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  • Writer's pictureSusan Tatum

When and How to Make Your First Hire

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Angela Tait of Tait Consulting shares her expertise in people operations. What type of elements in your organization are driven by people? When should you hire help? How do you outsource the work you don’t want to do? She answers these questions and more.

Notes from the Show

Tait Consulting empowers growth-minded small businesses to hire strong talent, coach executive leaders, and invest in their employees in order to reduce turnover, create employee loyalty, and sustainably scale to the next level of profitability.

Angela Tait, the founder, shares her insight on the power behind people operations like interviewing, hiring, and developing.

A big question for many listeners or new business owners is when to make your first hire. Angela shares some tips, signs, and questions to consider when making this decision.

- Be Proactive, you never want to hire when you're desperate for help.

- You have too much work and not enough time.

- You're spending your time working on things, not in your “Zone of Genius”.

- Can anyone do this extra work for you?

- What would you be able to do with gained time?

It’s not always hiring an employee, it can be a contractor or even a virtual assistant. As Angela’s company is growing she shares a resource she is using to hire a VA from the Philippines, Remote Assistant Scout.

You can find Tait Consulting online and on Instagram as well as reach out to Angela on LinkedIn or via email.

What's Inside:

  • What are people's operations and why are they important for your business?

  • When should you hire help? How to be proactive in hiring.

  • What type of work should you outsource?

  • A resource for outsourcing Virtual Assistants.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Transcribed by AI Susan Tatum 0:35

Welcome back, everybody. Today my guest is Angela Tait. And Angela is the CEO and founder of Tait Consulting, which empowers growth minded small businesses to reduce turnover, foster loyalty, and sustainably scale by hiring strong talent, Coach executive leaders and build employee development systems. Welcome, Angela.

Angela Tait 0:58

Hi Susan, happy to be here.

Susan Tatum 1:00

And it's great to be talking with you again, I have a quick question for you. When when we were talking earlier, you said that your work and your work you focus on the people operation side of the business. So tell me what that means.

Angela Tait 1:16

Yes, well, people are what drive an organization forward right. Without people you really want to be able to, to grow a business. And so the people side of the business has a lot of different aspects from interviewing, hiring, and then developing them throughout the company and investing in your employees. And so you can continue to have that growth that people are looking for, and have retention to continue moving forward.

Susan Tatum 1:51

And that's all that's that's become extremely important. Over the past few years, it seems like just from because I don't have employees, but from what I read about, and hear about that retaining finding good people and keeping them with you is a real challenge.

Angela Tait 2:12

Absolutely. Especially with everything that happened during the pandemic, there was a lot of different challenges that happened during the last few years. And then now it's the challenge that I'm finding is remote work versus on site. So for a lot of businesses, they're having a hard time finding employees that do want to come back to being completely on site versus being hybrid or just working remote and having more balance between their personal and professional life.

Susan Tatum 2:42

Yeah, once we got a taste of it. Although I think there are some people that really do like to go into into into work, I mean, they function better and then kind of environment where you're back in the office, I guess?

Angela Tait 2:56

Absolutely. I have talked to a number of people that want to be back around others, right, they thrive in an environment where they can see people face to face, their meetings are more productive, they feel like they can focus instead of being in the space that they're living in and constantly being in those same four walls, they get to get out of their house, have a drive to work have some alone time from maybe their their spouse or kids that are also at home.

Susan Tatum 3:23

well, I think for single people, too, I hear that it's also they feel like they need more people than they get out and go to the office. Interesting. So what is the what are the important things to keep in mind about hiring and retaining people?

Angela Tait 3:43

Uh, well, there's a lot in regards to hiring people, you want to be proactive, and so you don't want to wait till you're in a desperate state. Because then you really will taking anyone that comes your way you're like, I just need to solve this issue. I'll hire the first person that I talked to if they have, you know, some type of skill set, really, you want to be proactive and be looking at the year in advance. So where do you want to be at the end of 2023? Okay, let's reverse engineer and how do we get there? And looking at each quarter of what that means in regards to budgeting, effectively, how much you have available? And then what's going to take priority, who you would hire first, second third, depending on the demands of the business and the needs.

