If you’re a small business owner, then you probably launched your business with full responsibility for everything involved. Whether it was marketing, budgeting or customer support, you did whatever was necessary on a daily basis. As your business grows and becomes profitable, it’s time to think about bringing others onboard so that you can execute the vision more effectively. Quite frankly, it’s what’s required for sustained growth. You’ll want to free up your time for more strategic functions and hire people who can fulfill a lot of the daily tasks.
When you’ve been handling things on your own, the process of expanding your business can be difficult, but it’s a strategic decision that startup and small business owners make in order to achieve sustained growth. Since it’s costly to recruit, hire and train new employees, you’ll want to get it right the first time. Here are a few tips for identifying, hiring and retaining a productive team.
Look for Versatile Candidates
When your business is still in it’s infancy stages and you’ve personally handled all of the work involved, then there’s a good chance that you don’t have job descriptions or roles that are clearly defined. There’s also a strong likelihood that you aren’t quite sure how much time it will take to perform each task. For these reasons, among others, you’ll want to look for candidates who are versatile and capable of wearing different hats. You should also look for individuals who have flexible availability.
To avoid the cycle of hiring and firing employees, you can start by securing contractors for a defined period of time. You can even choose a salaried contract as you take the time required to better define the role. This will give you an opportunity to assess the person’s capabilities before making any long-term commitments.
Set and Maintain High Standards
Once you’ve made a decision to hire someone to help, it’s important to stay focused on both the hard skills and soft skills that are necessary for the position. Make a decision early on to avoid candidates who are anything less than enthusiastic about the role. Given the cost associated with recruitment and the challenges of hiring the wrong person, it would be better not to fill the position than to make the wrong decision.
When reviewing resumes, keep in mind that a candidates capabilities may not be fully represented in their resume. There’s a good chance that you will find an ambitious and hard working applicant who may not have the specific experience that you want, but is eager to learn. Some of the highest performers are those who didn’t have the best resume. The interview process often reveals whether or not they have what it takes to get the job done.
Develop a Strong Job Description
One of the best things that you can do is write a job description that spells out your expectations for the position. It should be clear and keyword optimized in order to identify the right candidates within your industry. The job description should include the specific competencies required and the salary range. You’ll also want to communicate the benefits of working for you, which might include telecommuting, possible career advancement and flexible scheduling. It’s been proven that employees are concerned about much more than just the salary when seeking employment – they want fulfillment and career advancement.
Use Good Judgment
When it comes to hiring the right person for a role in your business, especially as a small business owner, it’s necessary to trust your instincts throughout the process. While it’s important to examine a person’s resume and conduct background verifications, there are some aspects of the hiring process that simply require you to use good judgment. For example, if the resume looks great and the references are glowing, but you have a gut feeling about an employment gap, then pay attention to that instinct and move on to the next candidate.
Ask for Recommendations
One of the most common ways that employers find great employees is through the recommendation of current employees. If you have someone on your team who’s a high achiever, then they won’t likely recommend someone who isn’t for fear of sullying their reputation.