We all know that a strong team makes it possible for any small business to accomplish great things. But when it comes to hiring, many owners just wing it, and often end up disappointed and frustrated.
Getting the right people is not easy, but if you do it well, you won’t be doing it so often! Here are some do’s and don’ts to make your hiring system pay off – in terms of sales, productivity, and profit.
Do Build a Case for Your Hiring Decisions. Before you rush out and replace an employee (or bring in additional help) – stop! Be clear on what you need, why you need it and what it will cost. Think long-term not just quick fixes.
Do Create a Good Job Description. Think beyond just duties and responsibilities. What skills must the person possess to accomplish the job and add value to your company? A good job description sets the expectations for the position and can provide the clarity you need – so you attract what you want.
Do Require a Resume. With online job sites for almost every position out there, most candidates have a resume of some type. Resumes are a great way to evaluate written communication skills and can be helpful in weeding out those you don’t want. So make them a part of your hiring process – ask for them!
Do Phone Screening of Applicants. A 10-minute phone screen, with relevant questions, can save countless hours of time. Beyond getting clarification on resume information, a phone screen is a great way to evaluate verbal communication skills.
Don’t Go It Alone. As a small business owner, you likely interview most candidates. But why not allow other employees to participate in the interview process. We all pick up different things and input from others can be very helpful in making good hiring decisions. If you are a solo owner, ask another solo-owner to interview your candidates and return the favor for him/her when needed.
Do Reference and Background Checks. Face it, some people polish the apple a bit or just flat-out lie on resumes and throughout the interview process. Before you jump in and offer someone a position, do your homework. Get business (not personal) references and call them. Confirm their employment and the dates – then ask the magic question, ‘Would you re-hire the candidate’. A simple yes or no will speak volumes. And don’t forget to do a little online research. Facebook, Linked-In and Google+ provide a lot of information, good and bad, on potential employees. Use it. If background checks or assessments are part of your process, do them.
Do Not Settle. I know that being short-staffed can be frustrating, but hiring the wrong person, just to get someone in there, will cause more damage. It can hurt productivity even further, kill employee morale and cost you in the long run.
Finally, believe you can get quality people within your company. If you believe you can, you will. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. So whether you are replacing a current employee or hiring for the first time, invest the time to do it right. The people in your company represent YOU – so set high standards and integrate these suggestions into your hiring process or system.
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