Hiring the Right Talent for Your Small Business

By on September 8, 2018

Hiring the right employee(s) for your business is a challenging process. The wrong employee can turn into a costly and time consuming ordeal. The right employee, on the other hand, can bring your business productivity, healthy in-office relationships, and a positive impact on your bottom line. Your goal should be to hire and retain truly talented employees because your business depends on your team.

This is not a comprehensive guide to hiring new employees (and independent contractors), but these steps are key when you hire an employee. We encourage all business owners or managers to define their recruitment process, search for the right talent and offer competitive salaries (including benefits) to the best candidates. For more tips on popular hiring methods or new interview process (such as the brainteasers used by Google), speak with a trusted business consultant.

Define Your Talent Recruitment Process

Set a precedent for your company and define your job hiring process. Since only you know what the job requires and what kind of person works best with your team, define your needs and review your process to ensure your business practices follow federal and state regulations

1. Before Hiring any Employee(s) Consult with Your Recruitment Team

First things first – assemble a team of current staff or contractors who represent the best qualities of the people who currently hold the same or a similar position. Include your partner and hiring manager. Together you will perform a job analysis to develop the job description internally and discuss the behavioral characteristics of your ideal candidate as they pertain to the position and company culture. The information from the job analysis is fundamental to developing the job description and a thorough recruiting strategy for the new employee(s).

These key employees will become the recruitment team, responsible for carrying out your recruiting strategy, reviewing applications and/or attending meeting with candidates. The hiring manager (or owner – as is often the case with small businesses) will be crucial to the planning and observance of employment practices and regulations. Sound like a lot of effort? Well, it is – however, you will have a much better idea about the characteristics of the ideal candidate you want to attract to your company.

2. Refine Your Job Descriptions & Salary Options

Hiring the right employee starts with a job analysis and good job description that tells potential employees the exact requirements of the position. Collect information about the duties, responsibilities, necessary skills, outcomes, and work environment of a particular position. Develop a job description that delineates the key responsibilities and expectations (sales goals, financial goals, etc.) of the position. Then, define the behavioral characteristics of the person you feel is your ideal candidate…Do they need to be a team player or independent worker? Professional? Good with people? Do want someone who does what they’re asked or someone who thinks outside of the box? You get the idea.

List your key requirements and experiences (ie. education, credentials, work experience, etc.) you will use to screen resumes. Be clear that while a Bachelor’s Degree is required, it may be offset by x number of years on the job, and industry certifications are required, period. Each job description will have some variance of these essential requirements to help you quickly weed through mounds of applications.

Don’t lose great talent on account of a non-competitive compensation structure. Be aware that most employees are always comparing their salary to what else is offered in the marketplace. You may not know the exact salaries your competitors give their employees, but you should have an idea. Use industry checks and sources to assess competitor company job descriptions and salaries. You can utilize that data to adjust your business’ recruitment process, job descriptions and salary increments. If you can’t offer a competitive salary, then there may be other options such as providing better employee benefits and work-life balance programs to attract employees looking for a long-term commitment.

3. Review Applicant Backgrounds, Credentials and Applications Carefully

Take the time to review each resumes, cover letter, and job application when hiring new employee(s). Screen all applicants against the job description list of qualifications, required skills, experience, and characteristics to narrow the field. This will allow you to spend more time with the most qualified candidates.

You will want to verify that all the presented, education, credentials, skills, and experience are actually possessed by these candidates. At this point in the hiring process, a background check refers to work references (especially former supervisors and colleagues), educational credentials and employment status verification. Once you conduct initial interviews you may want to perform a deeper background check into your top candidate’s criminal history and credit history (if related to the job for which they will perform).

4. Assess Your Recruit with the Right Job Interview Questions

The job interview will be your key to selecting the best talent for your business out of the many qualified applicants you will review. Speak with your recruitment team to determine which job interview methods and questions are appropriate for the position. Should candidates answer routine situational and character-related questions? Is a test necessary to show problem solving or specialized skills?

You may also want to review the chosen job interview questions with a business consultant, and perhaps your insurance agent or legal counsel to ensure your company is not at risk of job discrimination violations.

Finding the Perfect Match – The Right Talent for Your Business

Once you begin interviewing job candidates, it is time to find the employees (and independent contractors) who enjoy their work will represent your company on and off the job. Before you begin handing out job offers, ask yourself these 7 questions:

  1. Does this prospect have the necessary skills, experiences and education to successfully complete the tasks you need performed?
  2. Is this candidate capable of finding ways to deliver on the functions that require more effort and creativity?
  3. Can this person get along with existing and potential clients, partners or fellow workers?
  4. Is the candidate serious about working for the long term or are they just looking for a position until they find something better?
  5. Does the person have values that align with your business’ core values, expectations, policies, etc..?
  6. Will this candidate’s character easily harmonize with your company culture – the manner in which your employees behave and interact with each other on a daily basis?
  7. Does this person value their work and are they satisfied with a competitive market-based compensation package?

In the end, it’s important to have an understanding of all of these factors when determining your company hiring process. For almost all companies, employees are the engine that drives growth, so you should make sure you recruit the right talent for the job. Hire quality employees and keep them happy – in the end, everyone can find a bit more success and stability.

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