If you’re a small business owner, you likely work with a tight-knit group of people that know how to get the job done. When it’s time to expand though, it can feel like taking in a foreign exchange student for the summer. You’re excited, but you’re not sure how things are going to go. To ensure that you find the best fit for the job, it’s important to approach hiring methodically. Here are some suggestions:
Define the Need
It is always helpful to break down jobs into tasks and note where the gaps are. It may be that tasks can be shifted between current employees for better efficiency. The remaining un-owned tasks define the business need.
Define the Position
Now that you know what tasks need covered, you can put together a job description. Make sure it’s attractive, not just a compilation of tasks that nobody else wants to do. Remember, you want to find someone who wants to come to work.
Price it Right
Check out the competition to determine what a reasonable salary would be for the position. Then, offer what is both reasonable and affordable.
Sell the Whole Picture
Small businesses can’t typically compete with the pay rate of larger corporations. So, if the offered salary is a little less than enticing, be sure to sell the other benefits you can offer. Play up the company culture, flexibility and environment. Let your excitement shine through!
Find the Right Fit
Finding the right person for the job can be difficult. Most businesses will get flooded with resumes when a position is advertised. Tap into all your resources (networking, LinkedIn, etc.) and ask your existing staff for recommendations. Then, you need a multi-step process to sort through them, and someone with the time to do it. Look beyond qualifications, and get to know a little bit about the person. Ask interview questions that reveal their character, work ethic and how well they think on their feet. If they fit well with the existing group of employees, they will be more likely to be content, loyal and in it for the long haul.
Just as you set expectations for customers, you have to do the same for potential employees. The last thing you want is to have to start the hiring process all over again because the new hire didn’t know what they were getting into.
Wait for the Right Person
When you finally decide you need to hire someone, it’s tempting to race to the finish line. But, the fact is, the right person for the job may not be in the first stack of resumes. Plan for the long-term, or you may find yourself hiring again sooner than you’d like.
When you interview a candidate for the job, remember that top talent will be interviewing you too. Run the meeting professionally, and be prepared to shine the show lights on your business. At the end of the day, they have to choose you too.
Give Them a Trial Run
There is nothing that takes the pressure off the hiring process quite like trying out an employee before you make any long-term commitments. Many small businesses find it helpful to use a staffing agency to provide them with qualified and pre-screened candidates for a short-term trial run. It saves time and money; but, even more importantly, it gives everyone involved an opportunity to see if it’s a perfect match.
Resist the temptation to hire someone just like yourself. A business grows best when new ideas and different strengths are blended together. For best results, choose someone who complements you and the existing staff well.
When you take the time to choose the right teammates, the hours you spend on the job can be both productive and pleasant. It’s worth taking the extra steps to find that person the first time around.