How (and When) to Hire a Team
Not all businesses you start will be solo efforts. Just like school projects, sometimes you’ll need a team working with you – or for you. As a young entrepreneur just starting, you may feel somewhat intimidated by being a boss. Or perhaps you know you need help but aren’t sure where to find it. As always, we’ve got you covered.
WHEN TO HIRE A TEAM
- Running your business is taking over your life and affecting your grades, health, and/or relationships
- You have no idea how to do something important, like create a logo or keep a budget
- Your business is growing
- Your business is stagnating or stuck in a rut
TEAM MEMBERS YOU MIGHT NEED
Make sure you hire people who fit the tasks. You may need one other person to help pick up the slack, or you may need several people in a variety of roles.
Some of the things a young entrepreneur does that can be outsourced:
You may hire someone for a one-off job, like setting up your website. It may be necessary to take someone on as a partner or long-term employee. Take an honest look at what you need done and see if you can figure out whether the job is ongoing or short-term.
HOW TO HIRE PEOPLE
Now that you know the nature of the task and how long it will take, it’s time to go about finding the right candidates. Don’t just pay your best friend to set up your website unless they happen to be very good at web development.
CREATE A JOB TITLE AND DESCRIPTION
“I need someone to help me with money” isn’t very descriptive. It won’t attract the kind of employees you need. Come up with a title: “Financial Assistant,” is good. “Budget Manager,” works, too. If you want to get fancy, look for a “CFO,” or Chief Financial Officer.
As for the description, make sure to include a few brief lines:
- Your company’s name
- What you do (1-2 short sentences)
- The specific task(s) you need doing (2-3 sentences)
- Approximately how many hours the applicant can expect to work per week, or whether this is a short-term contract job
- Payment (more about that later)
- What you want to know about your applicants (if they’ve done this work before and have proven themselves; maybe list 2-3 qualifications)
- How to contact you regarding the job
Use bullet points and headers to break down the description into bite-size pieces. Long, texty paragraphs are a major turn-off for job applicants. Remember, you are trying to attract them as much as they want to impress you.
HOW TO FIGURE OUT YOUR HIRING BUDGET
We’re guessing you don’t have tons of room in your budget to hire a team. That’s ok. It’s unlikely you’ll need a full-time adult who requires a livable yearly salary.
It’s tempting to ask a friend for a favor, especially if the task is a one-time job. That’s fine, as long as it’s something quick, easy, and your friend doesn’t mind. Good business leaders maintain integrity. Learning how to hire and pay someone to do a job is good practice for the future.
Remember, too, that you don’t necessarily have to pay professional rates. Hiring someone from your school is more affordable than hiring a grown-up who’s been in the business for 20 years. However, if you can afford to pay a pro, then go for it!
The 2022 going rate for a high school tutor is anywhere from $15/hour to $25/hour. Using that as a scale can help you determine how much you are willing to pay for help. Someone with more experience and expertise should be paid at the higher end. Same if the job is overly complicated or will take a long time.
The pay should go up as you move up in age and experience. College students should get more money, grad students even more, and so on up.
For one-off jobs, like designing a log, consider a flat payment like $50 total.
WHERE TO FIND APPLICANTS
There’s no shortage of job boards in this world. Some of them specialize in short-term or freelance jobs:
- Upwork is great for finding talent who can do short-term jobs at lower rates
- Fiverr specializes in freelancers
- Freelancer is another great job board for finding short-term talent
- Your school newspaper, social media page, or bulletin board
- Your town’s newspaper, social media page, or community center
- Your local community college’s job page
HOW TO INTERVIEW CANDIDATES
Ugh, do you have to? Short answer: yes. Longer answer: if you want to do this right and make sure you’re spending your company’s money on the right person who will do the best job, then definitely.
The interview doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process. You’re not hiring Apple’s new CEO. (Unless you are. Are you? Let us know.) But you are spending company money. You’re trusting someone with your small business. You’re creating a working relationship – maybe your first one ever. Those things require a little bit of foundational work.
Schedule a time that works for everyone. You and your fellow students will be at school all day, so 11 a.m. probably isn’t a good time for a job interview. Not everyone is at their best past 10 p.m., either.
Prepare some questions in advance. What do you want to know about this person’s experience? Why do they want this job? What do they bring to the table that will benefit you and your business?
Be professional when you interview. Once again, they are evaluating you as much as you are evaluating them.
Be pleasant and friendly without getting too personal or comfortable.
Listen to your gut. Don’t hire someone who gives you bad vibes.
Follow up as soon as you can. If you’re not going to hire someone, let them know in a friendly email. You don’t have to state why, but do thank them for their time. When you do hire someone, be clear about boundaries, time scales, payment timelines, and what they can expect from you.
Look at you now. You’re a boss! Well done! If you are a high school student in Florida with a passion for entrepreneurship, click here to find out more about the Kantner Foundation’s college scholarship program.