Almost every trades business owner finds themselves in the position to hire someone. Whether it’s an engineer or someone to help out with your admin and paperwork, the hiring process can be a difficult puzzle to unpack.

How do you know exactly what you should be looking for in someone? Is a specialist better than a jack of all trades? Come find out the answers to these questions and other useful nuggets of hiring knowledge from our guest Sarah Kidby (Strategic Coach).

Listen to the episode:


    • Sarah gives a background to her role within Strategic Coach (0:53)
    • How it can be lonely running a business on your own (2:33)
    • The mindset you have when you start out, and how you’ll eventually break out from this ceiling (3:25)
    • The process for hiring is the same whether it’s your first or hundredth person (3:54)
    • Start with a list of activities that you’d like to hand over. You’ll need two lists – what you need and what you want (4:05)
    • You shouldn’t look for someone who can do everything (a jack of all trades) – but rather a specialist who knows what they’re doing (4:31)
    • Try not to do the hiring process alone, as you can easily miss major red flags (20:28)
    Finding an admin employee as a sole trader
    • Go back to the list of activities, and make sure they’re things you don’t enjoy doing (5:29)
    • You can teach and develop capability, but not motivation (5:54)
    • How do you test for someone’s motivation in an interview? (6:19)
     Core values, needs, and wants
    • The difference between a ‘needs list’ and a ‘wants list’ (9:10)
    • If you add a bunch of ‘wants’ and look for someone with a wider skillset, it’ll take longer to find them rather than developing the role as you go along (9:35)
    • What are “right-fit people”, and the importance of values and culture (11:45)
    • How to work out and put into words your values (3-5 core values) (13:42)
    • Ask your candidates what their best and worst days were – to find out what they took away from the experience and what they value the most (15:05)
    How long should employees stay?
    • You’re winning if you can have people stay with you for 3-5 years – but more is of course better (16:33)
    • It gets a little more complicated when they outgrow you, or you outgrow them – never go into interviews with the mindset that they’ll be with you forever (16:52)
    • Hiring for the needs of the future vs hiring for immediate needs (18:20)