125 Best Resources for Building the Right Team for Your Small Business (Updated for 2017)
If you are working 13 hours a day, struggling to get things done, or just not enjoying what you are working on, it most likely means it's time for you to hire someone.
Many business owners, however, hesitate to take that step. There are usually three reasons:
They think the "doing everything by myself" mentality is a great asset.
They don't have the money, or don't think they do.
They worry others would mess things up.
If any of these applies to you, here are a few things to know:
The mentality of doing everything all by yourself is detrimental to your business (and life). If you are working on 10 things at the same time, most of the work just wouldn't be good. In addition, when you focus too much on low priority tasks, the more important aspects of your business would suffer. Few things can hinder your business more than this mentality.
You can start small and hire part-time contractors. In fact, you can hire professionals for as little as $3 or $4 per hour on outsourcing sites.
Great leaders have to learn to delegate. You just need to hire competent people, and spend a tremendous amount of effort training them.
How to overcome your fear of hiring your first employee? When should you start hiring? Who and how to hire? The following resources can help you answer these questions so you are better prepared to run a sustainable business.
Changing the "Doing Everything by Myself" Mentality
To build a successful and sustainable business, the first step you need to take is to change the "doing it yourself" mentality. The following books and articles can help you move towards that goal.
By Michael E. Gerber
E-Myth stands for Entrepreneur-Myth. In this underground bestseller, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed. He then shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business whether or not it is a franchise. Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. After you have read The E-Myth Revisited, you will truly be able to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.
One of Gerber's most important observations is that most small businesses are founded by "technicians"—people who are skilled at and enjoy doing something. For example, a technology company started by a computer programmer, a plumbing business started by a plumber, or a law firm founded by a lawyer. When technicians run their business, however, they tend to focus on their technical skill while ignoring the business aspect of the, well, business. They soon find themselves overworked, depressed, and failing at running their company. These technicians don't really own a business. They just own a job with a company name attached to it.
The author argues that every business owner needs to be an entrepreneur, a manager, and a technician at the same time for the business to thrive. I actually somewhat disagree with the author on this point. I agree that a business owner needs to know about entrepreneurship and management. However, it's nearly impossible for someone to be simultaneously good at all of these three things at the same time. My argument is that a smart business owner should hire people, or find partners, to compensate for their lack of experience in business and management.
Nonetheless, The E-Myth is a true classic that can help you understand why most small businesses fail, and what needs to change to achieve success. Hint: the answer lies in building the right team for your business.
By Timothy Ferriss
In this runaway bestseller, Tim Ferriss challenges the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan. There is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint. This step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches:
How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week
How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want
How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist
How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”
This book is all about changing our mindset of "working harder" to "working smarter". Grab this book now and start your own 4-hour workweek. (Well, maybe start with 50-hour work week first, and then work down to 40, 30, and then 10.)
When to Hire
If you are still not sure whether it's time to hire people, let the following articles guide your decision.
Who to Hire
Should you hire for skills or talent? Is experience more important than potential? Where does attitude fit in the equation? The following books and articles can help address these questions.
By Geoff Smart and Randy Street
In this New York Times Bestseller, Geoff Smart and Randy Street provide a simple, practical, and effective solution to what The Economist calls “the single biggest problem in business today”: unsuccessful hiring. The average hiring mistake costs a company $1.5 million or more a year and countless wasted hours. This statistic becomes even more startling when you consider that the typical hiring success rate of managers is only 50 percent.
The silver lining is that “who” problems are easily preventable. Based on more than 1,300 hours of interviews with more than 20 billionaires and 300 CEOs, Who presents Smart and Street’s A Method for Hiring. Refined through the largest research study of its kind ever undertaken, the A Method stresses fundamental elements that anyone can implement–and it has a 90 percent success rate.
Whether you’re a member of a board of directors looking for a new CEO, the owner of a small business searching for the right people to make your company grow, or a parent in need of a new babysitter, it’s all about Who. Inside you’ll learn how to
avoid common “voodoo hiring” methods• define the outcomes you seek
generate a flow of A Players to your team–by implementing the #1 tactic used by successful businesspeople• ask the right interview questions to dramatically improve your ability to quickly distinguish an A Player from a B or C candidate
attract the person you want to hire, by emphasizing the points the candidate cares about most
In business, you are who you hire. In Who, Geoff Smart and Randy Street offer simple, easy-to-follow steps that will put the right people in place for optimal success. A must-read if you want to avoid the costly mistake of hiring the wrong people.
