As a small business owner, there are countless decisions that you need to carefully consider in order to make the right choices for moving your business forward, including hiring the right employees. While hiring might seem like one of the simplest aspects of running your business, it is actually more complex than many realize. From narrowing down applicants without having to filter through countless irrelevant resumes to figuring out which candidate has the best skill set for the position, there are layers upon layers of choices to be made throughout the process.
Whether you are just starting out with your first round of hiring or are an established small business that wants to refine their hiring process, this guide can help you find the right employees to take your company to the next level.
Step 1: Know What You Are Looking For
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when hiring is not having a clear idea of what they are looking for going into the process. While you might know which position you need to fill, there is so much more that goes into finding the right fit.
Before you post the job listing or host interviews, define a clear list of exactly what you need in a candidate, including:
- Technical skills
- Industry experience
- Leadership experience
- Personality traits
You should also have a number in mind for the maximum pay you are willing to compromise on. With this outline, you will be able to provide a much more specific job listing and find more qualified candidates right from the gate.
Step 2: Verify Candidate Information
Unfortunately, when it comes to small businesses, candidates may be more likely to exaggerate or falsify information on their application because they think that these companies will not invest the resources in verifying them—like figuring out how to run a background check. That is why it is essential to have a verification process in place when you are evaluating candidates to join your team. Here are a few ways you can ensure that the person you are hiring is telling the truth:
- Call references
- Check their experience against their LinkedIn
- Ask them specific questions about skills and experience during their interview
- Run a background check before officially hiring anyone
Doing these four things can protect your business’s best interest by saving you money from having to terminate an unqualified hire, prevent time and resources from being wasted, and safeguard sensitive information that could otherwise land in the wrong hands.
Step 3: Prepare for Interviews
Depending on the type of small business you run, it can be tempting to forgo formalities when you are interviewing candidates. However, some of the practices are in place for a reason—like thorough interview questions, skills tests, and tiered interviews. While you do not necessarily have to change your approach if your company culture is more laid back, you should still integrate these practices in your own way. To get the most out of each interview you should:
- Figure out exactly who needs to be in the interview (having too many people can make interviews unnecessarily long and waste your resources)
- Plan which questions to ask (and who will ask which ones if there are multiple people participating)
- Look into whether there are relevant skill tests that can help you evaluate candidate competence
- Learn as much about the candidate beforehand (that way you do not need to waste time refamiliarizing yourself during the interview)
Your priorities based on the position will also impact how you prepare for interviews. For example, if company culture and personality are the most important aspects of a new hire, then you will want to direct your questions more toward those attributes instead of honing in on the technical experience.
While there are a lot of factors that go into finding the ideal employee to join your growing team, only you can decide which are the right practices to implement into your hiring process. However, you choose to move forward, keep in mind that choosing the right candidates should always be a top priority because the individuals who make up your team serve as the face of your business, work behind the scenes to improve your operations, and are critical in pushing your organization toward a successful future.