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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Ready to Hire Your First Employee?

    Check out these tips on hiring by Ellen Rohr, and let us know in the comments if you've used any of these strategies and if they've worked for your company. Do you have any hiring strategies of your own that you've had success with?

    Perhaps you’ve been thinking about adding a new team member. Maybe your first?
    If you want to grow your company, or buy a bit of “time off,” bringing on a team member can be a great move. Here are a few tips for hiring an employee, and for creating a winning experience for both of you!

    • Start pricing Now for a future hire. Update your budget and add the employee’s salary. Add other related costs like uniforms and insurance, or maybe a truck. Some employees are revenue generating, like a Service Tech or a Salesperson. That can be a good approach to your first hire, so that you can recoup their costs with additional sales. Or, you might hire an admin person, who can free you up to do more sales, as they handle office duties.
    • Put your organizational chart together. Your name will still be in most of the positions, however, one or two or more “boxes” could be delegated. Nice!
    • Create a first-draft position description for each position you would like the new person to assume. The position description is a list of responsibilities. “Here’s what you are to do!” The manuals for each Position are how to do each responsibility. The new hire can help you write the manual for their position.
    • Part-time works fine! No need to commit to a full-time employee right away. Expand their time as they successfully accomplish your first assignments and responsibilities.
    • Recruit nice people. Ask people you know to spread the word that you are looking. Ask at church or at kid functions, where you see friends and other business owner/parents. Check out online recruiting services, like or If your Position is flexible, consider college kids, or parents who want to spend time at home, and work around school time. Look for willing and basically capable people…and hire someone whom you can train. Don’t look for Superman or Superwoman.
    • Do a Gut Check. As you interview to hire, ask yourself, “Is this someone I could pass in the office or speak to on the phone and not want to avoid?” Don’t hire anyone who just doesn’t feel right. That said, leave your prejudices at the door. You may or may not know right off the bat if someone will work out. So…
    • Hire for a test drive period. 60 days is plenty. Spend time together…review your Business Plan, including the Org Chart and Position Descriptions. Start writing Procedures together. Let them figure out a problem or two.
    • Be upfront that you will make sure you are a good fit for each other during these first 60 days of employment. If it doesn’t work out, you will both be fine. After 60 days, you should know. Spend enough time together so that you do. Don’t abandon them on Day One.
    • Don’t hesitate to LOVE. Whether or not you decide to work together, there is always room for more love in this world. You can be friends. You can be the boss. You don’t have to turn into Julius Dithers (Dagwood Bumstead’s boss!) You can be kind and figure out the responsibilities and the Org Chart and the business together.

    There’s more to the recruiting, hiring and training processes. These tips can get you started. Let me know how you are doing expanding your team!

    Ellen Rohr, president of ZOOM DRAIN, a drain & sewer franchising company. She’s the author of four business books, including “Where Did the Money Go?” – accounting basics, and "The Weekend Biz Plan.” Ellen’s a member of the EGIA faculty, sharing her snappy, helpful, and usually irreverent insights on business planning and financial clean-up.

    EGIA Contractor University has assembled the most experienced and dynamic faculty ever put together. Faculty members have personally built some of the most successful contracting companies in America. During Contractor Leadership Live, Ellen will be leading an Exclusive Workshop, Tuesday, Sept. 12, From 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. This Exclusive Workshop is only available to the first 500 Contractors who register for the All-Access pass. Visit Contracting Business for more information and to learn about the Contractor Leadership Live event. Reach Ellen at

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Yuma, AZ
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    Good, sound advice. Ultimately, nice is more important than skill and experience. Ignorance is curable.

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