If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, drowning in emails or you’d just like to work less hours in your business this year, it’s time to hire an admin assistant and follow these hiring tips. An administrative assistant has often been referred to as the office juggler — managing several tasks and wearing many hats at once. Whether you’re a startup company or you are a seasoned entrepreneur, hiring the right person for the administrative assistant position is crucial. Here are four basic criteria to assess when interviewing potential candidates. This will help you save time, money and headaches from hiring the wrong person.
Hiring Tips # 1 – Consider the Appearance
The first person clients see when they walk into the office is likely going to be your assistant. This means whoever you hire for this position needs to make a good first impression, as well as effectively represent your company’s ethos and brand.
The old rules ofoffice dress code — pantyhose, pencil skirts, neckties — no longer apply, in most work environments at least. But he or she needs to understand your corporate culture and embody it, dress included. This persona is hard to teach, but invaluable to have, so consider your candidates carefully before selecting one.
Clothes and accessories say a lot about how candidates feel about themselves, and what they value in life. Outward appearance speaks to who is inside.
Hiring Tips # 2 – Take Note of Verbal & Nonverbal Skills
When someone has good verbal skills, it’s easy to tell. And having the qualified candidates interview with several different people on your team will give you a quick look at how each applicant adapts to different people, personalities and situations.
Non-verbal cues are a bit more difficult to detect, but can be even more revealing. A great assistant will make eye contact often, mimic your body language and smile regularly. You want someone who will make everyone at your business feel at ease. Your administrative assistant needs to, above all, be approachable and inclusive.
Hiring Tips # 3 – Personality
Not only does apersonality test reveal things about ourselves that we were unaware of, it can also provide insight into how an employee learns, functions and grows. Great leaders create other leaders, not worker bees. If you can figure out what makes your prospective administrative assistant tick, what makes him passionate or what makes her react positively, then you can get a better idea of how the person will fit into your corporate culture, interact with co-workers and handle stress. While you don’t want to be hiring a mini you, you also don’t want to hire someone whose personality clashes with you and your team.
Hiring Tips # 4 – Preparedness
One of the best ways to weed out the less serious candidates is to make a very simple request before the interview. An example email request: “Please bring a copy of your résumé to the interview.” Or “Please review our company website prior to your interview.” With just one question during the interview, you’ll be able to discern how detail-oriented the candidate is and it’s a great starting off point for an honest, productive hiring atmosphere. QUESTION: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to finding a great admin assistant? Please share your comments and questions below.
Summer is a great time to take off to explore new destinations, experience new adventures or just enjoy lazy afternoons poolside.
But, I meet business owners all the time who are either too buried in the business to get away at all or they take their work with them on vacation — which doesn’t feel like a real vacation. Growing a successful business does not mean you have to be a workaholic. You can easily work less, so you can play more this summer … all while still growing your business.
This freedom is possible when you learn how to outsource and/or hire effectively. If you have a higher level salaried position that you are struggling to fill, let me say you should first check out some staffing agencies who can provide you with an abundant supply of potential candidates.
But for those times when you’re just trying to fill an hourly job or an entry-level position, here are 9 tips to help you find your next great hire and build more freedom into your business:
Hiring Tip #1: Hire part time freelancers.
I find the biggest obstacle for many small business owners when it comes to hiring is often the fear of taking on a full time employee. If you’re just getting started, start small. You can work with someone virtually either on a one time project basis and/or just 5-10 hours a week.
Hiring Tip # 2. Post an ad in your local Craigslist.
If you prefer hiring local workers Craigslist is a cheap and effective way to get the word out online for people who are looking for work locally. Not only do you want to post the ad on Craigslist, you want to take a look at how you’re wording the ad.
Hiring Tip #3. Place an ad in your local print newspaper in the classified section.
If you’re in a hurry to find the right employee consider implementing a multiple prong approach to get the word out both online and offline. You can also post an ad in your industry newspaper or magazine in the classified section. That way your opening is being seen by a niche audience of other professionals who are already in the industry.
Hiring Tip #4. Establish a finder’s fee program.
