Ep #85: Female Entrepreneur Hiring PTSD
Hiring is like dating. Sometimes we get “candidate crushes” and those don’t always turn out like we had hoped. Thus the term “hiring PTSD.” If you’re disenchanted with the hiring process, then this episode is for you!
What you’ll find in this episode:
- Kris’s story about hiring for her personal assistant position – 6 assistants over a 4-5 month period!
- This podcast is about the basic things you always have to remember when hiring. In the How to CEO program we’ll go into more depth.
- Why to hire before you’re ready.
- How to get your hiring strategy in place in order to avoid hiring PTSD.
- Which role to fill first.
- “Everyone needs a 30-60-90.”
Featured on the Show and Other Notes:
- We created a quiz to help determine what stage of team management you’re in. Go here to take the quiz and we’ll give you the video series I created on How to Write a CEO Job Description.
- How to CEO for Female Entrepreneurs – no schedule regarding the next launch, as of right now. This program begins on September 29th and goes for 12 weeks. People on the waitlist will benefit from some early registration perks, so sign up today at how2ceo.com.
- Our phenomenal guests! Ali Brown, Ann Barnes, Dr. Camille Broussard Wise, Brandi Bernoskie, Emily Sandberg, Eleanor Beaton, and Robin Long.
- Let me know what questions you have or what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Follow me on Instagram and send me a DM.
- I’d be honored, if you find this podcast of value, if you would write a review. Then DM me on Instagram or Facebook or email me at email@example.com and let me know it was you. Then we’ll send you my favorite books list!
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Hey, I’m Kris Plachy, host of the Lead Your Team Podcast. Running a million dollar business is not easy, and whether you’re just getting started with building your team, or you’ve been at this for a while, I’m going to bring you honest, specific, and clear practices you can use right now, today, to improve how well you lead your team. Let’s go ahead and get started.
Hello, welcome. How are you? I’m so glad you’re here and I’m super excited for those of you who have joined the How to CEO Program. When I’m recording this, we will start the day after this is recorded, or excuse me, this is released, this podcast. So, and I know there’s a few of you that have registered that have said that you found this podcast and sort of binged listened to it and just found you at the right time. So I’m so glad our paths have crossed, and we’re going to get to take the lessons of this podcast and so much more and create your CEO blueprint together. I’m really excited. Be excited to share with all of you who listened, who haven’t joined me yet, what we’re learning and what we’re doing together through the How to CEO Program. In case you’re going to want to ask me, we do not have a current schedule for the next launch, but when we do, we will let you know.
Okay. So what are we going to talk about today? As the episode title says, we are going to talk about hiring PTSD for female entrepreneurs. All right. Let’s talk about hiring. So first of all, hiring is sort of a terrible job. It’s kind of an awful… I don’t know, I’ve never enjoyed hiring. I don’t mind interviewing; I like talking to people and meeting people. But the hiring process I do not think is a desirable activity. That’s why I know so many people avoid it, and frankly, I think that’s why so many people don’t ever get good at it because it’s not sexy and it’s not fun. It’s sort of arduous.
So what I want to talk with you about is kind of all the things that you need to think about when you’re hiring, but the crux of this episode is to help you, because if you were like so many people, including me, who have been so disenchanted with the hiring process, disenchanted with people that you hire that you thought, “Oh, this is going to be the person. This is it. This is the one that’s going to make it,” and they don’t, right? It’s so hard, I know, for you. Sometimes you wonder, “Is it me? Is it them? Did I do it wrong?” But for those of you who’ve been listeners for a while, you know that I have sort of had my own story about this, which has been really humbling and really good, because I don’t want this to sound bad, but I really have always had really good success with my hiring.
I’ve been a little confident and maybe a little cocky about my ability to find good talent. However, when it comes to finding my personal… So I have an assistant who helps me at my house, that has been wonderful. I’ve had a couple of people who we’ve just transitioned for, good, I mean, nothing bad. That’s been super easy for me to fill and find great people. My assistant, the person who helps me kind of with my life and my business in terms of my schedule and my calendar and my travel, and it’s such a level of intimacy, that role I have really struggled with. I’ve talked to you all about how critical this role is. So I really do know what a handicap this is.
