Founder of Staged4more.
Hiring is so pivotal to the growth of your home staging business. Are you wearing a million different hats because you don’t feel ready to outsource and delegate?
Today’s conversation with Jamie Van Cuyk of Growing Your Team draws on her 15+ years of leadership experience and is like a mini workshop in mastering the art of hiring.
Jamie and I cover it all – from avoiding being the bottleneck in our businesses, to figuring out when and who we need to hire, compensation strategies, managing a remote team, and dealing with family and friends who want to work with you. You’ll walk away with so many takeaways and a game plan for your next hire.
BONUS: Download Jamie’s hiring checklist and learn the 8 action steps you need to complete for a successful hiring process.
Jamie introduces herself and her business, Growing Your Team (00:04:50)
How good hiring practices will quickly transform our businesses and prevent burnout (00:05:43)
Being aware of when we are becoming the bottleneck and need to start hiring – plus, Jamie shares the 4 things we need to look out for on a quarterly basis (00:08:13)
Understanding the value of delegating and getting over the resistance (00:14:39)
Why we need to document our processes and create systems to have the most successful hiring experience (00:18:36)
The best and worst times to post a job opportunity (00:22:14)
Jamie talks about why every new hire should equate to an increase in revenue (and how to figure out compensation) (00:24:12)
Attracting the best candidates in a unique market like home staging (00:29:50)
The complex (and occasionally complicated!) dynamics of hiring friends or family members to work in your staging business (00:31:26)
Creating clear separation and decision-making authority if working with your spouse (00:38:46)
Doing your due diligence with a team member before firing them (which often includes training them on a task more than once) (00:40:25)
Jamie highlights the importance of scheduling regular conversations with team members to talk about their goals (00:45:21)
How to manage remote team members while building quality connections and relationships (00:47:38)
Home staging is a team sport – Jamie talks about curating a positive culture and team environment (00:52:15)
Jamie shares her #1 tip for when it comes to hiring in your home staging business (hint: focus on what you need) (00:56:00)
Jamie’s website: https://growingyourteam.com/
Jamie’s podcast: https://growingyourteam.com/podcast/
Jamie’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GrowingYourTeam/
Jamie’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/growingyourteam/
Jamie’s LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamievancuyk/
Learn more about our partner, Stageflow: https://www.stagercon.com/stageflow Stageflow provides real estate agents, property developers, and home stagers with powerful data collection and reporting tools.
Join me and Elaine on one of our upcoming home stager retreats! Join us in Florence, Italy from September 17-22, 2023, or in Tuscany, Italy from September 23-30, 2023. Click here to learn more! Registration is now open for both retreats! These retreats are designed to elevate your staging business by aligning your action plan for the next 12 months with the goals and dreams you have for your business and your life.
Apply to speak at this year’s StagerCon! Our theme for 2023 is how to build multiple streams of income in your home staging business.
Celebrate our 17th anniversary and get all of our staging, courses, templates, scripts, and checklists for 17% off! Click here to learn more.
Download Jamie’s hiring checklist and learn the 8 action steps you need to complete for a successful hiring process.
[00:00:00] You’re listening to the Home Staging Show podcast. I’m your host, Cindy Lin. This is a show where we talk about all things real estate, home staging, and how to create vibrant and thriving home staging business. Welcome back to the show. This is episode 1 71. Before we start the show today, here is a message from Our StagerCon 2022 Sponsor.
[00:00:26] We all need powerful statistics to convince potential clients of the benefits of home staging. Stageflow takes away the pain of having to filter spreadsheets or doing calculations. You enter what you know about every sale of the homes that you’ve staged, and let’s stage flow do the rest. Easy. Real-time statistics for the home staging market.
[00:00:51] Hey, welcome back to another episode of the Home Staging Show. Just a quick reminder, we are celebrating our 17th anniversary this month, so all of our staging courses, template scripts, and checklists are all 17% off. I’m also gonna be teaching a few sessions on February 28th as part of a special open house.
[00:01:08] If you’re curious about using AI and chatGPT in your staging business, I’m gonna have a session about that as well. So for more information, go to staged4more.com/open. If you’ve been waiting for a registration for our Italian retreat this year, they are now open. Just go to staged4more.com/retreat for more information on our Florence and Tuscany retreat.
[00:01:30] I’m so, so, so excited to have you! For the Florence retreat, it’s pretty straightforward in terms of registration. Because we’re just meeting at the house for all our master classes and workshops, plus the welcome dinner and also our farewell dinner. So sad, but we also have a pasta making workshop, plus all the lunches at the house.
[00:01:49] So that is pretty straightforward. If you’re ready to book, go ahead and book it on our site at staged4more.com/retreat. For the Tuscany retreat, that one is all inclusive, so we’re gonna pick you up at the airport. We’re gonna drop you off at the airport once the retreat is done and you also have your stay at the Villa with the swimming pool and tennis court, it’s gonna be amazing.
[00:02:08] I’m so excited. All the meals except the day where you had your free day that you can go on day trip around Tuscany or just chill at the villa. That also includes obviously all the programming you will enjoy in Florence, such as masterclass and workshops that are really tailored to your home staging business.
[00:02:26] We do ask you though, for this retreat for registration, you want to email us directly to just double check on whatever rooms that we have left, and also depending on how you wanna pay. Whether it is one full payment or upfront, or you wanna do a payment plan, you do say 5% when you pay all upfront. So it’s up to you depending on which way you wanna do.
[00:02:46] We are super flexible. If you’re not sure if the retreat is right for you, feel free to DM me on Instagram or contact us through the website. I’ll be more than happy to jump on a Zoom call with you to see if you’re ready for the retreat, because the retreats are designed for people who are a little bit further along in their business.
[00:03:04] So last year, all our participants have hit six figure coming in. You already have data historically, knowing what the challenges are in your homes, aging business, what you are afraid of, how you want to get over the hump, and things like that so that we can really work with you in. Pushing your home aging business forward and establishing that 12 month action plan that you’re gonna walk away with.
[00:03:26] So I do recommend this retreat is really more for our stagers who have a few years under the belt. Either you are close, really close to six figure, or you already are hitting six figure. All right? So I’ll be more than happy to chat on Zoom with you or on the phone if you are thinking about that and you’re not sure if it’s right thing for you.
