When your business begins to grow and you are tired of wearing 10 different hats, it will be time to hire employees. Hiring the right employee will be one of the most important decisions you will make, one that has a direct bearing on the company’s success.
Where do you find good employees? Most entrepreneurs hire people they know, family referrals, or through help-wanted ads. Others start slow or hire temporary help. Others are successful using internal recruiting.
Once you have people apply, you will need to interview them, to screen out individuals who do not meet your criteria. Be aware that there are federal laws that protect employees from discrimination, so learn what you can and cannot say to protect yourself from legal recourse.
After you have finally found a qualified candidate and you decide to bring them aboard, make sure you are hiring and complying with both state and federal laws.
When your employee has started, a good manager will learn how to communicate with employees. Small businesses often spend quality time training an employee and then lose the new recruit to a job that offers more benefits and perks. Small companies don’t have the financial resources to compete with large companies, but can be creative with ways to reward their employees.
One way to retain employees is to provide training opportunities that will not only increase productively, but their interest in your job and their self-esteem.
There are dozens of recruiting and human resource books, such as “Competency-Based Recruitment and Selection” (published by John Wiley and Sons) available from online sources.
A Recruitment and Interview Plan
The object of recruiting is to attract a suitable pool of qualified applicants. To many employers, this might be a large pool. But to the small business owner the pool should have a suitable number to select from, but time efficiency is a necessary consideration. Therefore the small business owner will need to take the following steps to narrow the appropriate applicants from the pool:
- Define the needed criteria of the job to be filled
- Systematize your recruiting with a flexible strategy and plan
- Set a target date to fill the position
- Define resources to advertise the position
- Create an ad that both generates applications and screens-out unqualified applicants
- Advertised positions are also company advertisements – be creative, but efficient!
- Monitor quantity and quality of applicants
- Consider recruiting from within your business
- Consider referrals from employees
Another consideration is the use of the professional recruiting agency. Some advantages are:
- Large pool of quality applicants
- Can offer advice as to position needs
- Can handle time consuming details such as advertising, reference checking, etc.
- School placement offices – college and technical training centers are good choices, but also be sure to not overlook technical programs in public high schools depending on the skills you are seeking
- Job fairs – you may find public agencies sponsoring these at no cost to your business
- Professional associations and their publications
- Union and craftsmen halls
- Public employment services
References and Background Checks
Before you hire an employee, take one last step and check your candidate’s references. If your candidate cannot provide 2-3 references from previous employers, or can’t explain why, be suspicious. When you do receive the references, make sure to take the extra ten minutes and call them.?Don’t be afraid to ask important questions. The worst they can say is “I can’t answer that.”
Books, such as the “Investigator’s Guidebook” or “Hiring Smart” can also help you through the maize of background checks. Also, read Running your business.