You can write up a simple handwritten poster to explain your finder’s fee program. Offer a bonus. For example, $50 will be paid to the person who refers an applicant you end up hiring.
I would wait 30 days before you pay their finder’s fee to make sure the person is going to work out for you and doesn’t quit after the first two weeks.
You can also make it even better by making it a $100 finder’s fee with the stipulation that they would be paid $50 after the employee’s first 30 days and then they would be paid another $50 on that person’s six-month anniversary of working with you. That way you’re helping and motivating others to send you candidates who are likely to be more long-term for you.
A simple way to put this information out there is by putting it on a poster where they can tear off the phone number. That would be the guerrilla marketing approach. You can also transfer that same information and have it printed on a postcard, so when you meet people who would have a possible candidate in mind or perhaps even be that potential candidate, you can hand them a postcard that explains the opening and the finder’s fee offer.
Hiring Tip # 5. Promote the Finder’s Fee program at your place of business.
If you have a brick-and-mortar business for customers where they are coming into your building, you can promote the opening to your customers. Have signage where they can see that you are offering a finder’s fee program for your opening.
For example, you can offer your customers $50 in free services as a finder’s fee after 30 days, and $100 or $50 after the first six months. Let your customers, who love you already, help you fill the position that you need.
Hiring Tip # 6. Poster locally.
You can do a simple marketing approach and create posters – the kind with phone numbers you can tear off at the bottom that promote your help-wanted position along with the finder’s fee offer.
You might as well kill two birds with one stone and create a second poster that really describes your business. This one would be addressed to appeal to your customers. Keep a bunch of copies in your car and as you go throughout your day, you can post them at some key places where there’s a lot of traffic. Write down what those key places are so it will help trigger the reminder for you when you are in the car.
Grab an index card and write things like grocery stores, health clubs, coffee shops, churches, YMCA bulletin boards, community college bulletin boards, etc. Of course, your target list of locations will depend on the type of opening that you have and where it makes the most sense where those Ideal applicants may be hanging out.
If you want to boost this passive approach, you can either hire some high school students to go and blanket your town with these posters, or even utilize non-paid high school or college interns to do things like this for you.
Hiring Tip #7. Post your opening as an update in your LinkedIn feed.
Let your connections know that you have an opening and let them know about your finder’s fee program. You can even post the same update several times a week to have that message to catch different people who log on at different times of day.
Another thing you can do, is utilize the specific targeted LinkedIn groups. It doesn’t cost anything when you post in the groups under the job discussions tab. If you wanted to boost visibility, yes, you can pay to purchase under the LinkedIn recruiting program.
Hiring Tip #8. Look for local job boards online.
You can do a search using a variation of keywords like the name of your city, help wanted, and job openings. You can also search the exact position that you offer and see where competitors have posted their ads.
There are many Facebook groups, as well, that may have targeted communities of business owners in your local area. Share your post or your announcement about your finder’s fee program to other business owners who would likely also have past and current applicants that they have in their files.
Hiring Tip #9. Direct recruiting.
You may have a hard time filling a position, particularly if it requires a degree of industry specific experience. In this case, you can go out and meet those types of people directly as a customer.
You can do direct recruiting right in LinkedIn by searching for variations of the job title you are looking to fill. LinkedIn is a great way for you to view people’s resumes for free. You can short list your top picks and then reach out to the ones you’re most interested in to invite them to apply for your position. This is a great practice because statistics have shown that often the best hires are the people who were not actively looking for work, but were recruited.
Utilize these nine steps listed above, you will be well on your way to not only filling your position quickly, but finding a candidate that is a good fit for you and your business. It is possible to easily work less, play more and earn more through your business.
Outsourcing your tasks and hiring other people is your pathway to building a thriving freedom business you love.
QUESTION: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to finding and hiring great help?
Overcoming employee resistance to change is a common challenge business both small and large have to contend with. In Part 1 we looked at 5 surefire strategies like:
1.) Check your attitude.
2.) Commit to being a leader.
3.) Have clear player positions.
4.) Have clear player expectations.
5.) Don’t “pass the buck”.
