Our weekly radio show (Social Media Edge) centers around a specific topic or guest. Today’s topic was specifically titled, “How Do You Know? (When you’re hiring the right person …)” and could have easily been a 3 or 4 hour event. Here’s a few ideas from today’s show to get you started on the right track.
To me, it all starts with the visualization of the job. The base idea of what it is is and what it does. Who defines that job? What are the specific requirements?
Once we have a visual on that the next question has to be, “Can I do this myself?” That’s ok, go ahead and ask yourself. My answer is yes! Truth be told, you can do most anything yourself. Am I right? Whether or not doing it yourself is the right answer, depends. There’s no simple answer. Here’s a thought from the chat room.
“I sell real estate (or widgets), I could learn how to do it myself but I’ll pay people to build a website or facebook app and spend my valuable time on what pays the bills instead“
That’s true. That’s true with most small businesses I talk to. That said, I’ll be happy to take your order for a new custom built website or . BUT… I’m also going to play devils advocate here and suggest you don’t hire someone ‘blind’. You need to have at least a working knowledge of what it is you are hiring someone to do.
How do you know what to ask for or what is possible if you don’t?
Case in point: I’ve built over. That’s a little more than a few. By far, the worst clients that have hired me, were the ones that didn’t have at least a mediocre working understanding of Facebook Pages. How about the Best? They were the ones that knew what they wanted and had a specific visualization of what it was they wanted their app to look like and do. Guess what? They had a much better knowledge of Facebook Pages. These days I turn down work depending on their knowledge base.
Are you hiring the right person?
How do you find the right person to start with? The general consensus is to start with your own circles. Ask your friends for recommendations. That doesn’t always work. Locally, for the last year I’ve been asking my friends for a recommendation for a roofer. I still need a roof! 🙁
We’re talking technology though, what if it was for a website? I could post the same in a Facebook Group. There’s a problem. You do realize that those groups all have ‘secret agents’ in them pushing business to their Uncle’s Brother’s Sister as the best website builder ever! What comes off as a innocent recommendation is really just a paid advertisement.
But let’s just say you narrow the field down to a few choices (as recommended by your sphere). How do you decide? Hmm… Here’s my thoughts.
- Do they have a gallery or body of work similar to what you need? When I say that, I’m not talking about look and design, I talking function and features. Someone who has built hundreds of great real estate websites probably has a leg up on someone who hasn’t. Hasty generalization, but generally true. There’s also the other side of the coin. I’m building a website for a Doctor right now. I’ve never done a site for a medical firm. That’s ok, I know what they want, I know what they don’t want. We’ve identified the function and features they want and they’ll be very very happy with the outcome. I’d be the wrong guy IF they wanted the site to tie in to their secure patient records (and I’d be the first to tell them), we’re not so I’m confident in being their right guy. Does that make sense?
- Do they ask the right questions? You can’t know everything but I suggest you know ‘something’, the more the better. If a potential contractor doesn’t ask you certain questions and just takes the order, you’ll end up with something you didn’t want and more of what they wanted. What are the right questions? That depends on you and what you want. The medical site I referred to – I knew enough to ask specifically about patients records and databases. They didn’t ask me, I asked them.
and my personal super secret way of deciding who to go with is…
- Do they openly share what they do, what to do, and how they do it? Make no mistake, this is HUGE! The ones that do are “teachers” and “sharers”. They are engaged in their community and share openly. Why is this important? Because, when they do, they not only demonstrate their in-depth knowledge but they have a clarity of thought as it pertains to why I would hire them to start with. Can I use one more medical analogy? You need a heart transplant (sorry). All things being equal, would you like to hire the Doc that just published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine detailing a revolutionary new method that has a phenomenal success rate – or the Doc that just read it? Yes, I know that’s extreme but I’m just making a point. Now, the devils advocate might say that, “If they have time to sit around and write blog posts, they must not be busy enough. Better to work with someone who is too busy to blog.” While that could be right but here’s why I say it’s dead wrong. We’re looking for passion. We’re looking for quality not quantity. I build Blogs and Apps during the normal working hours (and quite often beyond). Yet, it’s my passion about the subject matter that typically has me up at 11 PM (like right now) writing blog posts, sharing and teaching. I don’t have the time to blog, I make the time to blog.
Hey, it was a great show and a great discussion. In the end, I’m happy to discuss the possibility of building either your next Custom WordPress Website or . Those are links you should check out. I’m very different from most others. I’ll have some specific questions to ask and I hope you do too!
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* the really cool people listen live and we have a complete ‘other’ conversation happening in the chat room, if you can’t listen live it’s also available free on iTunes.