I have people who help me in my team right now and they’re wonderful, but that isn’t their long-term gig and we’re going to change that. But my, all this to say, I get it and I got that. I got to PTSD, I think a year ago, this time, so 2019. I think I had hired over the course of four, five months six assistants and none of them worked. One of them didn’t even last three hours. I know that’s me. I do not blame them. So I’ve just really stepped back, like, “Okay, I’m going to give priority to other parts of the business right now, get things cleaned up so that I get really, really clear,” because that’s been the issue, I haven’t been clear about what I wanted. So I wasn’t hiring to this sort of read my mind expectation I wasn’t able to communicate which I’m excited because I’m a lot closer to that and I will share that journey with you as I go along.
So what I want you to hear is I understand that when you make that choice to finally bring someone into your business and connect with them, and if it is an assistant role or another role that requires a level of connection, and I use that word a lot, intimacy with you, it can feel so disenchanting again when it doesn’t work. I know for most of my clients, there’s this sort helplessness like, “Really, am I ever going to find someone?” So when you start to think about hiring, we have to first make sure that you have a process that you follow. Now, I go into depth in this, in the How to CEO Program. What I’m going to give you on this podcast are those basic things you always have to remember.
So if you start thinking, “Huh, I need to hire,” that thought usually comes frankly too late. If you’re now right now thinking, “Yeah, I probably need to hire someone to help me with whatever,” you probably needed them three, four months ago, and now you’re realizing because there’s a pain in the business because you don’t have the help you need, okay? So that’s one thing is hire before you’re ready. Now, the way that we get the closest to understanding what we’re going to need in our business, and you’ve probably heard me say this before, is to do your own job description as a CEO, and if you haven’t done it yet, go to myceojob.com and take the five, there’s five videos, they’re not very long, that I teach you how to create your own CEO job description.
I walk you through this whole process of what’s in a job description, why do you need one, what’s your current role, what’s your dream role, and then I coach somebody through the process of creating her own job description so you can watch a live call. But we have to get to the point where you’re really clear about what you want your role to be. Because once you do that, you are able to look at what you want other roles in the business to do once you’re no longer doing them, okay? So it becomes this hiring strategy, not just your role, not just your job. Okay, so that’s step one.
Then when we have sort of this strategy in place, then we have to decide which one comes first. So for me, and what I often suggest, it’s either an assistant or it’s that integrator operations support role, depending how large your business is, it’s that proverbial COO. It’s the role of someone who handles and helps you develop all of the operational practices of your business. Now, for a lot of you, if it’s just you, you’re a solopreneur, you’re just getting started or you’re 300, 400K that might actually still also be your assistant. That’s okay. But that right hand role is the role I’m talking about, okay?
Then depending on what your business is, that really will determine what your next step is. For me, the other role that I really knew I needed was a content copy writing strategist to support me with my digital presence. I know I kissed so many frogs on that journey, because of course, that level of intimacy is also crazy for someone to be able to hear what you do and then translate that and hear your words and translate them into written copy that you don’t produce, in the world that I’m in, it’s incredibly important. So you have to do that work. You have to think about your business as a CEO, not as a woman who needs help. There is a difference.
As the CEO, what does your business need to grow? Then you get help. You ask people to help you. You either write the job description. Now, if you do the myceojob.com, you’re going to get a job description template, how to write one, which it’s not really that hard once you have sort of the thought process that goes into it that I teach you. So you write out that job description. If you need some help, maybe you don’t really know what a marketing manager does, you don’t really know, is this the right job title, you’ve got to vet that out, okay? Let me get some job descriptions going, then we got to go through the process. You have to post it in the world and there are so many places you can post jobs. It doesn’t just have to be Indeed.
Then you need to have some sort of process through your interviewing that’s not just about questions. It’s also about proving their skill. I think a project, something that’s related to the work. Don’t just take your own brain’s word for it that they’re going to be amazing. Make them show you why they’re amazing. We fall in love with candidates. I call it candidate crushes, and then we just are gaga and we think they’re going to be amazing and maybe they’re not. Okay, then they go through the interview, then we make the offer and then we have to have a very clear onboarding process. That’s part of what I also teach, which is a 30, 60, 90-day. Everybody needs one when they start. Everybody needs a 30, 60, 90, okay?
