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I Have Been Successfully Running A Small Consultancy Business By Myself For The Past Year, But Am Now Looking To Hire My First Employee. What Is The Most Effective Way For Me To Do This?

I started my Consultancy business one year ago. Since then, I have been handling it as a one man army. Now, I feel the need of hiring some resources. How should I go about it?

Betska K-Burr, Accredited Master Coach

Step One: Draw up a job description. But, make sure your JD is up to current standards. For example, in the old days JD’s simply laid out what the employee’s Technical Skills will look like such as answering the phone, responding to email enquiries, conducting analysis of projects and so on. However, THE most important element of a JD has to state the People Skills you are looking for in a person. Do you want a domineering and aggressive personality or a team player and someone who is influential? Someone who is caring and compassionate or someone who is stubborn and arbitrary?
The personal characteristics are vital because when you conduct the performance reviews you will need to give them feedback on both critical aspects of the job: Technical and People performance.
Step Two: Find out where your perfect person will look for jobs. Then advertise there making sure you include the JD. Have them send in their resumes which must include references. Make sure you call the references and ask tough questions.
Step Three: During the interview, make sure you ask them about their expertise on both the Technical and People aspects of your business.
Step Four: Most people will tell you that they are great with people. Not so! Have them do a Wiley DiSC assessment so that you can see what their behaviour is like. For example, no one wants an aggressive know-it-all on the team. They will drive you crazy. Conversely having a quiet little mouse on the team may not yield the productivity/results that you need. Look for someone with balanced left brain/right brain abilities. Left brain is technical and right brain is people oriented, innovative.
Step Five: Make your final selection on what you heard during the reference checks, the interview answers, your intuition and the DiSC assessment.
Step Six: A 3 month probation period is common. Then reassess after that 3 month period.

Manish Puri, Business Consultant & Coach 

Good people come from ‘word of mouth’. And the golden rule I have followed always is- ‘a class 1 person refers a class 1 resource but a class 2 person refers a class 3 resource’! So, spread the word around in the ‘class 1’ category of people you know with specifications in terms of what you are looking for. (Class 1 refers to the best set of people you know in terms of professional skills, behaviour and experience/background)