In Part 2, let me share three more tips and techniques for creating successful change in your business; and even explore how you can benefit from them in all areas of your life!
#6. Hold firm expectations.
Once you set your expectations, you need to hold firm to them.People can tell whether you’re firm or fake. They can smell that fear a mile away. Overcoming employee resistance to change will only continue to be a challenge if managers continue to waver on setting clear, firm expectations.
What are the non-negotiable expectations you have for each employee?
What is the language you use to communicate those expectations?
What is the tone you project? What does your non-verbal communication say?
#7. Build relationships.
Overcoming employee resistance to change doesn’t come from focusing on their behavior; but from focusing on your relationship.
Employee resistance occurs when there’s no respect.
There’s no respect because there is no trust.
There’s no trust because there’s no relationship.
There’s no relationship because there is no consistent one-on-one time.
Remember that: relationships are NOT built in groups. Relationships are built one-on-one
How often do you schedule one-on-one time with each of your direct reports?
Do you critique your employees more than you appreciate them?
#8. Find out their “WHAT”and their “WHY”.
As business owners and managers, we all want a team of players who are highly self-motivated. Self-motivated people are naturally self absorbed. But, in this case, being self absorbed is not a bad thing.
If you want your people to care about what you care about (growing the company), then you need to first care about what they care about.
Why? Because creating success is about creating a win-win situation for everyone.
When you’re struggling with overcoming employee resistance, remember:
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
How much do you know about each employee?
Have you ever asked what motivates them?
Have you ever asked what their goals are, in both their professional and personal lives?
Have you ever asked why? What would achieving that goal allow them to do, be or have, that they don’t have right now?
Benefiting from these skills in all areas of your life
As a parent, I want to raise my three kids to be highly self-motivated people. Like most parents, I want my kids to dream big and reach their full potential.
Despite this, I started noticing that I was nagging my son, Thomas, to get out there and practice his soccer drills. I was annoyed that I was investing time and money into his soccer training, but he was RESISTING the advice of his coach.
I decided to apply these same strategies at home. When he was around 12 years old, I sat down with my son and asked him: ‘What’s your dream?’
His answer – to become a professional soccer player.
We talked about his why, and defined what would that allow him to achieve his desires in life. Then, all I had to do was show him what separates the extraordinary soccer players from the less extraordinary soccer players.
We defined what the extraordinary soccer players did to get there —(exceeding expectations)
We defined what lesser soccer players did —(meeting expectations)
We defined what failed soccer players did —(below expectations)
‘Thanks for believing in me’
My son Thomas will soon be turning 15, and I’m happy to report that I haven’t had to nag him since that conversation when he was 12. In fact, I truly admire how highly self-motivated he has become. The snow or rain does not stop him from running outside or practicing his shots on net. He is not only disciplined in his cross training routine at home, he’s also surprisingly disciplined in choosing what he eats as an athlete.
The best part as a parent was the day my son took me aside and said, “Mom, thanks for believing in me.” Wow! I can last on those 6 words for the next 6 years!
As a business owner or manager, it’s the same thing. When you have an employee who takes the time to say, “Thanks coach, for believing in me.” – that’s the kind of stuff that fuels your tank for many more years to come.
Not only do these strategies help you in overcoming employee resistance to change; they can benefit all areas of your life. Instituting these 8 starter strategies also nurtures fierce loyalty among your employees – creating motivated, productive playersthat will go over and beyond their call of duty.
QUESTION: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to overcoming employee resistance? Please share your comments in the box below
You’re competing with nearly 22 million small business owners in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau. How quickly and efficiently you get something done for your customers can make the difference between earning their loyalty or losing them to the competition.
Managing your time well can get you repeat business and referrals, and these tools will help you be fast and efficient, no matter what your business.
