Jessica Harling’s Genius Hiring Process for Small Businesses

Episode #203 the Wingnut Social Podcast

How do you make your first hire? What processes should you have in place to avoid making mistakes? Should you simplify the process and use a recruiting agency? Jessica Harling shares her expertise in hiring in this episode of Wingnut Social! If you’re running a small business ready for growth, do not miss this practical and oh so important episode.

Jessica Harling is a 4th-generation window treatment specialist and founder of Behind the Design. She is a leading expert in employee engagement for design organizations. She specializes in recruitment, training, and process development that drives results. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:09] Mini News Sesh with Shana Heinricy
  • [13:29] What makes Jessica an expert in hiring
  • [15:19] What you want versus what you need
  • [18:12] Where to start with hiring
  • [20:13] Should you put an ad on Indeed?
  • [23:03] Should you use personality assessments in hiring?
  • [31:15] Having the conversation about money
  • [32:45] The legalese: non-competes
  • [35:33] The advantages of using a recruiter 
  • [42:06] The importance of following a process
  • [43:03] What Up Wingnut! Round
  • [44:44] How to connect with Jessica
  • [49:31] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Jessica Harling

Resources & People Mentioned

Where do you even start with hiring?

What are you good at? Where are your weaknesses? What thing doesn’t bring you joy? Jessica recommends hiring people that fill your weaknesses. If you’re awesome at the books, don’t delegate the books. For most interior designers, they need admin support. Look at your day-to-day. Of all the tasks, which can be delegated?

Jessica recommends utilizing your network to look for candidates. You have clients, contractors, and vendors that you can leverage to help you find what you’re looking for. Let your network know that you’re actively looking to hire. Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn are great resources to use. 

Jessica suggests implementing some sort of hoop to jump through to weed out those who aren’t serious, such as requiring them to submit a cover letter with the application. If you get 1,000 applications but only 100 have a cover letter, it immediately helps you narrow the search. 

Should you use personality assessments in hiring?

Jessica believes that it is critical for you to use personality assessments. You want to learn about someone’s characteristics and whether or not they’re capable of doing the role. If you’re hiring an admin who’s going to be making 20 calls a day and they aren’t good on the phone, they won’t be a good match. Jessica likes using the Predictive Index and How to Fascinate, but there are numerous other personality tests that you can try. 

Want to weed out more candidates? You can have them do homework along the way as part of the process. You can even ask someone to bring a portfolio or a resume with them. It’s a test that they follow instructions. If you aren’t sure they’re cut out for it, bring them in and have them shadow you for the day. It’s like a ride-along. Jessica wouldn’t recommend doing more than 3–5 steps in your recruiting process. You should know by that point if someone is a good fit. 

The advantages of using a recruiter 

Recruiters could be on the phone with 20–30 people a day to find the one person that you want. Because of that, recruiters know more about candidate responses and how to cut through them. Jessica knows when someone will be wishy-washy. But what would Jessica need to know about your business to find the best match?

Jessica will dig into the brand and how they operate. Is the owner present every day? What is the culture of the company? What are the benefits, compensation, and schedule? From there, she aligns the company with the best prospect. She won’t give the company a candidate that could be a great salesperson but won’t work in the company culture. 

How else does Jessica’s business fill a missing gap in recruiting? What legalese do you need to know to protect your small business? Listen to the whole episode to take advantage of Jessica’s expertise!

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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