The idea of building a team can be a daunting. Hiring the right people is extremely important when building a practice. There are two questions you need to ask yourself before hiring.
1. What kind of culture do I want to have in my business?
2. What type of personality do I need to look for?
Culture is one of the backbones of your accounting, bookkeeping or tax preparation practice, and it defines how your team operates. If you have a culture where team members feel empowered to make decisions, then they will. If you have a culture where team members feel they do not have the power to make a decision, they will come to you for every decision that needs to be made.
But, even if you have a culture that empowers employees to make their own decisions, they have to have the right personality to accept that empowerment.
If you are adding to your current team or plan on building a team of more than one, you need to make sure you have a good mixture of different types of personalities. For example, you do not want a team full of visionaries that can come up with great ideas for your business but get bored quickly with putting those ideas into motion. The other side of that is that you do not want only processors who would rather just do the work and not have to think about how to make things better or easier. You could end up in a constant cycle of answering questions all day due to the empowerment issue or having employees that are unable to think “outside the box” and end up actually stunting the growth of your business. These are just some examples of possible situations you could come across if you do not take the time to consider those details outside of the job duties you are looking to hire for.
When you are looking to either expand a team or start one, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you want a culture where it is open and transparent?
- What are your core values?
- What are their core values?
- How flexible do you want your employees' work schedules to be?
- What type of personalities do you need? Visionary, Operator, Controller, Processor?
- What types of personalities will work together extremely well?
- What types of organizational skills do you want them to have?
- What type of work environment do you prefer?
- What does each team member bring to the table?
- How many hours do you need them to work?
- How many hours do they want to work?
- Do they have a passion for helping others?
- Do you want them to work autonomously and be innovative?
- Do you want someone that can communicate effectively with your clients so you do not have to?
- Do you want a team that will help build your business?
You have to think about all of these things to build a team that will function smoothly with little interference from you. Culture flows in their work and to your clients. When your clients or potential clients see a team that is happy and work well together in their workplace, they want to do business with you. They feel their business will be taken care of with care and pride.
When clients see that you have constant turnover or your team is not effective in communicating with them, they lose faith in your organization. If you are constantly not letting your team make the decisions, clients will lose faith and confidence in your team. Sadly, your team will lose confidence in themselves. This makes the business about you and not the organization. Having a strong culture where your team feels comfortable making decisions benefits your business and your clients.
Many business owners make hiring decisions somewhat lightly. You are swamped with work and know that you need to hire someone. You do not think about what it would be like to have to deal with this person everyday. You just know you need someone else other than yourself to do the work. You hire someone and then - instant regret! You have people that do not work well together and are just there for a “paycheck.”
When you have a strong culture and the right personalities it is not just about the paycheck, it is about the business. They genuinely care about the organization and become invested in seeing the business grow. The clients, your clients, become much more than a checklist of duties that must be performed but a business they are helping to grow also. They are in it with you.
You have to make sure potential new team members have values that align with yours. If they do not have values that align with yours, they are not the right fit and will destroy your culture. Most people spend more time at work and want to work with people that they can enjoy being around. They will be dealing directly with your clients as well, so you want to make sure the values are aligned.
You finally find the right person and you are ready to hire. You are excited that this person is going to be able to take so much responsibility off your desk. You have a plan for everything that they are going to do. Now comes the hardest part, you have to let go of the control! Control is something that is difficult to let go of when hiring a team member - especially the first time. I found this extremely difficult myself, but I assure you that it was the best decision I could have made. It has not only benefited myself, but my business also!