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When you are doing online business hiring, it can certainly be overwhelming when you are sorting through a large sea of applicants after posting your job. 

Here are some easy ways to sift out some applicants that could prove to be problematic or not be a great fit. And, it’s okay to be particular! As the dumb saying goes, ‘there’s plenty of fish in the sea!’- this is especially true in the online/remote work world! 

When I hire for my clients, we create a detailed job posting and start with a typeform or google form asking a few questions. Some of the responses and correspondances I’ve had astound me. I actually made this list while looking at some applicants via typeform for a client that I wanted to document and share with you! 

Here are some Red Flags when sorting through your applicants:

via GIPHY

Applicant RED Flags: The applicant

  • doesn’t bother to give their last name
  • doesn’t answer in complete sentences
  • wants to build a business just like yours (posing probable conflict of interest down the road- this is usually OKAY for jr designers for a brand agency, but I’ve seen this as problematic in other business models)
  • will ask many, many questions–– If you are bogged down by details and have a hard time delegating, you don’t want someone who will say “I will ask you right away if I don’t know what I’m doing”- the right answer is GOOGLE and looking in Standard Operating Procedures documents first! (sorry to give away the right answer lol) 
  • fills out your website’s contact form instead of following the hiring protocol outlined on the job description or DM you when you ask them not to. The hiring process outlined in the job description applies to everyone! 
  • didn’t research and don’t seem to know who the eff you are
  • give the same copy and pasted cover letter thing 
  • seems needy or rude in written communication––if you’re in communication with them via email, they are needy (true story, I once was in contact with someone, told them that I would get back to them about a potential interview, when I let them know that we were deciding not to move forward to interview and asked if I could keep them in mind in the future, they were extremely rude and essentially burned that bridge- that’s very indicative of how they operate under duress- non merci) 
  • gives you the incorrect links to their stuff (website/instagram)

On the bright side, here are some indicators of the green flags of strong applicants!

Applicant GREEN flags: The applicant

  • DOES follow up, respectfully via email after being invited to a second round of applications or after an interview
  • seem to share some of the values that you have
  • has goals that don’t seem to compete with yours (ie no conflict of interest probably going to happen) 
  • DO make it EASY for you to see their links (ie if you ask for an instagram handle in a form, they will write link it out for you like https://www.instagram.com/megkco/ instead of “@megkco on insta” to make life easier for you
  • for designers or anything requiring a portfolio- the applicant may have spec work that demonstrates their process or gives you links to relevant portfolio work

If you know you want team and want some support and guidance in hiring and sifting through the red flags to find the shiny green flag candidates, I would love to chat! DM me or schedule a call here!

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I’ve talked to a lot of business owners, both done for you service providers and coaches/course creators, who in one way or another, tell me what exactly it is they need to uplevel. They’re frustrated, through, because doing the upleveling activities take time that they feel they don’t have. They have had a lot of success with what they’re doing- they’re booked out or for the coaches/course makers, they’ve totally nailed their niche. And they’re ready to step up to serve more people and further their visibility and impact! 

I get it! You’re busy working on the delivery of your products or services and/or you’re doing tasks that you know you probably shouldn’t be doing. Whether it’s wanting to invest time in a) rebranding, b) new content, c) a new program, course, offering, there’s one thing that I see is standing in the way: we need SPACE to uplevel. (And we need focus, etc but most people I see know exactly what activities they want to be doing- they’re drowning however in the day to day). Of course, you can hire experts (and oftentimes should) like PR people, branding people, ads people, etc. Sometimes though, you don’t even have the bandwidth to commit to that. And sometimes, the brilliance for your upleveling comes from YOU and you alone. 

I’ve talked to several brand/web designer/strategists that so desperately want to invest time in their rebrand and new web design, but they’re so busy keeping their heads above water with client work. 

I’ve also talked to brilliant course creator/educator/coaches who have seriously nailed their niche and have powerful offerings for their people. They need to tweak a few things in their webinar funnels though- and they’ve invested in the training to do so. They know what to do, but they haven’t got the bandwidth to do it because they’re busy doing work that they know others could be doing. 