Susan Tatum 4:29

So that and that brings up a question that I hear a lot and that is when should I hire my first employee? And I think sometimes we don't even it doesn't have to be a formal employee. It could be when do I hire the first help that I need? And so what are the like, what are the signs that we better start thinking about this? And and where do you see that happen? The most Looks like who? Who was it, in your opinion, the most important person to hire first? If there's an actual answer to that question,

Angela Tait 5:10

yeah, well, I'm actually going through this right now, I just started my business less than six months ago. And I am hiring my first employee, which is going to be a virtual assistant. And how I decided to do that was because I had too much work and not enough time, as well as I was draining a lot of my energy doing things that someone else could do. And they weren't things that were maybe not, you know, where I'm in my zone of genius, and where I'm utilizing my strengths, to to move the business forward, and provide the most value. And a lot of these things such as sourcing, so I do recruiting for businesses, and I was spending tons of time I still am forcing candidates, top talent qualified individuals, well, there are a lot of systems and tools out there that I'm utilizing, but it's still time consuming, because there's a lot of manual stuff that you have to do. And so offloading that and to someone like a virtual assistant, or even scheduling things that don't need maybe a ton of experience is just takes a lot of time I can offload to someone else. And I can then go out and source more business serve my clients better, be more available for interviews. So I think just understanding one where your strengths are where you're getting the most energy to fuel forward. And then also, when you do hire someone, offsetting it from your strengths. And so it's a yin yang type of situation, where I have strengths where I could be maybe more personable, and do a lot of face to face interaction. And have someone in the back office that maybe is more, you know, doing maybe the nitty gritty details that I'm not as good at or staying organized, or even keeping me accountable, because now I have someone else, right, or two, or that's coming to me, because as an entreprenuer, if it's just you, it can be challenging to be accountable all the time. For those things that are more back office stuff, they seem to take a backseat versus being the priority.

Susan Tatum 7:26

You know, it's interesting, and I'm gonna I'm gonna go off topic a little bit here. But But you mentioned that accountability thing. Did you? And I, I apologize. I don't remember. Did you come from a corporate background when you started your business?

Angela Tait 7:40

I did. Yeah. So I've been in corporate for over 10 years. And that's really what made me decide to start my own business is because I have been doing recruiting, executive recruiting, working with a number of companies throughout Arizona and throughout the country, as well as being the head of an HR company, being the head of HR at a company, a real estate company in Phoenix, where I grow my team. So it was just me, we started as 10 employees, we grew to over 100 employees. In the first couple of years, I was able to grow my team to have more people that I could delegate and just be able to accomplish more. So the team went from one HR person to four. And then I grow the whole organization and was hired during each kind of like each department. And then as we grow that department person, that department head, you know, started establishing a team. So it was a great environment to be in and learn from.

Susan Tatum 8:42

you got like a lifetime worth of experience in, in a year or whatever it was how fast that they were growing. It's amazing.

Angela Tait 8:50

And it was all during I started there in 2020. So it was during the pandemic too. So it was a lot thrown at me. And I was working around the clock and I realized I'm going to invest this much in the employers business, then I might as well just invest that time and energy into my own.

Susan Tatum 9:08

Yeah, yeah. Well, so I've just been hearing from a lot of consultants that come out of the corporate world, that adopt accountability issue and motivation and you have you had all of this structure around you and people really counting on you. When you're when you're working in the corporate world, and then all of a sudden, you're on your own. And so how did did you struggle with that at all?

Angela Tait 9:36

Oh, yeah. And I mean, I still struggle with it. It's it's interesting because I wrote my thesis for my master's program on accountability. I lead accountability workshop. So I consider myself probably more advanced and accountability than than others, but it's still you know, always a challenge. I have an accountability coach, that I do connect with on a monthly basis. But I think you're right. When it's just you, it's, it's easier to, I mean, I try to stay on top of my calendar, but everything in my calendar, there are things that if I don't get them done, no one's going to know, such as those back end things like maybe marketing for my business or, you know, doing some of the accounting and, and as a business owner, right, you have to take on a lot of those initial. And that was like you have different departments at a corporate setting. But when you're an entrepreneur, you're taking on a lot of those things that I tried to offload them to other contract workers, consultants. But there are some things that you just have to do on your own because it's the initial

Susan Tatum 10:47

go learn.

