My #1 hiring tip

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Whether you’re thinking about hiring your first employee or you’re hiring employee #10, the decision to bring on a new team member is a big one.

In the earliest years of running my business, I would bring in help whenever it felt like there was more work to be done than I could do myself. I never made hiring decisions lightly, but I also didn’t necessarily have a strategy for hiring.

That is until a few years ago, when I called my amazing and brilliant accountant to ask her about hiring a new employee (Seriously! Find yourself an accountant who gives great business advice and holds you accountable. You will not regret it!). During that phone call, she said something to me that changed how I’ve looked at hiring ever since.

I expected my accountant to ask me a bunch of questions, like what this new employee’s salary would be, what our projected sales were, and how I was going to make the additional cost work… but she didn’t ask me ANY of those things.
She simply asked: “How is this person going to make you money?”

Me: “Ummm, well she really isn’t… she isn’t in a sales role…ummm she is helping me with production and process orders so it’s important…”

Accountant: “Everyone you hire needs to be making you money.”

↑ Best. Hiring. Advice. Ever.

I can easily say this now, but it did take me some time to recognize this advice as truth. What my accountant was saying in the moment didn’t actually make total sense to me, and honestly I left the conversation feeling like she “didn’t really understand” my business which was, in my mind, “different.”

“I get what she’s saying,” I thought, “but I’m not hiring for a sales role. How can an employee grow my business processing orders?”

I eventually realized: She CAN’T!! It’s your job to give her additional responsibilities so that she CAN!

As I’ve applied this mentality to hiring over the past three years, it’s become abundantly clear that my accountant’s advice is unquestionably the BEST hiring tip I ever could have received. It’s changed who I hire, when I hire, and how I structure employees’ roles and responsibilities.

It’s also made me realize that every member of my team must be helping my business grow–every member of my team is in sales.

And you know what?

Every member of your team is in sales, too.

Every member of your team needs to grow your business.

Every member of your team needs to feel empowered to grow your business.

The obvious benefit is that team members start paying for themselves and then some. The hidden benefit is that team members feel invested in the company and in their roles at a whole new level.
So, what does this actually look like in practice?

Maybe your account manager starts doing some outbound sales. Maybe your marketing manager gets a bonus for each inquiry that comes from Instagram. Maybe your fulfillment manager dips her toes into the world of PR in the afternoons, to secure a media placement.

Even if some of these collateral duties still aren’t necessarily traditional “sales” roles, your employees’ accomplishments in outbound outreach, social media, earned media and beyond will contribute to your bottom line. Just as valuable: your employees will gain new skills and the confidence to be contributing team members for the long haul.

It’s ok for team members to wear more than one hat– especially in the early stages of your business.

More than ok, it’s awesome!

Working for a small business is an adventure very unlike working for a giant corporation- the people who want to work with you are looking to be a part of that adventure. As a business owner, your job is to clearly identify how job candidates and new hires can help your business grow and then equip them to do just that! Let them in and empower them, and they will blow you away!


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