[00:03:45] All right, so onto today’s show. For today’s show, we are Jaime on the show. She’s the owner and lead strategist of Growing Your Team. They help women, small business owners to become more confident leaders who hire right every single time, drawing from over 15 years of leadership experience. Jamie teaches her clients how to master the art of hiring by learning the dynamics of each company and their specific needs.
[00:04:08] She helps them find their perfect fit, long lasting team members, and avoid the hiring and firing cycle. On a personal side, Jamie lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her husband and two daughters. She’s a hobby winemaker. She loves travel, and also she enjoys exercise that takes her feet off the ground, including rock climbing and also area of dance.
[00:04:29] This is a pretty jam-packed episode, I think, when it comes to hiring and working with your team members. As usual, if any questions, feel free to refer to a show notes or contact us through a show notes by leaving a comment or dms on. I. All right. Enjoy the show.
[00:04:50] Hi, Jamie. Welcome to the show. Before we get started today, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?
[00:04:56] Hello. Thank you so much for having me today. Yeah. So I am Jamie Vanke and I am the owner of Growing Your Team at Growing Your Team. We work with small business owners to teach them how to master the art of hiring.
[00:05:10] So we do a lot of hiring education and we create bespoke hiring strategies so that way business owners can really underst. What type of help they need on their teams, and then how to find the right person for their position inside their business, because that’s different than a position inside someone else’s business.
[00:05:31] So we really want to empower business owners to hire like a pro. I love that. Why is hiring so important for growth for our businesses and how can good hiring practices transform our businesses? Yeah, great question. Well, hiring is so important because you can’t do everything yourself. Yes. When we start our businesses, we wear a million different hats, and a lot of times we have to do everything ourselves because we don’t have the money to outsource and delegate.
[00:05:59] But as we continue to grow our businesses and we’re getting that consistent revenue stream, there reaches a point where we reach our personal capacity. We can’t do everything alone anymore because in order to do everything alone, we’re working around the clock. We’re really stressing ourselves out.
[00:06:14] We’re having to say no to idea customers cuz it’s just too much for us to handle. And when you start to delegate and outsource and hire on employees, it helps elevate your business because you’re able to take on more as a company without having to take on more as an individual. , you have those extra set of hands, whether it’s part-time or full-time, help to help serve your customers or help complete those backend tasks so that way you can serve your customers.
[00:06:42] So it’s really a way for you to serve more people, get more done, grow your revenue, and as a result, hopefully grow your personal income because you bring in more help and you can do more in your. I love that, and I think also it preven
ts burnout, right? Yes. Because I think as business owners sometimes we take on too much.
[00:07:01] Yes. That typically is very, very true. If you look at the type of personalities that are going to go all in and take the risk to start a business, we’re the people that typically are willing to take a lot onto our plates because it’s what needs to get done at first, and then we almost have to go through this mindset shift of going from.
[00:07:23] I’m gonna do it all to really recognizing that you can’t do it all and be willing to say, I need help, and it’s a jump that you have to be willing to make to say, I am not able to do everything myself and I need help. And we a lot of times resist asking for help. I think that’s really fascinating and I think that’s something that’s worth talking about actually.
[00:07:45] Cause I think that is a very common mindset block for most business owners because in the beginning, obviously, yeah, we wanna save money, we wanna save resources, so we do everything ourselves. And in the beginning, yes, because you probably don’t have enough work yet to justify the additional investment of bringing someone on, but at some point you become very inundated.
[00:08:07] The day-to-day, but also running the business, also prospecting, also meeting with clients and all that stuff. At what point do we know that is the right time for us to hire someone and how can we recognize and overcome that block of not wanting to let go and delegate? Yeah. So to kind of start with the second point there, like how do we overcome that block is really being consciously aware that you.
[00:08:33] What’s holding your business back? You are the bottleneck that, yeah, you can’t be prospecting and out there servicing clients at the same time. You know, you could only be doing one or the other. You know, you can’t be into conversations at once that things aren’t happening because your time is being spent elsewhere.
[00:08:52] And at the beginning, you know, it’s very easy. You’re like, okay, I have X amount of things to get done today. I can easily map it all out. And then as things grow, You have more to get done than the time. And so to really look at when is the right time to hire, when are you kind of reaching this point of potentially burnout or that you’re kind of hurting your business by not hiring.
[00:09:12] So there are four signs that it’s time to hire a team member, whether that’s an employee, whether that’s bringing on a contractor, whether it’s someone full-time or part-time. And I really encourage business owners at least once a quarter, if not more frequently, too. And ask yourself if one of these four things are going on, because if they are, then it’s time to bring someone on.
[00:09:33] And the first thing is you are at your capacity. You cannot take on anything else, which means you are saying no to your idea clients, or you’re having to start really stretch your boundaries and instead of working what you defined as normal business hours, you’re now starting to work more than what you really want to be.
[00:09:52] So in order to take on those projects that you want, you’re having to really stretch yourself outside of your capacity and doing more, or you’re saying no. And sometimes this comes to the thing of wait lists. I know sometimes wait lists are used for marketing tools where it’s like, okay, you wanna work with me?
[00:10:06] I have this wait list. And it kind of encourages people to be like, Hey, I’m in demands. But then there’s this other side of wait lists where wait lists are actually working against you because you really want that revenue now, but you can’t bring in that revenue now because you don’t have the capacity.
[00:10:22] Set sign number one is that there’s this capacity issue going on and you need to bring in extra help to really help get that capacity issue leveled out. Sign number two is that your customer service is starting to lack, so this could be with your current clients. That you’re not able to respond to them in a reasonable time and that the customers are starting to feel it.
[00:10:46] And we’re not talking about clients that email you and expect a response like 30 seconds later. We’re talking about a reasonable timeframe, but your constantly failing on that. You’re not able to provide updates when you should be, and your customers feel like they’re no longer valued by. So what are they gonna do?
[00:11:04] Possibly see if there’s a way to get out of their contract or they’re not gonna refer people to you in the future. Or if there’s another opportunity for them to work with someone doing the same thing that you’re doing in the future, that they’re gonna go elsewhere because they didn’t feel that they were served properly by you.
[00:11:20] And the other side of this with the customer service issue also has to do with bringing in new customer. So if you think you might have people that have been following your work that they’re really interested in working for you, but then there’s another set of customers out there that are just like, Hey, I am in need for home staging and I’m gonna go do a Google search, or search Instagram or search something, or ask people for referrals.