(1) Manage Customers
Not long ago, only large corporations could afford to use sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Now they are available through software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers on the cloud. A good CRM system lets you access and analyze customer information, get better visibility into the sales cycle and learn the business trend information that helps with forecasting. Zoho CRM is one such cloud-based tool. Use it to:
Get reports on customer activity every morning
Integrate your sales activity with customer contact information and have a complete record of how the sales cycle is progressing
Access customer information on the road with the Zoho mobile app
(2) Manage Accounts Receivables (AR)
Your cash flow depends on getting payment from customers, and payment from customers depends on you getting your invoices out promptly. A cloud-based invoicing tool such as Intuit Quickbooks automates many AR tasks and lets you monitor customer account activity. Quickbooks can:
Schedule electronic invoices for delivery and follow them up with reminders when payment is past due
Find your slow-paying customers, so you can send incentives to get their payments in on time
Generate revenue reports and tax statuses at any time
Access customer account information whereever you are with its mobile application
(3) Manage Your Team
Whether you have one or 100 employees, you need to manage company and project information in a way that gives people access to what they need when they need it. Expensive and complicated collaboration tools such as Microsoft’s Sharepoint were out of reach for many small businesses. Evernote Business is a better option for small businesses, and it continues to add helpful features. With Evernote Business you can:
Manage all company data and create notebooks that contain information for specific projects
Easily search for data within all project notebooks
Link team notes, so you can view the thread of activity and comments on any project
Capture data from the Web and store it in a project’s notebook for future reference
Access Presentation Mode, which lets you display team results and statuses directly from within Evernote without having to use other presentation tools
(4) Manage Your Social Media
If you are heavily invested in social networking for your business, use Hootsuite to manage all your social media campaigns from one place. All of the major players including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are integrated into one dashboard view. Use Hootsuite to:
Track your campaigns, analyze results and receive customer feedback
Access advanced analytics, including an integration with Google Analytics (Pro version only)
Save time you would spend working on each platform individually
There are hundreds of excellent software tools out there today to help you manage your staff and your time. The place to start of course is to first identify which of your tasks are tedious or recurring and then find a software solution to improve the process.
Once you’ve shortlisted the time consuming tasks in your work you can then begin searching for the right software. Or, even better why not just ask our community right here and share what you’re searching for in the comment box below.
QUESTION: What is your favourite piece of software that has helped you manage your small business?
In case you missed the story that was published yesterday on Entrepreneur.com here it is again below as a reprint. Did you know …? that I got into business coaching to help other entrepreneurs to grow your businesses without missing out or sacrificing the quality of your family life. Let’s keep remembering those lessons from 9/11. The pursuit of business success should never overshadow relationships with our loved ones.Success and Blessings!
“As a type A personality, it was easy for me to get sucked into the ‘workaholism’ syndrome. 9/11 was a huge wake-up call that shouted the reminder to me that we never know how much time we have left here on earth.”
9/11 inspired me to completely change the business I was in. When 9/11 happened I was running three different businesses at the same time – a large performing arts center, a retail store, and a production company – with 35 people on my payroll. As a type A personality, it was easy for me to get sucked into the “workaholism” syndrome. 9/11 was a huge wake-up call that shouted the reminder to me that we never know how much time we have left here on earth.
No one ever says on their deathbed that they wished they worked more or achieved more. When we face death and tragedy we all evaluate the relationships in our lives. As a working mother with three children (two at that time), 9/11 inspired me to create instead a lifestyle business, so that my new business could be built around my family which would allow me to be available for them on their schedule. I didn’t want to miss out on enjoying my family and loved ones.
I ended up selling all three of my businesses and started my lifestyle business which is my coaching practice. The majority of my work is virtual, allowing me to be at home in the mornings to see them off to school and available for my kids when they get home at 3pm. I choose how much I want to work each week. I can work anywhere in the world, so when we decide to pick up and travel I can work around that no problem.
My lifestyle business also comes with the added perk of no overhead. I used to have a high maintenance- high overhead 5,000-square-foot building. Plus, my lifestyle business offers me a leveraged business model which allows me to work a fraction of the time while earning 10 times more than the traditional billable hours model.
I think the anniversary of 9/11 each year serves an important reminder for us all to prioritize and cherish investing in the relationships of our family and loved ones.
QUESTION: What about you? How did 9/11 change you as an entrepreneur? Please share your comments below:
About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development. Grab free valuable gifts and resources at https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: YoonCannon@ParamountBusinessCoach.com To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947.