doing this wrong?
- I’ve never been a manager before I just need more hands to help out. What do I do?
With these steps, you’ll find people who teach YOU and your team something. Not just glorified assistants who need you to hold their hand.
You’ve got this.