When a tradesman makes the move from working for a service business owner to becoming the owner of their own service business, one of the biggest shocks they encounter is how difficult it is to find, train, manage, and retain employees. It is one of the hardest parts of owning any business.
Adding people creates complexity and sometimes conflict, and each person has their own motivations for the decisions they make. Employees also become your representatives to your customers, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse!
So how do you hire better employees to ensure that your business grows and is well represented? Here are 4 tips to help:
- Don’t settle. When you have customer calls piling up and you want to serve each customer, it’s tempting to lower your expectations and hire any warm body to help you meet demand. Resist this temptation because it won’t serve you well in the long-term. You might spend more time searching now but you’ll ultimately spend less time cleaning up the mess that these employees leave every day.
- Hire people who are hungry. You want people who are driven and passionate because when you show them how their drive can help your business grow and then help them make more money and see the success they aspire to, you won’t be able to hold them back! They’ll surprise you with what they can accomplish on your behalf.
- Hire people who are better than you. Your ego says to hire people who will look up to you and respect you. But the better business practice, if you want to grow your business, is to hire people who are better than you and then lead them in a way that commands their respect. Hire by asking yourself: If this person knew what I know, can they take over my job and make my business even better? THAT is the kind of team you want because it means you can take a vacation and come back and your business will be running well.
- Don’t pay the lowest amount. I see some service business owners try to manage their labor costs by paying the lowest amount. Although labor costs can get out of hand if not managed, a low wage is not how to manage those costs. Your employee’s loyalty is largely determined by how your pay stacks up against others in the industry. (Yes, there are other factors, too, but wage is a big one). If you pay less than other people then your staff will be tempted by every other better-paying offer that comes along. But if you hire the right people and pay them a good wage, they’ll be loyal. (Hint: It’s cheaper to do this than to pay and train new people over and over again).
Hiring, training, managing, and retaining staff is hard – one of the hardest parts of owning a business. But if you can master this, and hire the best employees you can get, you’ll build a team that will help you raise your business to new heights.