Angela Tait 10:48

Yeah, and, like the initial stuff that I mean, with the accounting, I can't give an accountant stuff, if I don't have it organized to give them. I'm talking to a marketing person that wants to put together a reel. And he's like, Okay, do you have all of your, you know, your photography or videography, all that stuff? And it's like, no, it's I need to put it all in one place. I need to get organized with it. But all of those things, take a back seat when it doesn't seem like oh, that's gonna make me money right away.

Susan Tatum 11:16

Yeah, that's important. Well, and that brings up the question. So how do you how did you know? How do you recommend to your clients that they know? When when is the right time in terms of money to hire somebody? Like how do they know if if they can afford it? Just this is a question that I hear a lot. How do I how do I know that I really should get this VA and that really, you know, what point am I should I pull that trigger?

Angela Tait 11:52

I think when you have more work than you can handle, or if you're falling short on the clients that you're serving, right, then you're not going to be getting more business, if you're not able to maintain it.

Susan Tatum 12:05


Angela Tait 12:07

You're able to maybe even start small, like maybe start with a part time employee or contract worker, and offload again, some of those things that are not putting you in your zone of genius, or where you have your strength being utilized. And then you can create more value and profitability for your business and other aspects. is where you want to focus your time and energy and have someone else do those details that are not as just not in your string.

Susan Tatum 12:37

Yeah. So you would be referred to the zone of genius. And, and I hear that a lot too. Did you go through? Did you follow some plan when you were, or a process when you're trying to figure out? What is my zone of genius?

Angela Tait 12:55

Uh, I've taken multiple assessments. I guess, just from assessments, and, you know, I don't like to be put in a box. But I think when you take a number of assessments over and over again, or you even just start to become more aware of who you are, and what drives you and where you're getting your energy from. I think that helps the port, and the aspect of maybe what the assessment said, or where I know, I'm in that area that I'm really excelling, and it's fueling me forward. Because at the end of the day, when I'm just in my back office, I haven't talked to anyone all day, I can tell you, I don't feel energized, I get energy from people. I'm an extrovert. And so I know from like Myers Briggs, I'm an ENFP. I'm extroverted. And so yes, I need time to myself to refuel. But I can't have too many days where I'm just by myself not talking to anyone, or I won't be as productive actually, start to get more depressed or, you know, sad. And so thinking about that, and how I can structure my day, so maybe I have some interactions, to give me that energy, light my fire again, but then have some time to myself to refuel, energize. So then I can show up better for my clients or for friends, family, other individuals.

Susan Tatum 14:18

Um, I don't consider myself an extrovert. But I love conversations like this. And it really it really gets my mind going because I'm hearing these new ideas and things but it can be exhausting. If the, by the end of the day you're like, just mentally dead and thank God, there are people that want to do the things that really do bore the hell out of us.

Angela Tait 14:43

drives them right, they get power to you, you take off, like for me, you know, I'm more of a visionary, a big picture thinker. And so my husband and I work well together in that capacity because he loves the nitty gritty details, and he likes building out the process. I'm like, No, let's just like I'm action oriented, let's get it done. Let's move forward. And so having that balance, in a marriage or in other partnerships, in business, whether it's internal, or maybe it's just like an accountability partner, where you have another entrepreneur, right, that you're kind of keeping each other accountable. And also talking through some of the challenges that they might have strengthen, I think it's always good to have thought partners, collaborators, and people that come from different perspectives to provide more insight.

Susan Tatum 15:33

Well, in a way, you know, we're really fortunate these days, because it's possible to to to establish that kind of group and network where maybe some people are a little bit ahead of us, some people are, are a little behind us and starting businesses, and but we're all going through and facing the same kind of thing. And it does help to not be isolated. Question for you from your recruiting expertise? How do and this is a little bit different? I know. But how do you find someone like a VA?

