Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Hire

 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Hire From job descriptions to compensation, learn which questions entrepreneurs need to ask themselves before they begin hiring employees.


So you’ve made your new hire. How do you set your employees up for success? My name is Melissa James and I’m CEO of The Tech Connection, where we help employers find underrepresented talent to grow their teams. I’m also a former recruiter for Google, and I’ve helped organizations build their teams from just one person to 70,000 people.

How Can a New Hire Add Revenue to Your Bottom Line?

It’s important to have initial conversations before you hire someone onto your team. Oftentimes we’re so overworked as entrepreneurs that we just want to hire anyone who’s alive and who can help us. And that’s not the case. In fact, when you’re hiring someone, you have to be very thoughtful about the type of person you’re bringing on to your team. It’s super important to think, “What will this person do that will impact my bottom line and help me bring in more revenue?”

Tailor it to whatever you need for your business. For example, if you’re an online speaker and you’re thinking about bringing someone onto your team–perhaps you’re the individual speaker who goes out to all of the different events– maybe you need someone who can manage email. You might need a virtual assistant who can help you book more gigs for you to go to. Let’s think about who you want to bring on your team and how can they add revenue to your bottom line.

How Much Can You Pay?

The next component of bringing someone onto your team is to think about how much you can you pay them. We’re so excited to have someone to work with us but the other part is that you actually have to pay them. And we’re not talking small money here. You have to be very thoughtful about what is the market rate for that role that you’re trying to hire for. So, even a virtual assistant that you’re trying to bring onto your team might cost $20 an hour. So what does that look like? Is this going to be a part-time hire, where you pay them for 20 hours a week? Is this going to be a full-time hire, where you have to consider providing health insurance benefits for them? Whatever type of role that you want to bring onto your team, you want to be sure to check what the market rate is for this position and can you realistically afford it.

There are many different ways that you can go about adding new members to your team, such as an intern, a contract worker, or a full-time W-2 employee. When you go through this process, you want to see how much your budget can afford. If it’s a part-time opportunity, where you can hire someone to work from 9:00 to 1:00, perhaps that might be an intern that you can hire, or perhaps that might be a stay-at-home mom who’s looking for a new job and to get more work experience to come back into the workforce. These are all ways that you can leverage your small budget to fit the hiring needs that you currently have.

Create a Job Description with Goals

Now that you decided that you can afford to bring someone else onto your team, and you’ve also discussed what kind of role you need help with, you have to get started with the interview process. Coming up with your job description is going to be super important. Most people say that a job description is supposed to be everything this person is going to do. Don’t do that. You’re going to scare them away. Tell them the top three things that you want to get done for this role, and really think about what the next 30-, 60-, and 90-day goals are for this person. If you’re an early stage company, then these goals are going to change. But if you can think 30 days, 60 days, 90 days ahead, then you’ll be set up for success and some will have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Then, when you write your job description, think, “I want a marketing associate. This person is going to help us create a new blog. Their job is going to be writing five new blog posts every week that’s content related to our business to help our viewers understand why our business is great.” That’s awesome. That’s super helpful. Someone who’s looking for a new job as a marketing associate will get that. They’ll be excited about that and want to join your team. So when you start your job process or your interview process, you want to make sure that you’re setting clear expectations in terms of the work that needs to get done so people can be excited about you and the work that they’re going to get done. That’s a perfect fit.

About Melissa James

Melissa James is President and CEO of The Tech Connection, the premier marketplace for purpose driven, diverse technical talent. Her mission is to help people reach their highest potential by accelerating their individual pathway to success. She believes that every individual should live by one principle to ‘Be the CEO of You”. She not only inspires people to realize their full potential she connects them to high-performing companies that will accelerate their growth. She has a strong track record of building high performing teams for elite companies such as Google, Teradata, and local Boston businesses such as RA Capital, and Sample6.

At the root of her work is a passion for community service. On top of running her business, Melissa is the founder of the Black Tech Boston Meetup, a platform created to celebrate the impact of technology within African American communities. She previously served on the board for Youth Institute of Science and Technology and the Young Black Women’s Society. Melissa has been recognized as a “Woman on The Move” by Boston Business Journal. She has been featured in numerous news outlets such as the Improper Bostonian, Bay State Banner, Boston Herald, and Bloomberg Business.

She recently received the U.S. Presidential Service Award and the 2015 Pursuer award from the African Youth Excellence organization for her relentless commitment to the community. Melissa was born and raised in Boston, MA and graduated with honors from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.