[00:11:43] So they’re contacting you. And they might be contacting two other people as well. And if you take so long to get back to them that they’ve already had conversations with other companies, what’s most likely gonna happen, they’re gonna go with those other companies instead of going with you. So poor customer service also means that you’re losing out on opportunities to bring in revenue because you’re not responding in a timely.
[00:12:07] So those are the first two signs. The third sign is you want to do something new and additional for your business, but you can’t because your time is spent on your current offering. So maybe one of the listeners out there is like, I would love to start a podcast of my own that would go along with my business, but you’re like, oh, wait, I can’t do that because I don’t have time in my business.
[00:12:28] Or it could be that you want to do something else, like serve your customers in a different way. But all your time and energy has to be focused on your current service offerings. And then the fourth sign is that you’re really lacking skill or knowledge that is needed to do something in your business, and you don’t have the time to properly learn it because as we talked about it early on in your business, when you’re doing everything, You have to learn things.
[00:12:53] There’s so much that you don’t know that you didn’t know, and you have to learn a lot in order to really grow a thriving business. But then there comes a time where it’s no longer worth your time as a business owner to really perfect certain things, and you need to bring in the experts because. It costs you less to pay an expert than it does for you to do it yourself with the time that you’re losing because you’re not servicing clients during that time.
[00:13:19] You’re not prospecting during that time. You’re not bringing revenue in during that time. So those are the four signs that you should really consider bringing in help for your business. Yeah, I totally agree with that. Especially I think the last one, I think last one most people overlook is that as your bu
siness grows, you as a business owner really need to hone your skillset, right?
[00:13:39] Because we’ve seen those a lot in bigger businesses where. You know, they get to a certain point and the c e O no longer is fit for that position because maybe during the growth phase, they were perfect for that role, but their skill hasn’t grown as they grow the business. So all of a sudden they become inadequate to handle a big business of that size.
[00:14:00] And I think that’s where. As business owners, you kind of have to choose, right? Like for me, if there’s a hiring issue, I will reach out to someone like you who’s a hiring expert. I wouldn’t spend the time to study the HR laws in California and things like that. Like it’s great to know the overview, but it’s important to leverage someone like you who has an expertise in hiring.
[00:14:23] And it wouldn’t make sense for me to invest that type of time and money to figure out, okay, how do I really figure out what is the proper law here to deal with this potential hiring issue? So yeah, it’s really important to recognize that. So going back to the previous question, how do we recognize those mindset block and starting to let go and start.
[00:14:46] Yes, yes. Yeah, great question. So the mindset blocks you’ll really start to realize are the fact that you start thinking, well, I can do it better myself. What’s the point of hiring? It’s gonna cost me a lot more than the value. And you start kind of trying to talk yourself out of hiring. This is gonna also happen when you’re going through the hiring process that you’re sitting there and saying, Nobody is good enough.
[00:15:08] I’m not finding the right candidate. And sometimes it means that there’s a problem with the hiring process that you’re trying to implement, but a lot of times it’s that you are resisting bringing in someone to help you. And the first thing I wanna say to kind of get over that mindset block and really understand the value of delegating is you are right that no one is going to do the job exactly like.
[00:15:33] You’re an individual. You have the ways you do things and defines your clone to find someone who’s gonna do it exactly like you is going to be next to impossible. So you have to recognize that when you bring someone in, things are going to be slightly different. So what you really have to do is figure out what is right and what is your way, and then focus on, I need to find someone who can do it.
[00:15:59] I’m reminded of, I share the story all the time of a time where my oldest daughter, she is nine now, she was probably about five or six, maybe even a little younger, maybe about four or so. She was probably around that five age and we were at Target and she asked if we could go over to the toy section and I told her no, and she asked me why, and I.
[00:16:21] Because I said so and she looked at me and she put her little hands on her hips and she goes, mommy, because I said, so is not an answer. And I was just like, Okay, well first off, I’m your mother because I said so should be an answer, but at the same time, I was just like, you know what? You’re right. She’s a very logical child.
[00:16:39] She’s always looking for the reason so she can learn, so she can do better so she can grow. And she wanted an answer of Why can’t we go to the toy section today? So that way she knew when she could ask in the future to know, okay, if we’re in and out, Because we’re brought a strict time schedule that we don’t have time to do extra there.
[00:16:56] But if we have all the time we need and we’re just like on a relaxing Saturday afternoon. Why not ask? So it’s kind of the same when you go to start delegating, is you really need to understand why things should be done a certain way. And if your only answer is because I said so, that’s when you need to recognize that that’s personal preference and it doesn’t necessarily matter in the long run for doing that task.
[00:17:20] And that’s when you start to realize, okay, someone’s not gonna do this exactly like me. This is my personal preference. But what is important is that it’s done right. And I can teach my employee how to do it right according to the standards of my business, according to what my clients expect. So that’s kind of the first thing, is just really understand that you are right.
[00:17:41] No one’s gonna be exactly like you, but you need to find the person who’s going to do things right. So what does it mean to do things right in your business? Yeah. And I think that is a tricky balance, isn’t it? Because I think there’s some point, cuz I think I make this mistake actually more times than I should have
[00:17:59] I think in the beginning when I felt like, oh my God, I have so much things to do, so I need to hire someone. And then my mistake was hiring too quickly and just bring essentially a warm body in and then just be like, here’s everything on my. take care of it. And then not really figuring out, well, is this person actually qualified to deal with all of this?
[00:18:19] And also, is it gonna be very overwhelming for your new hire that all of a sudden they come in, they’re not really onboarded properly, and then all of sudden now there’s. Everything on the to-do list that they may or may not be able to handle. And so that’s also the other thing too. So before we start hiring as a business, what are some of the things we need to prepare ourselves for to make sure that we have a successful hiring experience?
[00:18:44] Yes, great question. So the first thing you really need to look at are your processes. And just remember as you’ve been going through and doing the work, you’ve been doing it as a business of one. Or even if you have someone that’s helping you and now you’re bringing in that third person, you have another person in the mix.
[00:19:01] What do your processes look like? Where does that person come in? How do they know what to do and when to do it? How are you gonna communicate to them? And these are things that you don’t think about when it’s just you, but you need to start thinking about it when you’re bringing in those additional people because there needs to be handoff with tasks.