By Mark Murphy
In a recent groundbreaking study, the training firm Leadership IQ found that 46 percent of all new hires fail within their first 18 months. But here’s the real shocker: 89 percent fail for attitudinal reasons―not skills.
Most hiring managers are getting it wrong. Of course skills are important, but a particular skill set is about the easiest thing to test in an interview. Although much harder to recognize, attitude should be your number-one focus during the hiring process. Don’t suffer from poor chemistry―even one employee with the wrong attitude could cause years of suffering for your other employees and customers.
Whether you’re hiring new employees, choosing existing employees for a new team, or upgrading your current talent pool, you need people with the right attitude!
Attitude is what makes employees give 100 percent effort and turns customers into raving fans. Attitude sets your company apart from the competition.
In Hiring for Attitude, top leadership strategist Mark Murphy shows you:
The five biggest reasons why new hires fail
Two quick and easy tests to discover the attitudinal characteristics that you need for your unique culture
The five-part interview question that gets candidates to reveal the truth about what their last boss really thinks of them
Where great companies really find their best candidates
The six words most interviewers add to the end of behavioral interview questions that destroy their effectiveness
Hiring for Attitude includes case studies from Microchip, Southwest Airlines, The Ritz-Carlton, Google, and other companies that drive great results by hiring for attitude.
Whether your company is small or big, highly social or hyper-competitive, fl at or hierarchical, every person on your payroll has to fit your culture. You can’t afford to hire blind. You need to be Hiring for Attitude.
By Morton Mandel
American business leader, entrepreneur, and noted philanthropist Morton Mandel shares lessons he gleaned from co-founding and leading, along with his brothers Jack and Joe, Premier Industrial Corporation, a major industrial parts and electronic components manufacturer and distributor. Now for readers everywhere who are interested in studying leadership development, It’s All About Who describes Mandel’s approach to finding, recruiting and cultivating “A” players.
In his book, Mandel shares his fine-tuned set of practices to develop leaders that have proven to deliver dramatically better results. Containing sixteen core sections, “It’s All About Who” covers key strategic topics from “Building a Rich, Deep, and Ethical Culture” to “Killing Yourself for Your Customer” to “Using Business Ideas in the Social Sector.”
What makes Mandel unique is his selflessness in pursuing a life of purpose. Mandel has lived in two worlds: the world of profit and the world of social impact. Even as chairman and CEO of a New York Stock Exchange company for more than three decades, he spent as much as a third of his time in the social sector.
Mandel has personally founded more than a dozen non-profit organizations. His deep-seated passion is evident in the mission of his Foundation: “To invest in people with the values, ability and passion to change the world.”
Who to Hire (podcast) - Duct Tape Marketing author John Jantsch's interview with Dan Schawbel
How to Hire
If you know what kind of people you should hire, the next step is to learn the "how" of hiring the right people. Here are the best books and articles to get you started.
By Lou Adler
This book helps hiring managers and recruiters find and hire more top-notch people for any job, from entry-level to senior executive. Using the two-question Performance-based Interview, anyone who is involved in assessing candidates will quickly be more effective and more accurate. Just as important, it will help job-seekers find better jobs by giving them an inside view of how most companies look for, assess and hire new employees. Hiring top talent starts by clarifying expectations up front. This has been shown to be the primary reason people perform at peak levels. This book is based on the Performance-based Hiring process Lou Adler introduced in his Amazon bestseller, Hire With Your Head. Performance-based Hiring is now used around the world in small and large organizations and companies. However, it is a non-traditional hiring process. Performance-based job descriptions--which we call performance profiles--replace the commonly used skills- and experience-based job descriptions. Instead of emotions, feelings and biases, evidence is used to assess competency and fit within the organization. Rather than weed out people who don't posses some arbitrary list of prerequisites, compelling career messages are used to excite and attract the best.
By Lou Adler
Lou Adler's Performance-Based Hiring uses performance-based job descriptions, which replace the commonly used skills and experience-based job descriptions, have proven to be more effective in finding the right talents. This version is updated with new case studies and more coverage of the impact and importance of the Internet in the hiring process.
