Hiring, regardless of size of your company, is one of the most daunting, anxiety ridden and costly tasks you will be faced with as a business owner. For small businesses, however, it comes at a much greater cost, both in time and dollars. So getting it ‘right’ is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, there is no secret formula to finding and hiring the perfect employee. But, luckily there are some solid tips and strategies that reveal the secrets to successful small business hiring.
1. Define the Position. It’s important that you clearly outline exactly what the position is that you are hiring for and what responsibilities will come with that position. This will allow you to determine the skillset that the ‘perfect’ candidate must have in order to be successful in the position. Start by creating a list of all the duties the person will perform and the skills needed to complete each. This will allow you to see exactly what the key skills are that are needed and also allow you to write a thorough job description that you can use to advertise the position and when onboarding your new hire.
2. Go Fishing. Once you’ve determined the type of person you need to fill the position, it’s time to go fishing and catch them! The easiest way to do that is to ‘Fish Where the Fish Are’. Figure out where the type of candidate you are looking for would go to find a job opportunities, either online or in person. Conferences and events are a great place to find candidates because they allow you to open dialogue, often with people of the same industry or interest, in a more casual environment. This allows you to see more of the ‘person’ you might be hiring than a resume. Looking for someone technical? Drop by a local tech Meetup. Looking for a great salesperson? Try asking a salesperson you buy from and enjoy dealing with if they happen to know anyone like them looking for a position. Because they know you, and your business, they would have a better insight to the type of person that would fit into your business.
Check out this video below, about hiring. (if it does not play check it out here)
3. Don’t Forget Who You Are. Small businesses typically have small staffs and a company culture that is pretty clearly defined. Don’t forget that when you start interviewing. Finding someone that can fit into your company culture is key, and often as critical as ensuring they have the skills needed to be successful. A fish out of water simply won’t survive.
4. Don’t Get Desperate and NEVER Sell Yourself. If you are hiring, there is a strong chance that you are in serious need of help, possibly even desperate. This is the worst position to be in when hiring. When a business owner is desperate to hire, they tend to try to ‘sell’ the position and company versus forcing the candidate to sell themselves. This is never good! Even if you are desperate, always keep in mind that a bad hire will be three times as costly as waiting a few extra weeks to find the right person.
5. Be In Perpetual Hiring Mode. While you might not always have an open position to fill, as a business owner you should perpetually be in hiring mode. Keep a pool of names of those you met through the hiring position. Perhaps you met someone who didn’t fit one position, but they’d be perfect for a new position you are filling. Or maybe you got an application for a great IT person, but you were hiring for Sales. Start creating a database of people that could be possible candidates for future positions. This will save you time, and money, the next time a position opens.
Hiring should be an exciting time for you and your business. It’s a sign of growth and success. Instead of dreading it, use the tips above to approach the task with a positive, well-thought out plan. This will help you simplify the process and find the ‘perfect’ person to bring into your business.
This post was written in partnership with Progressive Insurance. I have been compensated, but the thoughts and ideas are my own. For additional small business tips, check out Progressive’s Small Business Big Dreams program.