[00:19:22] They’re not just gonna know what to do and when to do it, even if it’s, they eventually get into that groove and they know, okay, we got a new client. These are the tasks that I need to do, so I’m gonna check these off. How do they know that you got a new client? So there’s always some sort of task handoff or trigger for somebody, and you need to start figuring out what that is.
[00:19:42] When you set up your processes, you can go right into some sort of project management tool. In my business, we use click up. I know a lot of people use Trello or sometimes Air Table or things like that to kind of keep track of things and, and show status. You don’t have to get that complicated at first if you are not very tech savvy when it comes to that.
[00:20:01] You can do things like an Excel spreadsheet that lists things out. You can have daily standups where you’re letting people know. Hey, here’s what I need you to do today. You can do things where you are communicating through email, but you know when you need to communicate and you know what they’re supposed to be communicating back to you.
[00:20:17] So the processes with those handoffs, you can use technology or you can be more simple with them, but you need to figure out what is my process and how does this person fit into my process? And how will we communicate throughout the process so we know when each person is supposed to be doing. A client of mine a few years ago, one of the things that they did to help them prepare for this is now, the work that they were doing was 100% on the computer.
[00:20:44] So they weren’t doing physical things and everything there, so theirs was a hundred percent on the computer. They took a day at work, they turn on Zoom, they hit record their screen. And they talked through everything that they were doing that entire day and got it step by step. And then they took that video and they kind of used that to break down what is their process.
[00:21:06] What am I doing? Where is this person coming in? What do I need to train this person on? So that way they weren’t forgetting parts of the process. It could be one of those things for the parts of your job that are more physical, that you pull out your phone and even voice, record yourself to walk through the process.
[00:21:22] What am I doing? Why am I doing it? Why is this important? Why does this need to get done before this? And just start talking yourself through the process so you really understands how they are fitting. And what you want them to do because depending on who you’re hiring, they’re gonna be doing different tasks.
[00:21:39] You could be hiring a second, you. That’s responsible for doing almost everything that you’re doing, but with another subset of clients. Or you might be hiring someone who’s an assistant and they’re only doing a small section of this total work that needs to get done for a client. Or you could be hiring someone that’s completely on the back ends like a bookkeeper.
[00:22:00] Okay, well, how do you get that information to a bookkeeper when your receipts come in, when you buy something new? What do you do with those receipts? How do you get that information over to them? So really start thinking through your processes so you understand how this person is going to fit into the work.
[00:22:14] Love that. Is there a best or wrong time to hire someone? For example, hiring at a U end of the year? Is that terrible or is that great? Or it doesn’t matter. You should just hire when you need someone. I say hire when you need someone. Now, with that being. . There are certain times of the year where it’s a little harder to find people than it is others.
[00:22:35] So for example, as we’re gonna record this, it’s early January, we just got out of what I call the holiday slump with hiring, and typically between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the number of candidates that you’re going to get is going to go down. But I still tell my clients, post your job anyway. All you need to find is the right person for you, and you never know when they’re gonna be out there looking.
[00:23:01] So just because. Job boards are quieter. Doesn’t mean your idea person’s that out there, so post a job anyway. But there are some times of the year, like I said, during that holiday slump that it’s gonna be a lot quieter. And the part of the reason for that is people are busy. People have holiday plans, they’re traveling.
[00:23:20] They are trying to shop for gifts. You, you have other holidays in between Thanksgiving and Christmas that maybe you are not celebrating, so your evening’s not busy. But other people, they’re celebrating those holidays and their evenings are busy spending time with family and friends or going through their customs and traditions.
[00:23:40] And so there’s a lot on people’s plates, so they just don’t have a whole lot of time. They’re not on the job boards. They’re not wanting to have to give up their holiday travel because they’re starting a new job. And then typically between Christmas and New Year’s, There’s almost nobody on the job board.
[00:23:54] So if there’s ever a week where I was gonna tell you don’t post a job, it’s between Christmas and New Year’s, but other than that, go post it anyway because you never know when your candidate’s gonna be out there. Just know that sometimes it’s going to take a little bit longer to find the candidate that you want than others.
[00:24:11] that’s great. And how do we figure out the right compensation for our new hires? And I think most importantly, I think the better question will probably be how do we get the value for what we’re paying for? Yes. All right. So the first thing is, what we always do is you have to understand what your budget is.
[00:24:29] That’s always the first place that you need to start. What can you afford? And one of the things I wanna tell you about affordability is that there is affordability in terms of what you can afford now, and then there’s what you can afford. When this person comes in and starts doing the work that they’re supposed to be doing and producing a return on that investments, and depending on what position you’re hiring for, seeing that return on that investment is going to look a little bit different.
[00:24:55] It’s gonna be different lengths of time. But typically for every position you hire, there should be an increase in revenue and to get a good return on investments, eventually that increase in revenue should more than make up for what you’re paying that team member. But at first, you have to pay that team member.
[00:25:12] You have to pay that team member. If you are a business that goes in cycles, you have to be able to pay that team member when you’re in your downtime too. So you really need to look at your budgets and figure out what you can afford and when you know that number. You then know kind of sometimes what level of team member that you can bring in.
[00:25:31] It might be that you wanted to bring in a full-time employee, but you look at your numbers and say, wow, I would have to have a significant increase in revenue in order to be able to sustain a full-time employee. Part-time might be what’s ideal for me right now and let look at part-time. Or it might be that you wanted to bring in a very experienced and skilled team member, but you look at your budget and you.
[00:25:55] I can’t afford a senior experience team member. I need to hire someone that’s more junior that I can train and work them way their way up. Or you might surprise yourself in thinking that you could only afford a low cost assistance for part-time hours, and you can actually afford to hire someone for more hours at a a higher skill level.
[00:26:14] So once you really understand your budgets, then you’re gonna wanna do some research. Different websites out there. salary.com, I think it’s payscale.org, I believe it is, and there’s a few other ones. Even sometimes Glassdoor and LinkedIn will give you information as well that will give you ranges of what this job title is at this level in your area.
[00:26:37] So you can go there to see, to get kind of a baseline to say, okay, if I want to hire, let’s say an assistant, what is the going rate for an assistant in my area? Then once you know that number, I always say, go over to the job board. So we typically use Indeed and do a search to say, well, what are other people posting their jobs f
[00:26:57] So that way you get a look to say, okay, here’s my budget. Yes, this position falls within my budget doing this research, but what are the candidates seeing when they’re out there? Let’s say I’m gonna hire an assistant for $20 an hour. That’s what my budget is, but everybody else is posting their jobs from 23 to $25 an hour.
