A Checklist for Staffing Up

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on October 14, 2009 in: Business - Plain & Simple, Delegation for Success

When you are considering the possibility of hiring staff – whether that staff includes a virtual assistant, an onsite assistant, freelance consultant, or an entire office of staff – you want to make the right decision as quickly as possible and get the role filled. After all, every passing day without a person in the empty role will cost you money and time! Print and use this article as a checklist to review resumes and to make sure that you cover these points during your interview.

Experience
This should be one of the main considerations when looking at a potential candidate. You need to determine how much experience he or she has working at the tasks you want them to do. It doesn’t mean that they must have performed the exact role, but they should at least have experience in the tasks you need done. For example, a branch manager who is applying for the job of marketing manager might still be well qualified, just because they did marketing while a branch manager. Insist on and check references. Be sure that the experience listed matches what you are seeking.

Integrity
This trait is particularly important if your employee will be dealing with confidential information. Again, reference checks are invaluable and a background check should be considered when client confidentiality is important. Integrity can be a difficult quality to measure so you might have to rely on instinct a little.

Professionalism
This is always important in the business world. If your employee will be dealing with clients via the phone or email, it is imperative that they are able to conduct themselves in a professional manner. How do they conduct themselves on the phone? Do they have a pleasant speaking voice and use proper grammar? A thorough interview as well as a writing assessment can help you make this determination. And seriously consider doing this same assessment for all employees, not just front-office employees, because these people might answer phones in a pinch or they may end up becoming managers when your business grows further.

Initiative
This is huge, but it’s often missed. In my opinion, it’s the second-most-important quality after integrity. A person with initiative may not always do a perfect job, but they’re also not going to sit around and wait. They will be assertive, proactive, and a self-starter. Watch for candidates who seem to think “outside the box” and resist hiring employees who seem to be timid and who need a lot of guidance. You don’t want to spend your time micro-managing people or cleaning up after their messes! You will want to ask how they handle obstacles or difficulties in completing a task and how they manage their time when working from home.

These qualities are imperative in every staff member you hire, whether virtual assistant, freelancer, or employee. Use this article as a “checklist” to ensure that they possess these qualities before you hire them.

About the author: Heather Villa, MBA CMA MSM, is a Business Coach and Entrepreneur. She helps business owners achieve success in operations, productivity, project management, and social media. Read her other articles at http://hireheathervilla.com/resources/articles/ and visit http://heathervilla.com for more information.

Disclaimer: © 2009 Heather Villa. Permission is granted to repost this article. Article must be published in its entirety, including author bio, and all links must remain intact.

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