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1stFeb2016

Business Advice for Startups: 5 Hiring Mistakes to Avoid This Year

Business Advice for Startups: 5 Hiring Mistakes to Avoid This Year

You want to start your new business right this year and feel that it may be the perfect time to hire help. This week’s Business Advice for Startups is geared towards providing you with useful information to help you steer clear of these common hiring mistakes. 

Hiring Mistakes to Avoid

1.) Not Hiring Any Help

We fully agree with Site Point when they share the top reasons why not hiring any help may cost your business money in the long run. If you answer “yes” to one or more of these scenarios, it’s time to consider hiring help: 

  • • You’re delivering lower-quality products or service than usual
  • • You’re under-producing in order to maintain quality
  • • You’ve identified a new revenue stream, but don’t have the manpower to try it
  • • You need expertise or skills that you don’t have
  • • You don’t have time to return phone calls, messages or emails  

In order to grow and expand your business, you have to be properly staffed to handle the influx in work or service orders. We understand that as a startup or new business, you are working on little capital and may have to work with tight budgets. It’s time to start calculating some numbers to see if you can afford to hire help.

Since the telecommunications’ industry is our field of expertise, allow our example to show you a value perspective for hiring telephone support. Let’s say as a new an unknown business owner, you are worth $50 per hour. Calculate the time you spend on the following communication tasks:

  • • Answering all of your business calls
  • • Answering FAQ’s from potential and current customers
  • • Handling the scheduling of your meetings and appointments
  • • Being on-call 7 days a week to answer after-hour calls


Being extremely conservative in your estimations, even if you spend just one hour a month handling these tasks, you can afford to outsource to a business answering service. In actuality, you cannot afford to continue doing these tasks on your own. Hiring telephone support for as little as $19.95 is drastically cheaper than handling these tasks on your own.

Did you just realize that you cannot afford to not hire help at this point? 

2. Not Hiring the Right Help

Before you even start considering to hire help for your new business, you need to figure out what kind of help will be most lucrative. Our business advice for startups is to spend a few hours brainstorming the tasks and duties needed to run your business smoothly.

Write down tasks that when delegated to a new employee, will free up your schedule to effectively run your business. Being specific about the job duties you need help with will allow you to create a custom position. When you create a custom position, you can hire the best possible candidate to help grow your business. 

Example tasks that can inspire your new customized employee position:

  • • Someone that can handle phone calls and dispatch messages
  • • Someone that can answer the FAQ’s of customers
  • • Someone that can schedule consultations and/or appointments
  • • Someone that can provide legal, accounting or marketing advice
  • • Someone that can perform data entry or simple order taking
  • • Someone that can provide customer service to existing customers

When posting your newly created position, make sure that all candidates you interview have the experience or ability to complete each and every duty. 

3. Not Hiring Quality Help

We are all familiar with the business term, “You get what you pay for.” When considering this age-old idiom, take a deeper look into the cost and value of cheaper employee options available to you.

Hiring a Free Intern

As business owners, free is definitely an attractive word when it comes to having some assistance in running your company. But hiring an intern isn’t free. Just because you are not paying interns a minimum wage or temporary salary, doesn’t mean that you aren’t paying for those extra set of hands.

Internship programs are offered to students or personnel looking to gain experience in any given industry or field. Employers that offer internships have a certain responsibility when it comes to providing time and mentorship to individuals.

Be sure to calculate the time needed to train, manage and monitor an intern that is seeking hands-on education in your industry. Sometimes, it’s more trouble to hire temporary help in exchange for time and mentorship.

Hiring Cheap Labor

Certain tasks can be handled by minimum wage workers, most definitely. However, if you are looking to put a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of a minimum wage worker, don’t be disappointed if they aren’t able or willing to rise to the occasion. If you expect one employee to handle the workload of several employees, and on top of that are only providing minimum wage as an incentive, something’s gonna give. Either their skill level will not live up to your expectations, or they will feel resentment towards not being paid what the job calls for.

If you are looking for a right-hand type of employee that will give you expert support in running your business, make sure you budget a salary that matches the position you’re looking to fill. 

4. Not Hiring Flexible Help

We take so many characteristics into consideration when stating an employee is flexible. You, your employee(s) and your business plan all need to be open to change since your business is just starting to learn how to survive.

A flexible employee will tell you, “I can work nights and weekends if there is a specific and strict deadline.” When it comes to committing to getting the job done, you want this type of flexible employee. An employee that will stay late on any given day to make sure priority tasks are completed is a time flexible employee that can help your startup.

A flexible employee will tell you, “I have never done that before but I am eager to learn.” Having an employee that is moldable and willing to learn a process or, in some cases, relearn a process to meet your standards is beneficial.

Consider how flexible each candidate you’re interviewing is. Select the one who is most willing and passionate to assist in growing your new business.

5. Not Hiring Lasting Help

When considering the investment in hiring a new employee, you have to consider all the costs associated with that first employee.

In a recent article published by Investopedia, The Cost of Hiring a New Employee, sheds light on all of the costs associated with making a new hire. For instance, “Not every new hire will demand [an extensive] process, but even an $8/hour employee can end up costing a company around $3,500 in turnover costs, both directly and indirectly.” This is just an average for finding the right candidate to hire.

A business owner must also calculate the cost of training that employee during their probationary period. You are going to have to spend a lot of time and energy in the beginning training process to make sure that future tasks are completed to your satisfaction. The article further shares, “In a report from Training magazine in 2007, companies spent an average of over $1,200 annually per employee.”

When you start to add in employee expenses, benefits and other costs associated with hiring new help, your investment starts to seem pretty expensive. This is why companies choose to outsource certain roles to independent contractors when they can. Again, consider all of staffing options available to you before hiring a full-time employee.  

Guilty of some of these hiring mistakes? Do You Need a Virtual Receptionist?

Our business advice for startups that are looking to gain administrative assistance and telephone support is to give us a call at 1-800-785-6161. You can speak with an account specialist about the specific tasks that you are looking to find help with. We will recommend services custom to your business, affordable rates and short-term trial period options. 

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