[00:27:16] Then you might be like, wow, okay, I’m at the lower end of that budget. Can I potentially bring it up a little bit more? Or do I need to adjust my position to better fit a $20 an hour budget versus going after the people that are wanting 23 to $25 an hour jobs? So once you have all that data, You can create a range that is good for you with a position that fits that range.
[00:27:40] So, like I said, sometimes you’re gonna surprise yourself and you can have a little bit more skilled worker than you were realizing. And other times you’re gonna have to say, I can’t hire at that skill yet. I’m gonna have to cut the position down to fit the budget that I have available. So once you have that compensation range, how do you make sure you’re getting the value for your budget and with.
[00:28:03] It’s one really making sure that you’re hiring the right person. So you said that at this range, I can hire someone that has this skillset that should be able to complete these tasks for my business. You need to then go out and find the person who has that skillset and can do those tasks for your business.
[00:28:21] And that comes down to having a very good, thorough interviewing process. So you need to know, are you bringing the right people into your interviews? So are you reviewing resumes properly? Using that resume as a gatekeeper to bring people in? Are you saying yes to the right people? And that means not getting.
[00:28:40] Swayed because someone has this amazing looking resume and seems so qualified, but do they actually have the qualifications that you need on that resume? And then two, having an interview process set up that really digs into their skills and experience to really find out can this person do what you want them to do?
[00:29:00] Cuz one of the things I always say is, just because a person’s good at what they do does not mean they’re right for you. And you can hire someone that is amazing. But if it’s not the right job for them, if it’s not the right fit for them, you are not gonna be. With them. So you’re gonna feel like, oh my gosh, I’m wasting my money.
[00:29:19] And it’s not that they’re a bad worker, it’s just that they’re not capable of doing what you need them to do. So you create an interview process that really uncovers, do they have the skills I need? Do they have the background that I need, and is this the right culture fit for them? Because once they have all that, you’re gonna find the right person and you’re gonna be happy to give them a paycheck every pay period.
[00:29:40] I love that. I think, yeah, the interview process really is important because that kind of sets the tone as well, what it’s gonna be like when they’re starting to work in the business. And I think staging business is a bit unique in the sense that when you talk about going on indeed.com for staging companies, chances are that’s gonna be really difficult to find.
[00:30:00] And so we might look at interior design industry, for example. There are sort of similar, not very exact, but the things you can. Start getting kind of a feel in terms of what people are getting paid as an assistant in the home design industry. And I think you bring up a really good point there is the fact that, what are you looking for?
[00:30:18] Is it someone that has to have, especially if this is an assistant, do they have to have home staging experience or can they bring in transferrable skills from another industry, another type of work, and they still are gonna be able to do the assistant type work that you need. And when you know, That could open up your eyes of where exactly do you look to see what’s comparable?
[00:30:39] Because yes, they might not have already come from home staging, but you’re okay with that. But that means they might want to be coming to home staging and they’re only looking at home staging companies, or they’re looking for assistant jobs and yours is catching their eye. But that also means assistant jobs in other industries are catching their eye as well.
[00:30:57] So how are you competitive with what your idea candidate is looking? Yeah, that’s a super great point because I think most people don’t realize when you’re putting out hiring ad, it’s also marketing for your own business. You’re trying to attract the best candidate possible to come in to work in your s staging company.
[00:31:14] So they need to feel that, oh my God, that sounds like an amazing company I wanna work for. So when you’re writing hiring ads, Almost is like marketing, you know, you’re marketing your staging business, and I think a lot of times I see this a lot in s staging companies where they hire their friends and family because their friends and family were like, wow, your job looks amazing, and oh, you need some help.
[00:31:35] I would love to help you. I can lift stuff. So what do we do in that situation to make sure that we’re not hurting the feelings of our best friend or our mom or you know, our daughter? Whoever it is, I want to work in our business, but to make sure that we are editing a date, running a business. Great question and it’s such perfect timing cuz the day that we’re recording this, uh, January 10th on my podcast, the Growing Your Team Podcast.
[00:31:59] I actually had an episode that went live today that talks about this exact subject about hiring family and whether it’s the right thing to do for your business. And it kind of helps crosses line to hiring friends as well. And the biggest thing you have to remember there is you are running a business.
[00:32:15] Your business is not a charity. Even if your business like, let’s. Your business helps nonprofits and you have a nonprofit arm to your business, or you read a second business that’s a nonprofit. Just remember, your business isn’t designed to give people jobs for a charitable aspect. Even if your business does good and does charitable work, giving people jobs is not that charitable aspect of it.
[00:32:38] You give people jobs because you need work done in your business. So the thing is you have to remember here is your family member needs a job. If that’s the first. Do you actually need the help? Do you need any help? Or are you creating a position just because they need something? And then you’re potentially gonna be putting your business in the red because you’re adding a position that you don’t need.
[00:33:02] And if that’s the case, You can look at it and say, well, I can give ’em a job for three months because I have the extra revenue. I can do that and I want to help that family member. Okay, but if it’s not gonna benefit your business, if it’s not something you need and it’s gonna hurt your business to help them, you need to say no to helping that family member.
[00:33:22] The other thing is you are hiring and a family member is interested. You then need to look at it to say, are they qualified for the. Can they do it? And for a family member, you m
ight be a little bit more lenient to say, okay, they can do 60% of the job. I’m willing to train them on the other 40%, where you might not be willing to do that for a stranger that applies.
[00:33:46] But if that’s the case, you need to be aware of that when you make that decision. You don’t wanna get into a situation where you’re hiring someone. and then you’re like, oh my gosh, they can’t do anything. They don’t know how to respond to an email. They tell me that they can lift 40 pounds and move furniture, but they never want to.
[00:34:05] You know, there’s some of those things you have to figure out. Are they actually capable of doing what you need them to do? And if they are, sure, go ahead and consider hiring family, but if they really cannot do what you need them to do. You need to get the help that your business needs, and maybe you could help that family member by referring them to someone else and helping use your connections to find a job that really is the right fit for them.