Angela Tait 16:09

Well, you know, funny enough, I'm using a recruiting company, because the VA, I'm looking to hire they're in the Philippines. So what's the one that was recommended? Another entrepreneurs shoes, like I hired this, yay, it was the best thing I could have done for my business. I highly recommend using the company. And so I'm using recruiting company that works with people in the Philippines. And it's crazy, because they only get you only get charged like 6,7,8 dollars an hour, depending on their experience. Yeah, and so I mean, I don't know, if it's, you know, good to just share that. But it that's something that I'm starting out with, and I'm like, Well that, like, Who wouldn't want to invest? You know, 6,7,8 dollars, I mean, that's definitely worth my time, I could make a lot more money by doing other things versus, you know, spending that time elsewhere that they can just handle again, those scheduling them, sourcing things that are really easy to do if it takes minimal training on my part, and then they can hit the ground running.

Susan Tatum 17:13

So they have done the company. They've done the footwork and testing these people that they can vouch for their abilities that makes sure they show up and that sort of stuff, because it's a little bit scary when you I mean, I have a team from the Philippines as well. And I've worked with him from India and, and places in Europe. And there's, there's a lot of skill there. But there's also a lot of mysterious Yeah.

Angela Tait 17:42

Well, and that's what I was afraid of. And that's why I'm using this recruiting company, because I have had multiple people reach out to me on LinkedIn. Oh, I can be your VA.

Susan Tatum 17:55

Oh, yeah.

Angela Tait 17:55

And so that's why I did use a recruiting company. Because, I mean, I could source people, obviously, I know how to do that. I've had people reach out to me, but being like in a different country being in the Philippines, I want to make sure it is legit.

Susan Tatum 18:09


Angela Tait 18:10

I'm not having any type of scams. And I was reluctant. At first I was like, oh, I want to hire someone here in the state. But then I was like, I will hire someone here in the States, probably for more of a recruiter to start training, and offload maybe some industries that I'm focusing on because right now I have a wide range of different industries that I'm recruiting for. But starting with the VA, because I guess it's not as scary. And honestly, as a newer business, as I mentioned, I've been in business for like less than six months, I just need to offload a couple of the things that are driving or draining my energy and then the next step would be hiring a recruiter and probably in q2.

Susan Tatum 18:51

Yeah. Do you mind sharing the name of the company that that you use? So if any of the listeners are

Angela Tait 18:58

Yeah, absolutely, I'm sure they would love for me to have my.. Let me just lit up i and i have and now I just received a bunch of I have four or five different VAs sitting in my inbox that I need to go through

Susan Tatum 19:20

that are from this company

Angela Tait 19:21

that are from the company you pick out half upfront you can have later and then they provide you with a list of candidates and your view they give you the DISC assessment as well so that you can look at where your strength if you understand Dennis and you know we learned Disc. I'm a high D, high I and so I'm looking for someone that's probably a high S and a high C because that's lower for me so we can balance each other out well

Susan Tatum 19:49

that's that's that's the VA hiring. Those companies have come a very long way.

Angela Tait 19:58


Susan Tatum 19:59

but I have I have I have to give a Shout out to Karen Jakobson because she, she's, she lives in Germany now she's was in the Philippines when we started working together, it was through a company like that she and I have been together for 16 years now. And

Angela Tait 20:13

oh wow,

Susan Tatum 20:14

It's just really been a remarkable situation.

Angela Tait 20:17

That's amazing. I Yeah. You never know what may come out of it. Um, so this company is called remote assistant scout.

Susan Tatum 20:26


Angela Tait 20:27

Scout S c o u t.

Susan Tatum 20:29

Okay. All right. So you heard it here, folks. Angela's tested them out.

Angela Tait 20:37

And why I haven't hired anyone yet. Right. I need to go through and, and hit those five. Hopefully later today, I'll be assessing them doing the interviews. And and I mean, I can't tell you though, from my friend, that's an entrepreneur who has used them. She's had great things to say. And she received it from another entrepreneur, again, that use their company. Both of them have phenomenal experiences. They're currently using the VAs that they provided.

