How to Hire a Skill You Don't Have

How to hire a skill you don't have

How do you Hire a Skill You Don't Have?

Want to hire a skill you don’t have, but don’t know how?Sometimes businesses have to adapt. Trends change. Crises happen. Things can hit us from all angles. 

We want to introduce you to Jason. This case is an example of a business trying to tackle a new channel for him. While e-commerce has been a way of life for some, it wasn’t for Jason. Now, before you brush this off as old guy’s problem, it’s a good case for how to identify and hire a skill you don’t know you don’t have.  

Jason's Story

“I inherited my business from my parents. We’ve been in the industry for years, but lately, we haven’t been doing that well. Sales are falling and bills are getting harder to pay. I’m spending so much time thinking about the business that I’m beginning to wonder if it’s time to exit.”

Jason runs a rather sizable small business and has been having a rough couple of years. Jason has been hit hard as more and more health and beauty purchases were headed online. Jason produces products that he sold through distributors, and that volume had dropped off.  Jason is a smart businessman. He didn’t sit on hands. He did his best to adapt. He’s tried to sell through Amazon but has had a hard time breaking through. He has his own e-commerce platform but has struggled to gain traffic and conversions. He had hired people to help, but it didn’t pan out.

After trying for a couple of years, he was wondering if it was time to exit, but before he went down that path, he wanted to give it one more try, so he reached out for help.

 

How We Helped Jason

The front of the tile describes the problem. Flip it to see the solution.

Back to the Basics

We looked at how he made or lost money, and what the biggest problems were behind the scenes. The first place we started was to look at his customer base. We started by talking to them. We talked to his current customers, and we talked to the past reviewers. We wanted to know why they bought, and if they weren’t buying again, why was that?

Needed More the Satisfaction

We learned a lot. For his current target, they were satisfied. They didn’t mind that the product wasn't featured online. They didn't mind going to the store. For the non-repeat customers, the loved it at first, but when the looked for it online and didn't find it, they just moved on. It’s a common misconception that satisfying your customers is enough. And, that’s the first mistake that was hurting Jason.The people who stayed were invested n the brand.Those who wanted convenience were not. Unfortunately, his regular customers were not enough to keep the business afloat.

Needed Skill He Didn't Have

Jason's operations were a tight ship. It's one of the reasons he's been able to hang on even though sales have been eroding.Jason was a great designer. His products were great. What he wasn't was a marketer. Most importantly, he wasn't a digital marketer nor a detail retail expert. He wasn't sure who or what roles he needed so that made it. Understandably, this made him uncomfortable. He avoided it.

Hiring for a Skill You Don't Have

The great news was that Jason's product wasn’t the issue. Instead, it was his lack of marketing and e-commerce experience which was really hurting him. Luckily, he had us. We could outline the skills needed and create a list of interview questions to judge whether or the candidate had them. We could offer a person in the field who could be an interviewer for functional capability.
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Turnaround Plan

Unfortunately, Jason wasn't in the best financial shape to hire top talent so we had to get creative. We need to build a bridge where he could have access to the right skill sets, so he could get his business back in growth mode, so he could hire a full-time persons for the role.

Jason's Plan

We recommended the following 5 steps. First, we helped him find a small digital retail agency to help bridge the gap. Next, we tasked the agency to the business up on Amazon properly and help optimize the promotional spending. Third, since we couldn't offer a high salary, we recommended a mix of equity and salary to attract e-commerce talent. Forth, once the e-commerce lead was hired, we argued for the same tactic to hire digital marketing talent. Since Jason had collateral, we were able to secure reasonable funding to help fund the agency expense while he turned the business around.

This wasn’t an easy decision for Jason. This was his baby, and the idea of sharing some equity was hard for him.  However, he understood the necessity. We could secure some funds, but we would not be able to secure the entire amount with tapping into equity. This was a longer process, but Jason was able to turn his business around in the end.

If Jason’s story wasn’t right for your business, please take the business assessment, which will direct you to a guide more suited for your specific needs, or you can always contact us.