As we have moved through the first quarter of 2021, maybe you are ready to bring on new employees. There’s no hiding the fact that this was a particularly challenging year for business owners, particularly those in the special events industry. Many companies have had to make the difficult decision to furlough or lay off employees as the pandemic forced our events to be postponed or cancelled.
In the wake of coronavirus, many business owners have found their teams fractured. However, as we anticipate a rebirth of the industry in 2021, you might be left wondering how to manage the hiring process in a post-pandemic landscape.
If you plan on hiring anyone in 2021, here’s what you need to know.
Understanding Your Hiring Options
There are several ways to hire help, each with distinct pros and cons. Most commonly, employees are your traditional W-4 team members on payroll. These are people you expect to be on your team for the foreseeable future, whether on a part-time or full-time basis. While reliable and consistent, hiring employees is a big commitment that entails regular pay (and benefits for full-time workers), as well as strong leadership skills on your end.
For those that aren’t yet in a place to consider hiring new employees, consider looking into bringing contractors into your team. Contractors provide freelance work through a 1099 nonemployee agreement. While they work for you, they don’t work under you. Since they are not on payroll, you aren’t responsible for benefits — you simply provide them with assignments for them to return when completed. They require much less overhead than an employee and you’re not tied to them, but it is essential to set expectations early. Be sure to review their portfolio and ask for references before agreeing to any contract. You do need to be aware of the rules for contractors, both at the federal and state level. If you tell them what to do and where to go, there are employees — thus, contractors are best hired for project-based work.
Lastly, you may consider launching an internship program to get some low-cost help on a temporary basis. Interns are often students seeking academic credit or people new to the industry and looking to get some experience under their belt. Either way, the compensation is minimal — a basic stipend can suffice. Since internships are typically time-restricted, they’re ideal for project-based work. Again, you’ll need to be mindful of federal and state laws surrounding internships. Be prepared to lend extra oversight when working with interns, as they are typically inexperienced and still in the process of learning the ropes. For interns that are extra impressive, you can always consider bringing them into the company as an employee at the end of their internship period.
Ultimately, who you need to hire will depend on what you need to be done. If you’re looking for someone to help take on new client accounts, a part-time or full-time employee is probably the best option for you. For more specialty needs, like web design or content writing, a contractor may be all you need to check off those boxes. Meanwhile, interns do well in roles that involve administrative tasks, office management, social media, and light client work.
Navigating the Hiring Process
When you’ve determined the direction to take when hiring, your first step is to draw up a compelling job description that summarizes responsibilities and expectations for the new hire. It should be detailed enough that candidates enter the interview process with a strong grasp on the role they’re applying for.
Once you’ve fleshed out a description, share it far and wide. Add it to your blog, post it to local job boards and Facebook groups, and send it to industry peers in a position to make referrals. Depending on the position available, you may consider sending it to local colleges to share with their students.
When you start hearing from candidates, review each application carefully and compare it to your job description. Reach out to the top contenders to schedule interviews; due to the pandemic, this will likely take place over a video call. Then, it’s time to prepare interview questions that will help to reveal candidates’ competencies and measure how they’ll fit into your company. Keep the questions consistent through all of the interviews so you have strong benchmarks for comparison.
Eventually, one will rise to the surface as the clear choice to hire. Send over the offer and, once accepted, notify the rest of the candidates that you’ve made your selection and thank them for their time. From there, you can get right into the onboarding process with your new hire and provide training resources to catch them up to speed.
The hiring process isn’t fun, and it can be time-consuming; there’s no getting around that. However, the time and energy you spend seeking the right fit for you team is an investment in the future growth of your company, so be patient and keep moving forward until you find the person you can’t see your business without.
If you need a plan to create your new hire checklist and onboarding plan, please reach out and we can chat about my How I Can Help series focused on hiring onboarding! CLICK HERE to schedule
System & Workflow Strategist
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