One of the big benefits of an eCommerce business is how relatively easy they are to start when compared to many other business ideas. For instance, many eCommerce stores are found from the very homes of their creators, and as such, it’s easy to get stuck in the mindset of not needing to grow out beyond it.
However, if you find success, then growth becomes necessary. Not only may you need to move the business out of the home, but you may not be enough to handle it all alone anymore. As such, we’re going to look at some tips to help you manage your growing staff needs, how to keep them within costs, find the right people, and manage them to victory.
Be sure to define what you need in employees
Before you go about hiring anyone, you have to take the time to create an actual job role for them. This can’t just be a vague list of chores you want them to take off your hands, it has to specifically list their duties and responsibilities. While you’re writing it and while you’re looking at potential job candidates, have a good idea of what you want to hire them for. This includes the essential skills that are necessary for the job they’re doing, the optional, but desired skills that can help, as well as whether or not they’re a good fit for your company culture.
Know where to find the right people
Of course, if you want people working for your business, then you have to go out and find them, first and foremost. There are a lot of different options, but the traditional job board is typically where you’re going to get most of your candidates, so you should start with those. Beyond that, however, there are options like niche job boards that help you find people with the skills that are a lot more relevant to the jobs that you’re posting, working with agencies who can promote to you the talent that you need to fulfill your open roles, though usually at a price, and even social media can be a great place to scout talent.
Consider hiring remotely
If you’re not hiring people to directly help with the packing, shipping, and physical transfer of goods, then there’s a good chance that the jobs you’re hiring them to do can all be done digitally, even over the internet. As such, you might want to look at options beyond having an in-house team, such as working with remote workers. Not only can you save money from lower office rent, but you can also attract workers with benefits such as saving them a commute, while also getting access to a more global access pool. Of course, steps have to be taken to ensure you’re able to manage a remote team well, such as using team communication software to ensure that everyone stays in the loop, but the pros can outweigh the hurdles.
Consider going with freelancers
For certain positions, you might want to make sure that you secure talent to your side by offering them permanent or at least real employment contracts. However, the economy of freelancers has been growing in strength lately, and a lot of employers are finding that outsourcing to these freelancers can, at times, be a lot more cost-effective and can allow them to scale their business more flexibly to changing needs. For instance, you can contract a digital marketing manager to help you oversee a launch and create a social media plan going forward, but you might not have to hire them after that, allowing you to cut down on your costs while benefiting from their expertise.
Opt for part-time hours workers
If you want to manage the costs of your business, then you should think about the terms of the contract you offer to your employees. For instance, full-time employees not only get paid more for their time but, depending on where you are, they might have rights to additional benefits that you have to cough up the costs of, as well. As such, if there is any staff that you want to keep contracted and can’t afford the flexibility of using freelancers, but want to manage your costs, then have them work to the part-time hours definition. Of course, if you do too much to cut down on how much you have to pay your employees, you should also expect that those positions are usually going to be filled temporarily, only.
Keep an eye out for those red flags
Every employer is going to develop their own sense for what they consider a red flag, but there are a few that you should universally be keeping an eye out for. If your potential hires don’t have any questions, it could show a lack of interest in the role. If they don’t answer well when addressed on weaknesses or shortcomings, then it can show a lack of self-awareness that you don’t want to be brought into your team. If they’re not flexible, then you might not be able to rely on them to perform to your standards. Take note of any red flags you see in the interview process.
Have an onboarding process
If you’re welcoming in new team members, try to avoid throwing them right in the deep end from the get-go. Sitting them at their desk and telling them to get on with is a surefire way to see them have a slow start as they figure out what their duties are, in reality, and how they do them. Having an onboarding process that runs them over what their role in the business is, the tools they will be using to complete their work, and even setting the standards of the work that you expect from them can be very helpful. If you have a position that you are regularly hiring new people for, you can automate the onboarding process some, too.
Understand their rights
If you are acting as an employee to any individual, you want to be crystal clear about what their rights are. Even freelancers who technically have less of an obligation to you still have workers’ rights that you don’t want to get on the wrong side of. This includes rights to clear communication of working hours, transparent and reliable payment on an agreed term, and if they are working on your own property or with your equipment, you have to make sure that they are healthy and safe for them to use. If you start growing a team of a significant size, then you may want HR consultants to help ensure that you’re meeting all of their rights.
Work on your leadership skills
If you aim to be the head honcho and to lead your team to victory, then it is worth taking the time to work on your leadership skills. Clear communication, and the ability to make people understand your goals, to motivate them, and to resolve problems with them are all essential when you’re at the head of a professional team. Even if you hire a manager or team of managers to do most of the day-to-day dealing with your team, you still have to fit that same leadership role in the macro of the business, and also while dealing interpersonally with your management team.
How you manage your need for employees can dictate the future of your business. Be sure to do it with care, first and foremost.