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Preparing Your Business Systems for Hiring & Onboarding with Erin Haworth

May 5, 2020

Today we’re talking systems, processes and onboarding new team members with virtual COO Erin Haworth of Work With Process!

Erin Haworth empowers online entrepreneurs to move their goals from dream to action, find the joy in their business, and uplevel their business through strategizing and implementing smart process solutions.

She is business operations consultant, virtual COO, and Founder of Work With Process, a boutique business consultancy. From her years of marketing, branding, and customer service experience, she takes clients’ stressed out businesses and gives them a streamlined process to follow to save time and money long term.

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How did she get her start as a virtual COO?

She had a daughter in 2016, then started to feel a pull on her heart to have more freedom with her time and focuses. The direction creatively was amazing, but it wasn’t where her heart was. 

As she began to discover what that freedom looks like, she created Work with Process, and she noticed that while she was working with clients ont heir processes, the issues around their team naturally came up. She started bringing more and more of her experience managing teams well into her consulting pieces. 

She takes the vision they have and break it down into goals, mini goals and objectives to make it easier for them and their team to implement so it doesn’t stay an idea, it comes to fruition. 

What are the most important things we need to start doing when we prepare our systems and workflows for hiring?

Fire fast, hire slow, Erin says. It forces you to slow down and understand what it is you actually need. If you don’t do your due diligence up front, it’s going to cost you time and money and you’ll be back with those things on your plate trying to do all this again.

The key isn’t to find someone who’s just going to be a task master. You want somebody who you’re going to build a long term professional relationship with.

Training’s expensive, it requires your time and emotional energy. And if you keep having to train different people on the same things, that starts to get costly in time, money and YOU. 

How do we even begin documenting all our processes?

First understand that yes, you do have systems and processes, but they may not be the most efficient. 

A system is anything you do more than once – the way in which you respond to emails, onboard a new client – you get into a routine. 

Actually starting to document those systems. Getting it out of your head and onto paper is the first step to having someone else take it on.

She shares a tip – go in and create a screenflow showing every single step of how to do something. Even if you just have the camera on, you video and narrate every single thing you do it. By capturing that, it allows you to see where your inefficiencies are. It gives you a perspective you wouldn’t normally have. 

The biggest thing you want to do when you’re hiring somebody is you want to make sure you’re not confusing them or giving them competing signals. 

Erin Haworth

Then you can have that video transcribed and have a standard operating procedure. If you can have everything written down somewhere, when you have a new employee – rather than coming to you to learn how to do it, again – they can reference that material. 

What else do we talk about in this episode?

  • Designing a systematic and high-quality onboarding process
  • Creating an onboarding plan specific to the strengths of your new hire 
  • Structuring onboarding check-ins
  • Questions to ask when conducting employee evaluations
  • Thriving in the transition from solopreneur to team leader
  • How to request feedback from your team on your management and leadership

“You have to not only trust your hiring decision, you have to give yourself time to start to build that trust. It’s going to be a process. You’re not going to be able to hand everything over on Day 1 and say, ‘Go for it.’ Not only are you trying to build a relationship with this new person, you’re also training yourself to be comfortable with trusting someone with something that is so important to you.” 

Erin haworth

Resources shared in this episode

Living Forward by Michael Hyatt

Conversational Intelligence by Judith Glaser

Joy of Missing Out by Tanya Dalton

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

Traction by Gino Wickman

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Stories That Stick by Kendra Hall

The 5 AM Club

Connect with Erin Haworth

Visit her website, Work With Process

Follow Erin Haworth on Instagram

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I'm Kaylan, leadership educator, podcaster & speaker

What are you searching for?

Reading suggestions

Crafting a 90-Day Onboarding Plan

Job Postings that Attract Top Talent

Mapping Your Leadership Style