Hiring Tips Every Small Business Owner Should Know
Hiring and, more specifically, hiring well is one of the most important functions performed in companies both big and small. This is because bad hires are one of the costliest mistakes that can be made. There is a bit more pressure on small business owners to get it right the first time, though, as they often don’t have the capital for these kinds of mistakes. Not only that, but they don’t have the time or manpower it takes to go through the interview process all over it again. With a bit of mental elbow grease and a lot of preparation, though, it doesn’t have to be rocket science. Read on for hiring tips every small business owner should know.
Use Your Network
We automatically think of social media first when it comes to just about everything these days, but there’s something to be said for good old fashioned networking—and we’re not talking about LinkedIn. This is especially true when it comes to small businesses. It’s far too easy for people to misrepresent themselves and even simply lie on their resumes. If you leverage your network and are vocal with your peers, chances are word of mouth could ultimately be your best friend…and best new employee.
Be Wary of Buddies
It might seem like this is in direct contrast to our first tip, but this is entirely different. It is so tempting as a small business owner to go with who and what we know, as the alternative is spending time that we don’t have. A friend could very well persuade you that he or she has the qualifications for the job and you could ultimately be blinded by loyalty. In the end, if it doesn’t work out, you’re not only down money but you could very well be down one good friend. In many cases, if you’re struggling to find good help, it’s a wise move to enlist the help of a recruiting company like Vaco.com—no personal entanglements necessary.
Ask the Right Questions During the Interview
Interviewing can be a labor-intensive process so; again, you want to get it right the first (or at least the second) time. You don’t have to make it a painstaking process for you and the applicant by any means, but you do want to ask pointed questions. Get examples of time that your applicant has handled situations like the ones they’ll find themselves in at your company. Get other staff members involved so you’ve got other input come decision time. If he’s got something glaring on his resume—like big gaps in time—don’t be afraid to ask why this is so. Chances are there’s a good reason but you don’t want to leave that to chance. Also, be sure not to get in a legal bind by knowing what you can’t ask during interviews. As this Huffington Post article notes, if you’re not exactly sure, avoid the following topics:
Marital or family status
Health and/or physical abilities
National Guard or reserve status
Location of the employee’s home or his/her commute
And err on the side of caution by hiring a company like ShareAble for Hires to conduct background checks. This online background report solution is quick and painless for both hiring manager and employee, making it an essential part of the screening process.
Share Your Business’s Upside
It’s hard to part with your hard-earned profits as a small business owner, but doing so shows that you are invested in this person. As this USA Today article notes, “To attract top-tier employees, however, you may want to use equity or profit sharing to give potential hires a reason to accept the job.” Giving her a personal stake in the company shows good faith and could very well be returned to you in job performance and loyalty.
Find the Employee That Can Happily Wear Many Hats
The “that’s not in my job description mentality” is the kiss of death in small business. People in smaller companies and, in particular, in startups, need to be able to wear many hats. Not only that, but they shouldn’t feel like they have the right to complain about it. Find someone who sees this as a perk, as he or she won’t be doing the same thing day in and day out.
Staffing your small business with the right people is undeniably crucial to your success. Follow these tips, be diligent, avoid past mistakes, and, in the end, go with your gut. You’ll have a competent staff in no time.