You’ve heard the saying “Good help is hard to find.” (Unfortunately, you also may have experienced its truth first-hand). Hiring can be a challenge for companies of all sizes, but when you own a small business finding employees who have the right skill set, values and attitude can be a deciding factor in whether your business thrives or struggles.
Here are few tips to help you hire good employees, from the initial job posting all the way through their first few months on the job.Choose your job description content carefully.
A study published in the June 2015 issue of The Journal of Business and Psychology
revealed that job postings that focus on what a business will do for the candidate—not what the employer seeks in an applicant—attract more interest and qualified applicants.
Explain the minimum qualifications a candidate needs in order to be successful in your position (especially if it’s technical in nature), but feature the benefits your company offers employees just as prominently. Perhaps yours is a culture that invites creativity and innovation. Maybe you offer flexible work arrangements, or have a wellness-oriented workplace with standing desks, outdoor team challenges and walking meetings.
Name all the intrinsic benefits that make your business a great place to work to attract like-minded candidates.Skip the pointless interview questions.
Skip the standard questions about strengths and weaknesses, that time they overcame an obstacle or their dream job (all of which a skilled interviewer will know how to answer correctly). Instead, make a list of the challenges you face in a typical workday; ask your employees to do the same.
Is there considerable ambiguity? Do you frequently operate at a frenetic pace? Do you have challenging clients or lean resources? Ask the questions that address what a candidate would realistically experience at your business, if hired. The more honest you are about the good and the bad duties the job could entail, the more likely you are to find the candidate who will thrive in your environment.Prioritize personality as much as professional experience.
Many aspects of your business, including specific processes, can be taught—but a positive attitude or willingness to take initiative typically cannot. While an employee who can “hit the ground running” has appeal, remember that recruiting, hiring and training all present hard costs to your bottom line. Look for the employee who is eager to be a dedicated member of your team as much as the one who comes with an impressive professional pedigree.Spread the word.
Social media, online job sites and local professional organizations are all cost-effective avenues you can leverage to reach a highly qualified pool of candidates. Post your job opening on your own social media networks; invite the people who know and support your business to spread the word to qualified applicants. Connect with local colleges if you’re in search of entry-level employees or interns, and take advantage of leading job sites like Indeed and LinkedIn. The price for a job posting varies based on the level of exposure you’re willing to pay for (options include free, sponsored posts and pay per click pricing models), but you’ll reach a vast pool of candidates with minimal effort. Don’t clock out when they clock in.
Hiring good employees isn’t just about enticing a candidate to accept a job offer; it’s equally important that you’re able to retain them. Nothing scares a great employee away faster than feeling like they’ve accepted a job at an unorganized workplace with no plan for their development. Have a dedicated workspace ready for your new hire on day one, along with a strategy for how they will be trained to do their job, by whom, and how long that process will take. Establish clear expectations for the initiatives the employee is to focus on within the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job.
Once their introductory period ends, meet with the employee and check in about their progress up to this point—and how you can support their career development with your business for a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship.