Programming Fact Sheet
Russell Colbourne : Your Money Machine
Season 5 Episode 10 – Hiring and Onboarding
07 June 2021
Your business is Your Money Machine. Starting or growing a business has been likened to assembling an aircraft midway through its first flight. Having started and exited from a number of businesses including an Airline, I know what it takes to get your business off the ground. In this show, I’ll share some of the stories and lessons I’ve learned over my 30 years of entrepreneurial business experience as a Chartered Accountant with companies like Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. During season 5 we’ll be following a structured path to building a globally scalable, investable business based on the Founder Institute Pre-Seed Accelerator flagship program that will create a logical roadmap to success. I’ll take you through some real life business building examples including my recipes for creating high performing organisations and we will take a look at some the mistakes I made along the way and the lessons I learned from them.
This show won’t build your business for you – only you can do that, but I will show you how to build your business efficiently and effectively, so you won’t have to waste time and money doing things out of sequence, back tracking over work already done or making the same mistakes I and many others have made before you.
Today’s show is about determining what roles you will need at the beginning of a business, how you can decide what to outsource and what is an effective hiring process for a new business.
We’ll go over the materials you will need for the hiring process, how you can test candidates and what amount of time you should spend on hiring.
What You Need to Know - The What
#1 (Outsourcing) Review what Roles to outsource.
#2 (Hiring Plan) Prepare a Hiring Plan.
#3 (Ethics) Develop a code of ethics for your Hiring Plan.
#4 (Known Candidates) Search for known Candidates to hire.
#5 (Hiring Process) Develop a hiring and onboarding process to add Team Members into your organization.
#6 (Test Projects) Develop at least one Test Project for each of your top two or three Roles.
#7 (Hiring Materials) Produce key materials to start recruiting Candidates.
#8 (Advisor Review) Solicit feedback from your Advisors.
#9 (Recruiting Outreach) Reach out to find new Candidates.
#10 (Time Allocation) Meticulously plan your time to create your “Founder’s Schedule”.
#11 (Leadership) Develop your persona as a leader.
What You Need to Do - The How
#1 (Outsourcing) Review what Roles to outsource. Use your recent Release work, sales and program work to update your Hiring Needs. Review your rank ordered list of Roles that can include new Team Members or replacing underperforming Team Members. Consider what you want to outsource to vendors, ranging from an Accountant to a Project Vendor. As a rule, a startup can outsource anything that does not make the startup unique.
#2 (Hiring Plan) Prepare a Hiring Plan. Review your work on Outsourcing and Hiring Needs, and figure out which Roles can be outsourced and which roles need to be hired. Create a bulleted list for the positions that you need to hire over the next 18 months. Order the positions in your list by the timing of when the individuals need to be hired. Research the salary and equity rates for each Role at small startups, and write down your compensation for each individual. For any Roles you wish to fill in the next three months, write down the steps you will take each week in order to fill that Role.
#3 (Ethics) Develop a code of ethics for your Hiring Plan. Great organizations hire and fire based on the company’s values. An example Code for Ethics, is called IMPACT, where each letter stands for a value or ethic. The six are: Integrity - Be honest in all of your dealings and treat people fairly as you honor your commitments in pursuit of your mission; Mission - Articulate a large vision to make the world better and make it your mission to achieve that vision; Pay it Forward - Proactively help others to succeed with their vision by sharing the wisdom from your failures and successes; Adaptable - Learn and improve the business continuously over time in the pursuit of your vision; Collaborative - Work with others and practice inclusion across age, gender and race to realize your vision; Transparency - Foster a culture that openly shares all reasonable operational details of your business to develop your vision. Leverage the IMPACT Code or write your own five to seven company values and write a brief sentence on why each value is important to you. Include your company values to your Hiring Plan.
#4 (Known Candidates) Search for known Candidates to hire. Identify everyone that you know who is appropriate to fill each of the top two or three Roles outlined in your Hiring Plan. Take some time to consider if you need a Co-Founder and, if you do need a Co-Founder, this will be the first and most important Role. Provide a bulleted list with the names of at least three Candidates for each Role, and include the Linkedin profile or online bio of each Candidate, as well as a brief description of their relationship to you. Research possible Candidates from your previous email outreach, from your Advisor discussions and from your personal network. You may also consider bringing on an Advisor as a Team Member. Having other people working on the business, even if you can only afford a student or intern, will make a dramatic difference to your success.
#5 (Hiring Process) Develop a hiring and onboarding process to add Team Members into your organization. Identify a series of steps to bring on new Team Members within your organization. Customize the steps and the order of the Hiring Process to match your vision and values, and then write a few sentences on how you will manage each step to reflect the vision and values of your organization.
#6 (Test Projects) Develop at least one Test Project for each of your top two or three Roles. A well designed Test Project should create opportunities for a credible Candidate to demonstrate four attributes: skill, personality, cooperation and passion. Write one paragraph that describes each Test Project to a Candidate with friendly and easy to follow instructions. Next, write one sentence about what you want to learn about the Candidate in the Test Project. For key Roles, you may have two or three Test Projects that increase in complexity and duration over time. The Test Project may include actual work that you need to have done.
#7 (Hiring Materials) Produce key materials to start recruiting Candidates. Prominently place a Jobs or Hiring link on any websites or online materials that you control. Make it evident that you are hiring by setting up a job listing page where Candidates can submit materials after viewing a job description. Provide the links to the various pages. Write a series of emails to answer inbound interest, to reject unqualified applicants, and to set up phone interviews with qualified applicants. Write a series of short and friendly email templates to recruit friends and online contacts. Write an orientation sheet that contains the vision, mission, values and desired culture of the organization to be handed to each Candidate that starts a Test Project as part of the onboarding.
#8 (Advisor Review) Solicit feedback from your Advisors. Arrange a 30 minute meeting or phone call with at least one of your Advisors to discuss your outsourcing work and your Hiring Plan. Present everything that you have done. Discuss with the Advisors what your weekly and monthly Hiring Goals should be with respect to the number of applicants, the number of Candidates reviewed, the number of interviews and number of Test Projects initiated. Write bulleted notes of the feedback received from each Advisor. Go back and update your Hiring Plan with your other hiring work, Advisor feedback and refinements.
#9 (Recruiting Outreach) Reach out to find new Candidates. Based on the feedback from your Advisors, provide a bulleted list of events and activities that you will attend or undertake each week for the next three months to identify new Candidates the top two or three Roles. List all of the events and activities week by week. For the events, research specialized events that would appeal to the Roles, such as hackathons or a marketing Meetup, and add these events to your Business Calendar. For the activities, consider developing a referral program, leveraging social media messaging or advertising on job boards, and include any language that you plan to use for these different Recruiting Outreach channels.
#10 (Time Allocation) Meticulously plan your time to create your “Founder’s Schedule”. At this point, you have a regular series of activities related to the Team, Product and Traction, as well as bookkeeping and other functions. Start planning out your week and your month to allocate blocks of time to address each recurring business activity, providing you with uninterrupted time to work on the activity. In your planning, allow enough flexible time to address activities related to your medium-term goals.
#11 (Leadership) Develop your persona as a leader. Write one paragraph about how you want to lead your organization. First, describe how you want your Team Members to view you. Then, describe how you will manage your Team Members. Third, discuss how you will help your Team Members to grow in their Roles. Write a second paragraph that describes your management style and your plans for dispute resolution. First, write the types of disputes that you anticipate having within the organization. Second, write how you plan to resolve the disputes. Third, write about how you want people to feel after a dispute is resolved. If you have a co-Founder or plan to have a co-Founder, write a third paragraph on how you will resolve co-Founder disputes and how a co-Founder may be removed from the company without killing the business.
Written by Russell Colbourne, FCCA, GAICD
Your Money Machine
Russell is a CFO and Entrepreneur who has worked across a diverse range of industries over the past 30 years. After a short service commission as a pilot flying Seaking Helicopters in the British Royal Navy, Russell studied business and qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) in the UK. Since then he has been integral with the start-up of many successful companies and operations within larger organisations. He has bought, sold and spun off business operations in the UK, Australia and the US.
In 1994 Russell joined Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airlines where he was responsible for a number of innovative services that were, at the time, ground breaking and helped revolutionise air transport. From launching the world’s first limo boat on the River Thames to developing the world’s first handheld check-in device and implementing drive through check-in booths around the world, Russell has helped the Virgin Group deliver unparalleled customer service. In 2000 Russell was the first of the Virgin team to arrive in Australia to start a new low cost Airline, and within 8 months had built a team operating flights between Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
Russell now works as a Part Time CFO for a number of SME businesses in South Australia. He is a Director of a health and wellbeing business; a crowdfunding website for educational costs and of the Founder Institute program in Adelaide where he lives with his wife and 3 teenage sons.
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