By Paul Falcone
This practical guide provides readers with the tools they need to elicit honest and complete information from job candidates, plus helpful hints on interpreting the responses. The book gives interviewers everything they need to:
identify high-performance job candidates
probe beyond superficial answers
spot "red flags" indicating evasions or untruths
get references to provide real information
negotiate job offers to attract winners
Included in this revised and updated edition are new material on background checks, specific challenges posed by the up-and-coming millennial generation, and ideas for reinventing the employment application to gather more in-depth information than ever before. Packed with insightful questions, this book serves as a ready reference for both managers and human resources professionals alike.
By Eric Herrenkohl
In How to Hire A-Players, consultant Eric Herrenkohl shows businesses of all sizes where and how to find A-player employees. It is these individuals who will help keep quality high and growth and profits strong.
Herrenkohl explains how to use your existing marketing, sales, and networking efforts to find top candidates. He provides current examples of companies that consistently hire A-players without big recruiting departments as well as step-by-step explanations for making these strategies work in your own company.
Shows you how to find and hire top employees.
Ideal for owners of small businesses, executives and managers of large businesses, as well as corporate recruiters and HR specialists who need new ideas
Herrenkohl's client list includes privately held businesses in over 50 industries as well as big corporate names like Bank of America, Edward Jones, and Northwestern Mutual Life
A-player employees are the life blood of any growing business. This handy hiring guide shows you where to look, what to ask, and who to hire to boost your business today
By Martin Yate
You cannot manage productively without first hiring effectively, yet all too often this most important of all management skills is overlooked--as if on promotion into management, a manager becomes mysteriously endowed with all the critical skills of intelligent employee selection. The odds are that no one ever taught you how to hire effectively and manage productively--until now.
Martin Yate, CPC, New York Times bestselling author of the Knock 'em Dead career management books, brings his inimitable practical insights to bear on effective employee selection and productive management in this latest edition of Knock 'em Dead: Hiring the Best. With every page completely rewritten to meet the demands of the Internet age, Hiring the Best gives you intelligent strategies coupled with the practical tactics that can deliver successful hires every time. Among the new features of this entirely new edition are:
How to organize and manage effective selection programs.
How to execute time management sensitive interviews.
Learn practical interview tricks that improve your overall communication skills.
Access more than 500 new interview questions that lead to smart hires.
How to make the right hiring decisions and get new hires off to a fast start.
How to re-engineer selection tactics for productive day-to-day management.
With Knock 'em Dead: Hiring the Best, you will not only find the best candidates, you can ensure they succeed once they're on your payroll.
Writing Job Descriptions
Create Effective Internet Job Postings - presentation from Monster.com. The presenter sounds like a robot but it has some great information.
Monster.com Job Description Templates - HUGE database of templates for almost every profession
HRTMS - job description writing service. If you can't get it right, hire the professional to help you.
Personnel Selection - the website may look like it's from last century but it has good information on screening candidates
This Is a Test - the methods of screening job candidates and the laws that cover them.
Make a Job Offer
Onboarding New Candidates: Maximize Success - comprehensive PDF report from Society For Human Resource Management Foundation.
Cornerstone Onboarding Software - features include welcome pages, forms management, tasks and training, and employee productivity.
ClearCompany Employee Onboard Software - features include intelligent forms, E-verify, background checks, work opportunity tax credits, automated workflows, and more.
More Tips on How to Hire
Where to Hire
It may be surprising to some that most hirings are from referrals. In addition to posting your jobs on job boards, ask for referrals from your friends, family, and colleagues. You may also try networking events and local meetups.
You can use LinkedIn in two ways to help you find your next hire:
You can search for potential candidates in your network.
You can post your jobs on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a networking site for working professionals. It currently has 433 million members. It’s also a great recruiting tool. The cost to post a job varies based on your geographic location of the position. For example, it costs $499 to post a job in New York City. But LinkedIn offers discounts if you order multiple-job packages.
Indeed is the #1 a job search website in the world with over 180 million monthly visitors. It is available in 50 countries and 28 languages.
You can post jobs for free on Indeed. For higher exposure and more applications, sponsored job ads are available. You will pay $0.25 to $1.20 per click on your ads.
The original King of Job Search Sites. Founded in 1994, Monster is still a power house for job search, career advice, and hiring practices.
Job postings on Monster range from $210 to $395, depending on location. A 30-day job ad costs $375 in the US. Currently they offer a buy one get one free promotion.
CareerBuilder is one of the top job search websites with over 25 million visitors monthly.
The cost of job postings on CareerBuilder vary from $340 to $419, depending on the number of posts.
Dice is one of the best websites for the IT and engineering industries. It currently has 2.1 million resumes and 2.4 monthly unique visits.