Susan Tatum 21:05

Okay, well, that's, that's good. Yeah. Yeah. When others have tried them before us. That's great. So then let's, let's talk about the challenges of of hiring other challenges of hiring and retaining employees in a small business. So you had some interesting stats that we you were talking about, before we hit record this morning.

Angela Tait 21:31

Yeah, so LinkedIn research does indicate that 94% of employees that that they would stay at their employer, if they invested in their development, I think this really goes back to if you invest in your employee, the employee will invest in the company, it creates that win win situation, how important it is to continue checking in on your ways, having those weekly conversations, weekly meetings, definitely having mid and annual performance reviews, talking about what their goals are, and making sure that the manager or you know, owner of the company is supporting those goals, those challenges, to move someone forward. I can't tell you how many people I talked to on the phone through interviews, and I asked, Why are you leaving your company and they say, because my company is not helping me grow. They're not supporting me and challenging me until the next step in my career.

Susan Tatum 22:30


Angela Tait 22:30

And, of course, that means, as an employee, you have to be investing in the company and showing that work ethic. But there's a lot of times where people get stagnant or the employers just don't, you know, they're not considering, oh, I need to maybe spend more money on this individual because they're, they're doing a great job, I don't need to think about it. But those are the times when you want to be really leaning in and constantly having those conversations, especially if they're the tough conversation that someone isn't performing, then that's an important conversation to have, as well and giving someone feedback. So they have that opportunity to make the change, and, you know, pivot and move forward being a better employee for the company,

Susan Tatum 23:19

I can see why you wouldn't want to just leave it to those conversations, though. I mean, your point about having positive and encouraging conversations. And I guess, letting people know, what they're doing right, you know, to to encourage them to keep doing it.

Angela Tait 23:39

And provide that competence. I think, when you know that you're doing something well, you start to do more of a you feel empowered, like okay, I'm, I'm doing the right things, let me do more of that. Or on the opposite side, if you understand what's not being done well, or is adding or contributing to the success of the business. I want to know that right? So you can make the changes to I mean, people all the time are working hard. And I used up my old company, people would mention how they were doing a great job. And there'd be this disconnect between the manager saying, Oh, they're not performing up to standard, and then they have the employee be like, I'm doing a great job. But the thing was, they weren't in alignment of what success look like. And so you really have to have those conversations and expectations. What is success in this position, and so you can continue to come back to that. Whether it's going through the job description, the responsibilities, what is every day look like checking in at the end of the week, making sure you're holding your team accountable for the things that you wanted to get done. Like did they actually get done? How can you support them? What challenges came up?

Susan Tatum 24:55

Yeah. You know, we think that conversations are also important for getting feedback from the employees and an ideas and suggestions because I know some of the best process changes that we've made that I've made along the way have come from suggestions of people that were actually doing the work. So that's that's a line of communication that needs to be open to fine. Yeah. Well, Angela, this has been great. And there's lots of more other questions that I wouldn't I would love to ask you but we're going to run out of time here. But thank you for thank you for coming and sharing your sharing your expertise and and what you're going through as well. And your business, it looks like you've got it well planned out.

Angela Tait 25:46

High, there's still more planning to do as the years we're almost done with q1 and at the end of March, and I feel like we're two months into the, into the new year. And I, you know, I'm excited for what's to come and hopefully we can both continue to support each other and in growth

Susan Tatum 26:07

fantastic. And for people that want to follow up with you after today's call, what is the best way to get in touch with you?

Angela Tait 26:15

You can find me on Instagram at Tait T A I T underscore consulting as well as my website tait consulting LLC, at like take consulting or my email is

Susan Tatum 26:34

Okay, and are you are you're on LinkedIn as well are you?

Angela Tait 26:37

I am on LinkedIn. So it's just going to be Angela Tait on linkedin.

Susan Tatum 26:43

Alright, great. Well, thanks again for stopping by. And have a wonderful rest of your day.

Angela Tait 26:49

Thank you so much.



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