So those are the steps, and I know I’m breezing through those, because this call or this podcast is about hiring PTSD. I believe that there is a core belief that somehow we think that when we go to all this trouble to write the job description and make sure our values are clear and our expectations are clear and we make a really beautiful offer and we have our 30, 60, 90 day plan and we set up their schedule for first month that they’re with us and we really have this belief that when we do all of that, that they should be amazing and it should all work out, and it doesn’t and it’s so frustrating. [inaudible 00:12:12] you’re done, you try again. All right. Well, I had seven other candidates. A lot of them looked good. I’m going to go back. I’ll find another one and bring another one in and they don’t work out.
At this point now, you’re kind of like, “Wait. Okay, wait a minute. What’s happening? What’s happening? Am I doing something wrong?” This happens to my clients and I know. Are there things you could do differently? Probably. Does it help to have someone to kind of vet that through? Absolutely. But here’s what you can’t do, you can’t give up on hiring, because this is a process that you have to fail your way through to success, and if you stop hiring, you stop the pipeline of potential magicians to come in your business. So I had to work with a lot of people who would help me with my copy and help me find my voice.
But then I found her, and I wouldn’t trade her for anything. But when I was trying to find that person to fill that role, because I needed the role filled, I was so frustrated. I wanted to just give up, like, “This is impossible. I’m never going to find somebody who can do this.” Maybe what I want doesn’t even exist. Maybe my expectations are too high. No, they aren’t. It’s a numbers game. It’s like dating. It’s like anything else, right? It’s like when you try to buy a house. Nope, that’s not it. That’s not it. Then all of a sudden there’s the house. Same thing in reverse. You’re trying to sell your house. Your house is on the market for three months. You got all these people come through it and then finally someone comes in and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, it’s my dream house.” It only takes one. But if you decided after two days, because you didn’t get an offer, you don’t sell your house anymore, you’re not going to sell your house.
So hiring PTSD is a drag on your business. When you take failed hires personally, you impact the success of the business regardless of your own success, right? You see that? We personalize that failure, but its impact extends beyond us when we personalize it. Hiring failures are not personal, right? When it doesn’t work out with somebody that I’ve worked with, that’s not personal to me. I don’t have a personal angst or animosity towards them, which just wasn’t the right connection, it wasn’t the right fit. Frankly, I take responsibility for that because, clearly, I wasn’t clear and it’s frustrating because it’s like, “Oh,” right?
I mean, some of the things that I have found over time, we recently had someone and she was lovely, and we said, “We want people to want work during normal business hours,” which in my mind is clear but she worked at night. She kept working at night and we don’t work at night. So that meant that people were coming into work with all this work to do that could have been done the day before. But because she didn’t do it during the day, she did it at night. It was really just messing up the flow of business, right? We reiterated the expectation and she really just couldn’t meet it and that wasn’t personal. That was a decision that we just had to make. You’re a good human, but this isn’t the right place for you or for us and that’s okay.
But we can’t let that make us not take action. So if that’s who you are right now, you’ve been a little beaten up by the hiring process, first of all, stop believing and investing and indulging in this notion that you’re terrible at it. You probably just need a little guidance, a little tip here and there, which of course you know I would always love to help you with. Hopefully, I’m giving you enough in this podcast that you can do that for yourself. But mostly, don’t give up. Change where you post. Change the title of the post. Change some of the responsibilities, if you’re finding that those are not coming through on the candidates that you want. Be sure that your expectations and values are very clear if you’re finding that you’re hiring people and their behaviors are not what you expected.
Be sure that you set a really clear expectation of how much this job will take in terms of time and how many hours they should expect to work, what the hours are. How will you assess their performance? Make sure you have a process for that. Just do a dissection of what is in place and what could have been missing and then do it again and then do it again and then do it again. Your person wants to work for you, but they can’t find you if you’re sitting in the corner sucking your female founder thumb, because you’re so frustrated with hiring, okay? Promise? Get back out there. Let’s go. You got this. There are amazing people waiting. Let’s go meet a few today. All right. Have a wonderful, wonderful day. I’ll talk to you again. Next time.
One more thing before you go. In a world of digital courses and online content, I like to work with my clients live because I know that when you have someone you can work with, ask questions of and meet with, you’re so much more likely to get the success that you want. So head on over to howtoceolive.com to learn more about our very exciting, very exclusive program just for female entrepreneurs. We’ll see you there.