How to Hire and Manage Staff for Your Growing Online Store

Do you find yourself overwhelmed with responsibilities all the time?

If yes, it might be time to hire someone to help you out. A great employee can take work off your platter and help you grow even faster.

What do I mean by saying “a great employee”? A fancy guy in a smart suit with a flawless resume does sound great. But for a small business, finding a like-minded person is often more important than hiring a top professional.

In this post, we’ll look into some ways to find the right people for your team. You’ll also learn how to manage the newcomers so that they stay on the same page with you and your company culture.

Hiring Employees

Your first question here will probably be: “Whom do I need to hire?”

At the start, you might need an extra pair of hands to manage your online store: track new orders, chat with customers, update inventory. If you manufacture your products yourself, you will likely want an assistant.

For some tasks, such as handling shipping, you’ll naturally want office workers. If the job has a physical component, you want people working next to you. However, for many other roles, such as marketing, you can hire remote workers. Since these jobs can be completed using digital tools, it doesn’t matter where your workers are located.

Hiring remote workers offers several benefits for a growing business:

  • Lower office rent
  • Access to a better talent pool from across the world
  • Lower salaries, particularly if you hire people from countries with a lower cost of living
  • Save commute time.

That is why a growing number of people prefer to work remotely. In fact, 43% of the workforce in the USA worked remotely for some time last year.

With Ecwid’s new Staff Accounts, an employee can manage your store from anywhere, regardless of their location.

Staff accounts in Ecwid
Staff Accounts allows you to give members of your staff access to your Ecwid store backend

While it might not be an automatic choice, consider hiring remote employees for non-physical roles, mainly if you’re located in a city or region with rare local talent. There are some challenges, particularly with building a company culture, but the cost benefits and better talent pool makes up for it.

Once you’ve decided what kind of workers you want to hire, jump to the next section where we’ll discuss where to hire these people.

Learn more: How to Work with Employees and Contractors

What to look for in new employees

36% of bad hires happen because of a poor skill match. 30% happen because employers are unclear about performance objectives.

Therefore, before you start writing your job ads, be crystal clear about your own requirements. You want a balance between hard skills and cultural fit.

If you run a niche business, look for someone who understands the niche even better than you.

For each role that you’re hiring for, list the following:

  • Must-have skills: Hard skills that are essential for getting the job done. If you’re hiring a programmer, for instance, you might want to list down all the languages/technologies that are a part of your tech stack.
  • Nice-to-have skills: Ancillary skills that complement the above must-have skills. For instance, a backend programmer having front-end development skills is nice to have but not necessary.
  • Desired qualities: List down all the qualities you want in your new hire. Prioritize qualities that are essential for the job as well as qualities that would make for a good culture fit.
  • Culture fit: List down essential traits, educational & employment background, hobbies, etc. that would help the employee fit into your company culture. Culture fit is often ignored but is critical for success — yours and the new employee’s.

You can create a spreadsheet where you list down the role and the priority of qualities/skills you want for it in order of priority.

Qualities and skills matrix
A “qualities and skills” matrix helps you evaluate applications based on your most important requirements

Use this as a guide to evaluate each application.

Where to find new employees

When it comes to headhunting, do your best to involve all the available channels, from conventional job websites to Facebook groups and even street markets where you participate.

You’ll want someone who understands the specifics of your product, so your mission is to find a passionate niche enthusiast. Strive for online and offline communities where people discuss certain products (for example, fishing fans, Apple lovers, home decorators).

Traditional job boards such as Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com are a popular option for small businesses. You can either post a job ad or search for available resumes on these platforms.

Monster.com
Monster.com is one of the most popular job boards online

While these job boards offer massive reach, they also make it hard for your ad to stand out. Plus, the sheer size of these platforms means that you’ll get a number of junk applicants.

LinkedIn is a popular alternative to traditional job boards. With 476M users, it is the largest professional network in the world. There are over 10 million job listings on LinkedIn. You have the option of posting an ad or searching for the right candidates.

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and a popular site for finding new hires

Niche job boards are similar to traditional job boards, except that they focus on a specific niche or demographic. CollegeRecruiter.com, for instance, is targeted towards fresh college graduates, while FlexJobs is for people looking for telecommuting jobs.

FlexJobs
FlexJobs is a niche job board focusing on telecommuting jobs (both part-time and full-time)

Some other niche job boards are GoodFoodJobs (food industry), HealthcareJobsite (health industry), OneWire (financial services & insurance), SalesJobs.com (sales professionals), AngelList (startups and tech companies), etc.

Most small businesses find their new hires through job ads or resume searches on these job boards.

Comparing channel success rates
Most companies rely on job posts and resume databases to find new hires

Beyond these, you can also post your job ads on unconventional mediums such as HackerNews’ monthly “Who is Hiring” threads (great for hiring programmers/designers), Reddit’s /r/ForHire community, and even Craigslist…