To create this space to really knock it out of the park in the upleveling activities, we need operational foundations, specifically processes (systems) and people (team).  

Processes for your People: 

Systems I feel like can be a loaded term that mean different things to different people. What I mean by systems are having your internal processes (for client acquisition/marketing, client onboarding, and delivery) SOLID and documented! This is where the term “SOPs”- Standard Operating Procedures comes in! Without having your processes documented, you can’t replicate your processes. Team can’t help you very much if everything is in your brain hole and not on paper. 

People for your Processes: 

Your people will also give you that space! AND you need to find the right people AND teach them your processes and expectations. I’ve seen it time and time again where CEOs hire people and then are trying to delegate and answer questions on the fly- this is where having team can feel like it takes up even more of your time and then are maybe unsure of the ROI. 

When expectations and roles/responsibilities are clear, though, you can get get that space to do the upleveling because you know that the things you “shouldn’t” be doing are being taken care of!

I’ve facilitated this transformation into stepping into CEO and getting that space to uplevel in two types of businesses: both “Done for You” and in Coaching/Course Creator businesses. And in all cases, it comes down to Processes and People. And I see my people really stepping into the visionary/CEO role of having space (and calm!) to vision and create while other parts of their businesses are being taken care of! They are creating new offerings, launching new ventures and it’s so exciting to see what they are coming up with and how they are supporting people in creative and impactful ways! 

Where are you in getting your processes and people in order? 

If you feel like you’re trying to implement some systems and team and it just isn’t working for you, let’s talk about it! Leave a comment or DM @megkco me “We need to talk!”

Because, remember, you can do anything, but not everything! 

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Are you ready to hire? Or do you need a fixer first?

Is your biz too messy for your next hire? I’m not saying that to be shady or judgey…

If you’re a solopreneur (or mostly solopreneur minus a few hodge podge contractors), you may be thinking and scheming about how to expand your team so you’re not the one stuck doing and managing everything. 

If that’s you, that’s AWESOME! I truly am a believer in growing your business so that you can be in your visionary brilliance work and not be actively held back by trying to do all the things. 

I’ll let you in on something though- if your business is, for lack of better terms, a mess on the back end, chances are that whoever you hire isn’t going to be ready to perform at the level you need them to. Here’s the thing- if you’re hiring a PM or VA, often times they are truly implementors. That means that they need to have a system, SOPs, etc, IN PLACE for them to implement upon. Implementing is their brilliance. Especially if you’re conscious about your team expenses, you can typically spend less money per hour for people to implement rather than to constantly be creating systems or cleaning things up. And it makes implementors’ jobs a thousand times easier when systems and expectations are already set up. Like I said, their genius is implementing and cruising on those tasks/responsibilities. 

So, you’re ready for your next hire (be it virtual assistant, project or account manager, marketing assistant) IF you have

– Clear systems/tools in place for things like client onboarding, marketing, or actual client work 

– SOPs BABY! Standard Operating Procedures for all of the above (ESPECIALLY if you don’t want to answer a million questions upon onboarding somebody- I’m talking to you, Kolbe high quickstarts low fact finders) 

– clear, defined, DOCUMENTED roles and responsibilities and expectations

– Onboarding procedures for onboarding new team members!

– Communication channels and expectations in place for team to team communication and team to client communication

…to name a few

If you don’t have those, you need MORE than an implementer- you need a fixer/ cleaner/creator- that middle person to get you ready. I am obsessed (and good at) positioning my clients to get ready to scale with their team. One doesn’t need to take her computer on vacation anymore and has team to take over the day-to-day so she can focus on her big picture, big money making (passive income anyone??) projects. Another hit his goal of a 7 figure year with the support of his team that I helped hire and onboard. 

So if you’ve got shit you wanna do and you don’t have everything in place with your team, schedule a call with me and let’s chat. I’ve got you- I can support you through all of the above. It’ll be fun. 

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