There comes a point in many of our businesses when we realize we simply can’t do it all ourselves. For me, that came about three years in. Even though I was already outsourcing my post-production work to Evolve Edits and my house cleaning to Molly Maids, I still had too much to do and too little time to do it. I needed help to keep my customers happy and, more importantly, to keep me happy and less stressed.
If you’re already managing staff, whether independent contractors, interns or employees, you know what a task that can be. It’s not easy to find the right person for the job, but after you find them it is even harder and in some ways more work. You can avoid common pitfalls like high turnover, excessive training time, overpaying and micromanaging by applying these steps to hire and train staff that I’ll cover this month and next.
Know your demographic
This is a concept we normally apply to our customers in our line of photography. You’re a wedding photographer? Then your target demographic is normally women between the ages of 22 and 28. Senior portrait photographer? You’re looking for teenagers from 15 to 17. So when it comes time to hire you need to know the demographic of the person that will fit the bill. To find this, you have to figure out how much you can pay and what type of person can live off this income.
If want to hire an intern that you’ll pay in experience rather than cash, you’re most likely not going to have luck bringing on a person who lives on their own and has a lot of expenses. This is why college-age students work well as interns, particularly if they’re getting college credit. If you want to hire someone for pay, they need to be in a position where the amount of money you’re offering can sustain them. If you can only pay $20,000 per year, a 45-year-old man supporting a family of five most likely isn’t going to fit.
Want to read this article? Log in and launch this free photography magazine // April 2013 issue.