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6 Tips For Hiring the Best Talent for Your Small Business
Being a small business owner is a liberating experience. From making your own schedule to pursuing something you’re passionate about and including loved ones if it’s a family business, so many aspects can be rewarding for different reasons. One part of owning a small business that can be an initial challenge is hiring employees. Naturally, you trust family and friends, but oftentimes they aren’t the best people for you to work within a professional environment due to your personal relationship.
So, what’s it take to be good at hiring and building a strong team that will support your business to grow to the heights you have in mind? A couple of things actually– from outlining the job at hand, using technology, having a set strategy to identify prospects, asking the right questions, to keeping in touch, and following up with candidates. Hiring the right people for your small business can be the difference between success and struggling to survive.
You and your employees are the faces of your small business, you have the ability to strike a chord with customers and make a lasting connection that keeps them coming back. Follow along to make sure you are putting the best team together for your business…
1. Define the Position You’re Hiring For
This seems self-explanatory, but the last thing you want is ambiguity when it comes time to have a candidate come in to interview. Are you or are they at all confused as to what the position entails? Did you clearly define the position in the job posting? Are the duties and responsibilities well-outlined? Have you included any information into compensation or will they be surprised and turned off when they see the figure? Many of these can be figured out ahead of time.
Understanding your exact needs as the business owner can help you craft a specific job posting angled at a certain candidate so you can ensure you’re getting quality applicants. Not only will this help you in your hiring process, but it will also help you clearly communicate with your current employees the direction and needs the business currently has. After having a firm definition and understanding of the position you’re hiring for you can then go into pre-screening or interviews with a newfound strategy.
2. Utilize Tech to Help You
Today’s landscape has given business owners the opportunity to adopt technology, sometimes at a faster rate than they may be comfortable with. While tech can be met with a learning curve, there are several aspects that can make your life as a business owner easier and more streamlined, from using computerized timecards to digitizing your finances with an online small business bank. Tech can be especially helpful for finding the right candidates, though, as hiring platforms like Indeed or Monster can make the process quicker and even expose your business to more qualified candidates.
While Indeed and Monster can help you broadcast postings to qualified candidates, think where those candidates are going to learn more about your business. Do you have a professional-looking website that explains what you do and reflects what you stand for? Do you have business Instagram and Facebook pages that illustrate your company culture and some of the behind-the-scenes aspects candidates may be interested in seeing? Just as people research product reviews before making a purchase, you can guarantee they’ll be looking for information on your business before hiring. Make sure what they find is favorable and puts your business in the best light possible!
3. Strategically Identify Prospects
Before the interviewing process begins, strategize what you and/or your team is going to be looking for in the perfect candidate for the position. What type of experience may this candidate have? What are some of the skills this candidate may possess, both tangible and intangible? What may this person be looking for in their career and can you offer that in this role? Remember, hiring is as much about satisfying the goals and ambitions of the prospect as it is driving your company forward. If you aren’t on the same page from the start, this can lead to wasted time and money training a hired candidate which then brings you back to square one.
For example, a seasonal small business may opt to strategize their hiring process around returning college students or graduating high schoolers as opposed to putting job postings on national job boards. In this case, a business owner may be looking for candidates who are young, hard-working, looking to gain experience, or just fill a summer job and willing to accept lower pay than someone who’s been in a professional career for 10+ years. Understanding your strategy is paramount to identifying the right candidates, wasting no time, and not needlessly spending your valuable budget.
4. Ask the Right Questions
You’ve done all the work up until now and have finally identified a few candidates who have checked out during the pre-screening process, had a great resumé, and in your head, you could see as your coworker. Now comes make or break time, how do they perform in the interview, or more importantly, are you and your team asking the right questions to separate a truly great team fit for your business from someone simply just looking for a job? If you are able to, schedule an in-person interview, or if burdened by restrictions or concerns over employee safety, a Zoom meeting will easily suffice.
Questions bordering on the line of discrimination should be thrown out right away. Not only will they get you in trouble and potentially offend candidates, but they also don’t help you identify a great teammate. Instead, opt for questions like these that can help you get to know the candidate better and how they may react to certain situations. Asking a mix of probing questions to feel out the candidate, situational questions to see how they’d respond to an event, and cultural fit questions can help you separate qualified candidates from others.
5. Leverage Pre Employment Testing
Interviews can reveal tons of information about potential candidates, but they are still impacted by bias and a candidate’s attempt to position themselves in the best light possible. Anyone who is going in for a job interview is going to do their best job to appear like a top performer. Pre-employment testing helps you identify top-performing candidates in your applicant pool by screening for personality, aptitude, or specific skills. The Hire Talent’s pre-employment tests are scientifically validated to ensure that high scores consistently lead to selecting top performers.
Pre-employment testing won’t replace your hiring process any time soon, but when combined with a strong structure and great interview questions, the right test will turn your hiring process into a lethal talent identification machine.
6. Follow Up with Candidates
Finally, you must follow up with candidates. Whether you decide to bring them onto your team or not, you owe them the courtesy of following up. When you follow up with a candidate who you’ve decided not to bring on, be sure to explain your reasoning and always frame it in a positive manner, whether that be saying, “We decided to move in a different direction at this time,” or, “We appreciate the time you spent but we are moving forward with other candidates at this time.” Whatever your reasoning is, leaving a past candidate on a positive note will leave them with a neutral-good feeling of your business as opposed to being upset and bitter. Who knows, they may be the perfect fit for a position down the line.
Regardless of the position, you’re hiring for, every employee you bring onto your team has the ability to greatly impact your small business. Be sure to take the time and leave no stone unturned in the hiring process.
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