Thirty-day job postings vary from $250 to $395, depending on the number of job posts.
ZipRecruiter is an online job distribution that posts to 100+ job boards. It is a newcomer in the job search market, but it is already making waves in the industry.
It is a subscription-based service for employers, recruiting firms, and staffing agencies. You can post up to 3 jobs for $99 per month. It is free for job seekers.
postings vary from $250 to $395, depending on the number of job posts.
Upwork, Freelancer and Gruru are three of the best global marketplaces to hire freelancers and contractors. All are solid places to hire remote workers.
Upwork is the new company after the merger of oDesk and Elance. It is the simplest to use among the three. Employers are charged a payment processing fee of 2.75%. Freelancers are charged a sliding fee based on their lifetime billings with each employer: 20% for the first $500 they bill a client across all contracts with them; 10% for total billings with a client between $500.01 and $10,000; and 5% for total billings with a client that exceed $10,000.
Freelancer charges employers 3% and workers 10%, so it takes 13% of each payment transaction.
Guru charges employers a 2.5% processing fee for each payment. Freelancer fees vary from 4.95% to 8.95% depending on based on the monthly plan (from free to $39.95 per month).
Remote Teams and Virtual Workspaces
Managing geographically-dispersed teams is challenging. The following books, articles, and tools will help you build an effective remote team.
By Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
The “work from home” phenomenon is thoroughly explored in this illuminating new book from bestselling 37signals founders Fried and Hansson, who point to the surging trend of employees working from home (and anywhere else) and explain the challenges and unexpected benefits. Most important, they show why – with a few controversial exceptions such as Yahoo -- more businesses will want to promote this new model of getting things done.
The Industrial Revolution's "under one roof" model of conducting work is steadily declining owing to technology that is rapidly creating virtual workspaces and allowing workers to provide their vital contribution without physically clustering together. Today, the new paradigm is "move work to the workers, rather than workers to the workplace." According to Reuters, one in five global workers telecommutes frequently and nearly ten percent work from home every day. Moms in particular will welcome this trend. A full 60% wish they had a flexible work option. But companies see advantages too in the way remote work increases their talent pool, reduces turnover, lessens their real estate footprint, and improves the ability to conduct business across multiple time zones, to name just a few advantages. In Remote, iconoclastic authors Fried and Hansson will convince readers that letting all or part of work teams function remotely is a great idea--and they're going to show precisely how a remote work setup can be accomplished.
By Darleen DeRosa and Richard Lepsinger
DeRosa and Lepsinger bring experience and credentials to guide readers through the challenges and problems that often derail virtual teams. It comes with useful models, checklists, tools, and tips for managing remote teams.
The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work, by Wade Foster at Zapier
Collaboration Tools for Teams
These collaboration tools can help your team work better, communicate better, and enjoy working for you.
Two most popular group chat applications for work. These tools allow your team members to communicate and connect with each other. You can create channels such as "water cooler", "marketing", "product", "engineering", etc. so it doesn't get too noisy.
Trello is like a GPS or roadmap for work. It clearly defines what has been done, what is being done, and what will be done. Anyone in your team can create a card for a project, and the whole team can see it and check things off the list as they complete tasks in the card.
Basecamp and Podio are two of the most popular online collaboration platforms for your team to manage projects, documents, calendar, meetings, and more.
Basecamp costs $29/month for internal teams or $79/month if you use it with clients, no matter how many employees or clients you have. Podio starts at $9/month per employee.
4. Google Drive
Google Drive is a file storage and document synchronization service from Google. You can create and share documents, spreadsheets, slides, forms and more with co-workers. One of the most useful features is multiple team members can edit the same document at the same time remotely.
Skype and Google Hangout are two popular audio and video call tools. You can also send documents, share screens, and make group calls. Both are free to use, and offer decent call quality. However, speed and reliability might become an issue when you have more than 5 people on a call. You might need to consider a paid solution like GoToMeeting below.
Skype is a great video call tool but it's not very reliable when you have many participants on the call. GoToMeeting is the solution. It's audio and video quality is the best in the industry.
If you have a global team, scheduling meetings is challenging. These two applications easily display local times in different time zones so you won't mess up with your next meeting.
World Clock is a Mac application and costs $4.99. Figure It Out is a free Google Chrome extension. There are also many free and affordable alternatives for mobile devices. The Clock app on your iPhone, for example, can be used for this purpose.