Take the Hassle out of Hiring

Anyone with a small business knows how important choosing the right new hire is. The hiring process can be frustrating, in part because of how important it is to select the right employee. To a company with, say, 20 employees, that new employee is 5% of the total number. Hiring a 10th employee? He or she is 10% of your employees. The smaller the business, the more rests on having great employees. Hiring is a headache, but there are ways to take the hassle out of hiring. There are three steps you should take and three things to look at in every applicant before hiring a new staff member.

Steps to Take Before Hiring

1. Have a clear job description. Make sure you understand the position. If it’s an existing position, take the time to reevaluate with whomever is leaving. He or she may have taken on additional roles, or dropped some responsibilities. Be certain that you’re clear on what actually needs to be done. If it’s a new position, try to be as specific as possible. 2. Check references. Do all the requisite fact-checking. It seems obvious, but it’s important not to skip this step. Even when your gut says “Go for it,” make sure you’ve looked over the resume and confirmed everything. 3. Plan your training program before hiring. Once you’ve found the right candidate, you’ll want to get him or her on board as soon as possible. Make sure you’ve planned for his or her transition into the new role before you hire.

3 Characteristics of a Great New Employee

1. Competence. The bottom line is that competence is key. It seems obvious that you need to hire someone who can do the job; however, one of the top problems for small businesses is poor hiring decisions. For entry-level jobs, recruit at college campuses with a reputation for good business programs. School reputations won’t guarantee whether a candidate is right or not; however, for recruiting, there are fewer unqualified applicants to deal with.

2. Attitude. Again, this seems obvious, but it’s another huge hiring problem: some people just have a bad attitude. It can be difficult to catch this in the interview, when everyone is on their best behavior. It can be helpful to reflect back on your current employees’ interviews. What were the characteristics that made you want to hire them? How did they exhibit a great work ethic or a good attitude in their interview? If your instincts in this area are bad, ask others for advice on hiring.

3. Company culture. Like it or not, your business has a company culture. You may have been proactive about creating it; you may not have. Finding someone who is a good fit for your company culture (or who is a change for the better) is crucial.

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