[00:34:29] but then it comes down to actually working with family. And this is sometimes the tricky part is some people work really well with their families. I’ve worked with clients where almost the entire company is family members and they work really well. They have great synergy. They respect each other, and they can still go home after a long day of work and have family dinners, and it doesn’t impact their family dynamic.
[00:34:54] I’ve worked with other companies. They think they get along really well as a family inside the office, but it actually eliminates the rest of their workers that there’s a lot of. Drama, and I wouldn’t say like drama probably as we normally look at drama, but a lot of drama. It’s like just the way that they talk to each other and it’s a lack of respect and the other employees feel that, but this is how they interact as a family outside of the office.
[00:35:17] So they’re just bringing it in and they don’t realize that how their dynamic is impacting their company as a whole. So you really have to think about how will you guys interact. Employees as a boss and really say, are we capable of doing what is needed here? Can we work together in an effective way? And part of that is how will this relationship change the dynamic of your family or friend relationship?
[00:35:47] So if you’re hiring someone, if they’re not your child, Let’s say they’re your bob, or you’re their brother, or it’s your aunts, are they gonna respect that inside the walls of your organization that you are the boss? That they have to listen to you, that you are gonna provide them feedback, that you are going to tell them when they’re not doing a good job, that you are also gonna tell them when they are doing a good job, but that they’re going to have to listen to you.
[00:36:13] Do you think that you have the type of personality that can tell your family member when they’re screwing up that can have those tough conversations? Because if you don’t feel like you can. That family member might end up walking all over you and not because they’re doing it on purpose, because you help create this environment.
[00:36:33] It’s okay. And they don’t realize that what they’re doing is walking all over you, but you’re too afraid to stand up to them to tell them the same things that you would tell an employee who wasn’t a family member in that exact situation. So you have to figure out, can you manage this person? How will it impact your relationship?
[00:36:51] And if you really think that you can manage this person, one of the things I always encourage on is making sure that there is a clear separation between when you’re in that. Relationship and when you’re in that family relationship, so saying, okay, well we get together on a Saturday night for dinner with, you know, my aunt, who’s one of my employees.
[00:37:14] We don’t talk about work or if we talk about work, we talk about work like we’re coworkers and not like this boss employee relationship. So you understand that there’s that separation cuz at a normal family dinner you might talk about work, you might talk about what’s making you mad or what was really exciting and you don’t want your boss a part of those conversations.
[00:37:34] And then having that clear conversation about. When we’re inside the walls of the office, when we’re in working hours, that the relationship is going to be different, that I’m not gonna be treating you like a family member, that I have to be fair and treat you like an employee. Yeah, that is really tricky and especially I think a lot of stagers are husband, husband team or husband, wife team.
[00:37:57] That’s also a really interesting dynamic for people who are not related to your family, right? I think ultimately as a business owner, you have to make sure that everyone feels that they’re working in a comfortable and productive environment. But the thing is, when your personal relationships start to bleed into work, then it becomes really awkward for everyone else.
[00:38:17] It’s like, oh, mommy and daddy are fighting. What do we do? So, yeah, and I think also like Nek, it’s also the other thing too, that if you already have a very established team, You need someone who’s very qualified to manage his team and all of a sudden then you just bring in someone like who’s may not be qualified, but they’re your family members.
[00:38:36] You know, maybe like your sister or your mom. And all of a sudden it’s like, but wait, this is not what we sign up for as employee. Yeah, exactly. And you mentioned kind of like the spouse teams, like some of my quick advice I’d give there. Make sure that you’re spending time not with each other. It is one of those things where it’s like when you work together, you play together, you live together.
[00:38:59] It ends up being, your entire life is together and you need to have some sort of separation, whether that’s in your personal life, whether that is you go into the office different days and you work from home different days, or making sure that there’s some time in the day in the week that. You are an individual and not just that spouse team, that coworker team, that partner’s team for running the business.
[00:39:24] And the other thing I would say for advice when you’re running a business, so if you’re truly in a partner relationship with a family member is making it clear from the beginning who has what decision making authority. Because there’s going to be times where somebody needs to make a decision and you.
[00:39:42] Always, and you won’t always agree on everything. So if you don’t agree, who has the authority to make decisions? When I first left my corporate job, my husband and I, we started a company together. We created clear lines if it was something to do that this was a software development company. If it was something to do with software developments, he had decision making authority, if it was something to do with marketing or business structure, overall, I had the decision making authority and it made it so we could still have discussions about what was needed, that we would come in and act like two C-Suite people having these discussions, but knowing that the right person was making that decision when we couldn’t come to a c.
[00:40:24] Right. And so after we bring in our new hire and onboard them, what are some of the ways to see
if they’re the right fit for our company? And if they’re the right person, how do we make sure we can help them grow within the company as well? Good question. So the first thing is we really need to be doing our due diligence to make sure someone is the right fit before we bring them on.
[00:40:44] And this goes back to asking those right interview questions and really have a process that. Determine if someone is our idea team member and not just great at what they do, but once they come in, part of it is setting up a good onboarding process. So making sure that you are training them to do the work inside your company.
[00:41:03] Even if you’re hiring someone that is skilled who has done this job for another staging company, they still need to learn what it means to do things right in your company. They need to learn your processes and their procedures. They need to learn what’s gonna make you happy, so there needs to be onboarding and training so they can really understand your expectations and get up to speed.
[00:41:23] In other positions, there’s gonna be a little bit more in depth training as you’re really teaching them how to do certain things. But even if they already know the how, they need to learn how to do it for you. So through that process, you might notice that some people are getting things right away, and there’s other things where they might struggle a little bit.
[00:41:41] And the first thing that happens is, once again, we go to those mindset things, those mindsets, challenges like, oh my gosh, someone is struggling. I made a bad decision. They’re not the right fit for my company. And you’re like, I should be quick to fire. And I always say, hold on, let’s make sure we do our due diligence before we fire somebody.
[00:41:57] And that doesn’t mean that you have to keep someone on for an extended period of time. As you figure this out, it means let’s make sure that we have given them everything that they need to succeed. And so looking at here, it’s like, did we actually do thorough training? Sometimes when we bring people in, especially if it’s the first time we’re bringing someone in for that.
[00:42:16] We won’t realize until we’re in there and reevaluating that we forgot to train them on something that we just assumed people would know what to do here because we know how to do it. Because it’s ingrained in our processes. It’s ingrained in our brains that we do A, we go to B next and we do B like this, and then we go to C.
