Your business is growing and you can’t do it by yourself any longer – you need help. How do you find and hire qualified employees who are willing to help your business grow? You’ll want to be accurate, open, and honest throughout the hiring process to make sure you’re attracting candidates who fit your company.
Write Accurate Job Descriptions
The first step to hiring a qualified employee is knowing what you’re looking for and conveying your needs through a job description.
The job description should accurately describe the roles the employee would be expected to fill. When working for a small business, everyone is often expected to wear multiple hats, so make sure that your job description accurately portrays that.
Describe what skills, personality traits, and relevant experience are needed to successfully fill the position. You’ll probably get resumes from people who don’t match these requirements, but if you’re upfront about the requirements from the beginning, it will be easy to weed out the resumes that don’t match.
Before starting the hiring process, research what the going rate is for similar positions at other companies and match it. If you can’t match the going salary, make sure to play up the unique benefits you provide, such as flexible schedules, telecommuting, or a casual dress code.
Utilize Your Networks
After you’ve crafted your job description, you need to get it in front of potential employees. Start by posting the description in mediums that your ideal candidates will see – online, social media, industry publications, local newspapers, and career fairs.
Don’t stop there, though. Utilize your own network and ask your friends, family, and advisers for referrals. Your advisers, particularly, may know strong candidates in the industry, and they’ll have a good idea of what qualities you’re looking for to fit your company.
If you already have employees, ask them for referrals, too. Employee recommended candidates are more likely to be successful because your employees will give them an honest view of the company. Your employees are likely to only recommend strong candidates because they want to protect their own reputations. Put a bounty out there for employee referrals – if you hire an employee recommended candidate, offer them a small cash bonus or a paid afternoon off.
After you’ve read through resumes and weeded out those who will obviously not be successful in the position, start small. Don’t just jump straight into interviewing candidates.
Develop a list of questions to ask candidates over the phone to weed out unlikely candidates before committing time to interview them.
After successful phone interviews, send candidates an online assessment to complete that will analyze behavioral traits and cognitive reasoning speed. If the results match what you’re looking for in an employee, invite candidates to an interview.
Focus on Values
During the interview, focus on your business’s values, vision, and goals. Whichever candidate you decide to hire, you’ll be working with them daily, so make sure their values fit yours.
Use a discussion of your company’s visions and goals to outline a path for growth within the company. Successful employees want to continue to grow, so make sure they know that’s possible in your company. This conversation will help you determine whether the candidate is serious about sticking with your company long-term.
When you ask candidates for references, also ask them for the contact information of former bosses and colleagues. Their references will more than likely be biased, but former bosses and colleagues will be more realistic.
Be Open and Honest
During the interview, make sure to leave enough time to let the candidate interview you, too. Be honest about what it’s going to be like working for your company. Be as realistic as possible so that the candidate doesn’t run into too many surprises once they start working.
At the end of the interview, make sure that the candidate is clear about what the next steps are. Let them know if there will be another interview, and give them a timeframe for reaching your decision. If you wait too long, candidates may become impatient and take another position.
Hire Slow, Fire Fast
When you’re hiring a new employee for your business, take your time to make sure you’re hiring someone who will fit well with your company. If it turns out the employee doesn’t fit, don’t be afraid to let them go.