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Employee Success: How to Make Your Next Hire Successful

Liston Witherill
Liston Witherill
3 min read

About This Talk on Employee Success

This talk about employee success is by Jake Jorgovan, a serial entrepreneur who hires and manages remote teams for his companies Lead Cookie and Content Allies.

Mentioned in this talk:
Greg Crabtree’s Simple Numbers


02:18 Intro
05:27 Agenda for the talk
07:05 Common Hiring Mistakes
11:20 Who to Hire
15:37 How to Design Your Job Application
19:05 How to Get Applicants
20:35 Successful Interviewing Tactics
23:15 Why You Need a 90-Day Success Plan
27:27 How to Not Suck at Management
29:55 Designing Incentives
32:35 Contractors v. Full Time
33:53 Paying Team Members
35:10 Q+A

Hiring Mistakes

Employee success starts by avoiding a few big mistakes. Trying to hand off too many roles to one person is the absolute biggest mistakes you can make in the early days of your hiring. You’re not going to find a superhuman who’s going to be good at everything. Choose the top one or two things you want to outsource to an employee, then hand those off.

The only area this doesn’t apply is sales. Hold off on hiring for sales until your company is more mature.

Poor management is the death knell of your hiring program. Be sure you understand how to manage your employees to empower them to be successful.

Who to Hire

Use an activity to document what you do for 2-3 weeks using an Activity Log, an exercise that comes from Strategic Coach. Categorize your activities into one of three categories:

  1. Irritating
  2. Okay
  3. Fascinating

Gather up the Okay and Irritating tasks and outsource them to a hire so that you can focus on the things that you find fascinating. You can also look for areas where you serve as a bottleneck to the business.

How to Design the Job Application

Jake has a whole process to “put the work on applicants so you weed out poor fits.” One of his values is “detail oriented,” so he asks them to do a lot of detail oriented work as part of the application process.

Websites for Recruiting

Tips for Interviewing

Personality profiles can be a helpful way to understand how well a person is suited for a job. Overall, though, the big idea is to keep this process simple and consistent.

90 Day Success Plan

Make it clear what success is, and what constitutes a “good job.” The plan should detail any metrics, deliverables, or skills you expect from your new hire.

You can think about the 90-day success plan as having four phases:

How to Not Suck at Management

Marcus Blankenship says “when someone fails to deliver, first look at the manager.” That’s you! Look in the mirror, figure out your contribution to the situation, and what you can do to rectify it.

The strongest management skill you need to develop is giving feedback. That means, compliments as well as constructive criticism.

Incentive Structures For Your Hires

Managers or higher should have some incentive structures in place. You have to design them against key milestones that they can influence. This may include:

  • Areas of responsibility (i.e. accounting, account management, etc.)
  • Company milestones
  • Additional compensation (i.e. Jake helped launch a podcast for an employee)

Contractors v. Full Time

You’ll have to decide if you plan to hire contractors or full-time employees. Be aware of employment laws in various states, as some are more friendly to contractor hiring practices than others. If you’d like to step up your commitment to your staff, bring them on as employees, but be prepared for the administrative, legal, and tax ramifications.

Paying Team Members

When it comes time to pay team members, paying with tools like Transferwise (for international team members) and Square make it a whole lot easier.

In terms of setting their pay, you can look at both 1) market norms for salaries and rates, and 2) your target percentage of COGS for a deliverable or service. Jake typically pays by the deliverable and targets a maximum of 35% of COGS.