Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners

May 27, 2021

Quick question: how many employees does Disney World have in Central Florida? Take a wild guess. We’ll wait.

Got that number in your head? If you guessed about 73,000 cast members, then you win! Disney World’s payroll is over $2 billion, and they have thousands of different jobs and job titles across the entire property. 

Take the bus drivers at Disney World, for example. They’re the first smiling faces that guests see when they arrive. They may work early and late hours, but in our experience, they’re always joyful and pleasant to customers. 

Disney is committed to providing a good show for their guests. Every step of a guest’s adventure should be pleasant and worthwhile. A huge part of creating that experience is exceptional customer service. And that stems from being a good boss to your team. 

How does this relate to your small business? You too can have employees that are as devoted and happy in their roles as Disney cast members. But it starts with your hiring strategy, wages, and the expectations you set for your team.

Have a plan when hiring someone new

When you’re trying to hire someone for your team, it can be really difficult to do without setting a purpose and a plan first. You may just say, “I want to hire someone who’s within my budget,” and not think about other important factors like quality of work or turnaround time. You hire someone you’re not happy with, let them go, and start your employee search all over again.

Not only is that a waste of time, it can leave you feeling really jaded and stressed about the entire hiring process.

That’s why we recommend having a plan before you start your search. There are three things at play when looking for a new employee: your time, your money, and your quality level. Hire someone who is cheap and works on tight deadlines, and the quality of their work may not be as good. Hire someone who produces high-quality work, and it may take more time and money. 

It’s tough finding someone who can balance all three. You have to decide which one you can sacrifice, or at least settle for less. Our advice? Make quality the top priority, and look for other ways to cut costs or make your processes run a little faster. Sometimes it’s worth paying more for someone you can trust to do a great job.

Where to find new employees

Where can you find high-quality employees to add to your team? We always recommend two places to start your employee search. The first is referrals from other business owners in your network. They don’t necessarily have to be in your industry, but maybe you know them through someone else or you’ve talked to them briefly.

Look for those hidden gems in your network and ask if they know anyone who’s a good fit for the role you’re trying to fill, or if they have someone they can recommend. Keep in mind that it’s good manners to do the same if a person in your network asks the same of you. That’s what networking is for, after all.

The second place you may find a new employee is not something that everyone has at the beginning, but it’s easy to start one: an email list. Whether it’s a small list of fans you’ve DMed on Instagram or Facebook, or a larger email list you’ve compiled, it comes in handy because the email recipients already know you and your brand. 

They’ve bought your products or services and follow you on social media. They’re familiar with your brand voice and offers. You have a good chance of finding someone who is passionate about what you do and excited to join your team.

Tips for training and onboarding new team members

A strong training and onboarding system is key for setting your new employees up for success. Without it, you’ll have a tough time setting expectations and getting the quality of work that you want from them. An easy way to train new hires in their new tasks? Do them yourself and record the process.

One of our favorite tools for doing this is Loom, which will let you record and share videos of your desktop with others. If you love to write, you can write out step-by-step instructions on how to do things as well, but trust us, videos of you showing your new employee exactly what to do, where, and how will make things a lot easier for them.

What should you put in your Loom videos and written instructions? Write out a list of what you expect them to do daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly. It doesn’t have to be a long list, but be thorough. Basically, make it easy for them to do their job well without waiting on instructions from you first. 

Success starts with you

Putting together a team of happy employees, contractors, and freelancers takes work on your part. Before starting your search for a new team member, take some time to figure out exactly what you’re looking for within your budget. You’ll more easily find someone who meets your needs.

Get creative with your job search, too. Put your network and networking skills to use! Tap into the connections you’ve made in your small business circles and industry. Worthwhile connections will be happy to help you out. (Just remember to do the same for others in the future.)

Finally, set your new employees up for success by outlining your expectations for their role and giving them the tools they need to do their job. It’ll require some effort from you up front, but when you have a happy and dedicated employee on your team, you’ll thank yourself later. 

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Episode 29: Disney Layoffs: Tips for Hiring & Firing in Your Small Business

Nov 3, 2020

In this episode we’re discussing the recent Walt Disney Co. layoffs due to COVID-19, and how sometimes there are parts of being a business owner that aren’t easy or fun.

Download Episode 29 transcript right here

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Episode 10: Time, Money, Quality: First-time Hiring Tips

Oct 29, 2019

This week, we’re exploring how  Disney’s commitment to customer service ties into their payroll strategy for its 75,000 cast members. Listen and learn strategies for how you can successfully find quality contractors for your team, the pros and cons of hiring at various price points, and how you can have employees that are just as devoted and happy as those working in the Magical Kingdom.

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