[00:42:35] They don’t know that yet, so they might be doing it the way that they think is right, and we just realized that there was a training gap. We just need to train them. There’s other times we’re gonna realize. We trained them, but they just didn’t quite grasp it yet. So then we retrained. And what we wanna look at, look for when we retrain is do they get better?
[00:42:56] Is there improvement? Do they understand what was wrong with what they did the time before? And now they’re doing better and as long as they’re trying to do. And doing better that second time round, even if it’s still not 100%, they’re on the right path. So we could sometimes do that retraining again on what that new gap is and help them get to where we need them to be.
[00:43:19] And I know some people are like, oh, but why do I have to train someone multiple times on the same thing? It sounds tedious. It sounds daunting. So I want you to think of your favorite movie that you’ve watched multiple. The first time you watched that movie, you loved it, so you decide to watch it again.
[00:43:36] Or maybe you’re like, you gotta see this movie, sit down and watch it with me, and you bring a friend in to watch it with you. What happens when you see, watch that movie a second time? You pick up on new things that you didn’t even know you were missing the first time. And it could be because they foreshadowed something that happened much later, but you didn’t know that thing was gonna happen much later, so you didn’t catch those clues the first time.
[00:43:56] Or it’s that now you see what’s happening right in front of you, you know that it’s there. You can now watch what’s going on in the background and you see other things. The movie didn’t change. The movie is the exact same movie you watched the time before, however, Your baseline knowledge changed. You know what to expect on certain things.
[00:44:17] You know the basics of everything. So now your brain is able to focus on additional things that you didn’t even realize you were missing the first time, and that’s how it is with training. Your team member might not even be realizing that they’re missing things from what you told them the first time because their brain’s just not absorbing it.
[00:44:37] They’re not purposely ignoring it. They’re not bad at what they do. They just didn’t realize that they were missing things. So that’s why sometimes to train people multiple times on the same thing is they absorb more things and they’re gonna do better and be able to get closer to your expectations because the fact that they’re learning more.
[00:44:55] And if as you’re going through these things, Your team members should really become a good team member of your organization. If you’re noticing that you’re going through the same training over and over again, and their knowledge is not improving, then that could be a sign that, all right, this person really isn’t the right fit, and we need to let them go.
[00:45:16] We need to bring someone else in Who is the right fit? Second part was how do you help them grow within inside the organization, communication. Ask them their goals. This shouldn’t just be a one time conversation where you ask them their goals. It should really be an ongoing conversation, whether that’s what’s a quarter, twice a year, an annual meetings and stuff like that.
[00:45:40] It’s really finding out what are their goals, what do they want to do, where do they wanna go in the organization? What skills do they have that aren’t being leveraged? And having those conversations so that way you really know what they. So you can see if there’s a fit for that inside the organization.
[00:45:56] So for example, you hired someone to be an assistant just setting up homes, and you realize through those conversations that they really like marketing. Oh, well, you weren’t originally having this role do anything with marketing. But now that you know that they like marketing and would like to transition their career eventually into market.
[00:46:16] Why not see if there’s an opportunity for them to do it with you with small projects that then can add on. Then as you need a marketer, this person’s that marketer for your business, and you can promote ’em into that job and bring someone else in for that assistant type work. I love that cuz I think one of the things too for employees who really feel like they are part of the team is that they’re being valued.
[00:46:37] They feel heard, they feel empowered. So I think it’s also important to have a periodic check-in with your employee or team member or contractor, whoever you have in your team is to making sure that they’re doing things that they enjoy, they’re doing. At their work, otherwise they’re gonna feel very stifle.
[00:46:55] And we lea
d to things like quiet, quitting, right? Yes. Where people just doing the bare minimum to get by. Yes, exactly. The other thing too, I think one of the things now we talk a lot about is remote work, right? Because after Covid, it has really changed the way we work as a society. And I think even in staging where even though we’re a service-based business, there’s still actually a lot of things that we can leverage in terms of remote work.
[00:47:17] So for example, hiring a bookkeeper to work remotely. They don’t have to be in your office or admin assistant. There’s definitely things like. Paperwork or even, you know, bus nowadays we send everything by email. Everything’s electronic, people pay online and things like that. So actually a lot of admin stuff can be done by a virtual assistant.
[00:47:37] As a business owner, how do we manage a remote work relationship and keep them connected as well? Yeah, great question. And I love the way that you’re looking at it is there’s a lot of positions that don’t necessarily have to be in the office all the time, and what’s really important is to actively build relationships and connections across your team members.
[00:47:59] This happens a lot more organically in the office. And when people are remote, you need to put in a little bit more effort. In order for it to happen, you need to find a way of, how do I bring my team members together? Do we use something like Slack? So there’s a communication tool. Do we have, if everyone is working remotely, but local?
[00:48:19] Do we have a day where we come into the office altogether? If you have a physical location where it is maybe coming in for that team meeting, or if it’s not once a week, is it once a quarter, once every six months where you’re having those team building activities in person so people can really get to know each other.
[00:48:36] It’s about finding what’s gonna work right for your organization and your culture and what does that mean for you. So to give an example here of really finding out what works best for your culture, My husband, he is with a company that he works 100% remote and they had someone leading one of their meetings new, coming in, leading their meetings, and he’s a software developer, so their team is highly introverted and was like, this new person was like, we’re gonna come in and have kind of like these rah rah type meetings.
[00:49:07] And it actually made everyone kind of like not want to attend those meetings at all because they’re like, I’m not an outgoing like rah rah type person, and the more you push me to be a rah rah type person, the more I’m gonna like hide in my shell. And so that didn’t work for them. And they realized through communication, okay, this is a team of introverts.
[00:49:28] They don’t wanna communicate that way. They don’t wanna have these like high energy rah rah take meetings. So how do we. Organically communicate as a team that fits for the team. And so you need to find out what does that mean. Now, this team was a mix of in-person and remote, but one of the things that worked really well for one of my teams in the past was we had a team huddle every day.
[00:49:54] And at first when we met for those team puddle, I wouldn’t always be the first person over there cuz I was in person with some of my team members. Like I said, we had some remote team members as well, but whoever was there first called into the meeting. So we had our remote team members on and. At first, instead of just jumping into the topic of conversation, I would ask like some random question, Hey, it’s a Monday.
[00:50:15] Anyone go to the movies this weekends? And we would start kind of talking about there, and I would just let the conversation naturally go. If they were in a talkative mood, we would talk. If not, I’d be like, okay, we’re quiet. Say let’s just jump right into business and get things done. As time went on, they got used to kind of just talking and chit-chatting at the beginning of meetings.
[00:50:36] And that became natural. So if I’d walk over, the team was already there. Sometimes they’d be in the middle of a conversation as a team on the phone, off the phone and everything. They’d be talking about random things and I would let it go. So this was a 15 minute huddle and sometimes the first five minutes had nothing to do with business.
[00:50:55] It was just the team talking. This was the most connected team I have ever managed in my entire life. They jumped in to help each other out proactively. They made sure things were done for our clients way ahead of schedule. They operated in a way that people would ask me all the time, like, what is your secret?
[00:51:16] Like, how do you have this like great team and a part of it? I created an environment where they got to know each other as individuals, and it started out just like random questions at the beginning of a meeting and letting them talk or letting them not, and understanding that at everything has to be business because when you care about each other as individuals, that’s when you’re really connected as a team.
[00:51:38] But you gotta figure out what is right for your team there. If you have a high energy team, if you’re an extrovert, you have a team of extroverts, that rah rah might be exactly what you need, that you need to go in and high energy and pump people up. But it’s really figuring out how do you communicate as a team?
[00:51:53] How do you stay connected? How do you make sure that those people that aren’t actually seeing each other. Have a connection and not force connection. We’re not gonna say, all right, Sally, I need you to sit down with Joe and get to know each other. It’s how do we do it in a way that appears organically, even though you’re putting ’em in situations where they get to know each other.
[00:52:14] I love that staging really is a team sport, right? Because you can’t lift the furniture all by yourself. I mean, very few individual can, but I cannot lift a sofa by myself. I need a second or third person, right? So no matter how you cut it, we are a service-based business. It needs to be a team sport. And then there’s so many different personalities and energies and people might be dealing with things or they might.
[00:52:36] You know, like you said, some people are incredibly introverted and when we used to hire assistant, we used to think, oh, this is the one person kind of does the in-house and also like external things. So being on job site and I realized actually we need two different personalities. So we start splitting up the job description where we only have in-house.
[00:52:55] Warehouse assistant, all they do is file things away, restock. And we got assistant who just loved doing it. All they wanna do, they’re perfect to work in the library, essentially. They just, they just wanna sort pillows, buy colors, you know, those are the happiest moment at work for them. And they don’t want to be on job site because they feel uncomfortable.
[00:53:15] They don’t want to be their potentially just, sometimes client drop in without telling you and things like that. They don’t wanna deal with that. That’s too stressful for them. But I. With assistants who want to be on job site. They don’t want to be in the warehouse filing pillows away or restocking things or organizing labels and things like that.
[00:53:34] They find that really boring. So I think it’s about discovering their personality of your team members to make sure they really shine in what they’re doing. Yes. Yeah, that is so important. And as you kind of said, like at first you might have had this role that was a hybrid between the two, and then you split it out.
[00:53:53] And sometimes that’s gonna naturally happen on your business, like maybe at first you can’t have it two different roles because then it’s gonna be two disjointed. But there comes a time where it’s like it makes sense to have this type, the team member and this type of team member. and you realize that there’s skills that really work well with each type.
[00:54:12] And it’s one of those things, as I mentioned earlier on, like, you know, no one’s gonna do things exactly like you don’t try to hire your cl. And that’s a mistake that a lot of times we make is I have this type of personality, so I need someone who has this type of personality. And sometimes the person that you need is actually a different type of personality because.
[00:54:32] They’re gonna really focus on and be able to do that job that you’re delegating because they’re not doing everything else that you’re keeping on your plate. And can they do the job that you’re delegating to them? When we work with clients and we’re really trying to figure out who is that idea candidate, when they say things like, I want a team player, it’s like, okay, well what does a team player actually mean?
[00:54:52] I want someone with an outgoing personality. Okay, well how does an outgoing personality impact this job? You know, and things like that. And sometimes you find out it’s like, okay, for this person who’s in the warehouse, that outgoing personality could be that they’re just willing to communicate with the other team members that are coming in and having, being a team player in effective conversations, it doesn’t mean that they’re gonna go in lead karaoke night in front of the whole company and, and all those things.
[00:55:19] So it’s like really figuring out what does it mean to do well in that? At the same time understanding what type of culture are you building as an organization, so when your team does come together or position A is communicating with position B, it’s a real good team environment instead of like polar ends of magnets that are like trying to repel each other.
[00:55:40] Yeah, exactly. And I think a lot of it is top down as well. You know, they see how the owner of the company reacts to task and then they behave accordingly. I think. Yes. So we’re coming to the N R R show, which is a shame because I’m just so blown away by everything you said today. What would be your number one tip that you would give to our home sages when it comes to hiring for their home staging business?
[00:56:06] Yes, so my number one tip is, Really focus on who you need, who is the right person for your business? What does that role look like? Because as we talked about, like you wanna find your idea candidate, you wanna find the person who is going to be effective, who you are gonna be happy giving money to, and that person is gonna look different in your business than someone else’s business.
[00:56:33] Even if you are friends with someone who does a home staging. and they hired an assistant, and you’re hiring an assistant. Don’t just take their job posting and change out the company name to yours. Understand that what you need, who you’re looking for, your idea candidate is going to be slightly different because your processes and procedures are potentially different.
[00:56:54] Your personality is different. What makes you happy is different. So always focus on who you need and then you’ll be on your way to finding your idea. That was great. Thank you so much again for being on a show that was absolutely amazing. Nice. Thank you so much for having me. So that’s it for today’s show.
[00:57:14] Thank you so much for listening. If you wanna help and support the show, there are three ways to do so. You can leave a review and rating on iTunes. You can share the show on social media, or you can donate to support the maintaining cost for the podcast. You can make a donation through the show notes who are on the sidebar of our site.
[00:57:32] If you haven’t left a review on iTunes, please do so. This will help us grow the show and book more. If you have any questions, feedback and suggestions, you can comment on the show notes and also find the show notes by going to staged4more.com/podcast. That’s it. Have a fantastic week and happy staging.
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