How to employ the right person for your business
Your small business is growing, the market has a need for the product or service you are selling, and you are bringing in employees to expand your business. What could possibly go wrong? The answer is, a lot, if you do not hire the right person.
One of the differences between businesses that boom and those that limp along, is good employees. Obviously, your talent has a lot to do with the success of your business, but you can only go so far by yourself. As the director of the company, it is your job to find good employees, figure out what motivates them, and then place them into the job that will make them, and your business thrive.
Hiring employees is time-consuming and requires a lot of patience and energy. You must resist the temptation to fill the job quickly with one of the first few people who comes along or hire someone who is only sufficient because you want to stop interviewing and get back to the business of running your business. You also need to hire people who will adapt to and thrive in your company.
Generate a Pool of Candidates
The first step in the process – after you have determined what kind of person you need – is to generate a pool of candidates. To do this, you can use some conventional and not-so-conventional approaches.
- Always be on the lookout for people Even if you are not able to hire someone right now, you should be thinking about who you may need in six months or a year and start keeping an eye out for candidates.
- Beat the bushes Once you have decided what you want, ask colleagues, people you used to work with, friends of friends they might know someone who would be perfect.
- Look in unconventional places One small business owner who needed an assistant hired the waitress at the café she frequented. Why? She knew she was good with people, smart and hard working even before she talked to her about the position.
- Spend money If you are looking for high-level people and your network has not turned anything up, you may need to hire a recruiter. You may have to get beyond not wanting to spend money if you want someone good.
Once you have created a pool of candidates, it is time to start the evaluation process. This is the phase in which you should pay close attention to whether a person has the skills for the job (as opposed to just a good personality or a price tag you like) although these are important, the right skills should be the focus. There are lots of highly skilled people on the job market now, due to the pandemic.
At Advice4business we support our clients helping them shortlist candidates and conduct telephone interviews on their behalf before interviewing any face 2 face or over zoom.
Once the candidates have been shortlisted to interview, we develop a set of questions tailored to the position and our vision of the ideal candidate.
It can be useful to include some unconventional questions. Applicants are less likely to have simple straightforward answers to those types of unconventional questions, which means you will be able to gather some real information during the interview about a person’s judgment, willingness to take risks, and decision-making capabilities. Qualities they will need to thrive in a small company.
You may wish to use some of the questions below and others like them, to determine if an applicant is cut out to work in your company.
- What risks did you take in your last job and what were the results? This question accomplishes many things. First, it lets you determine the candidates’ definition of risk. One person may think that speaking up against the party line is daring, while another’s definition is breaking from the company’s long-held advertising strategy. It also enables you to see how the person follows through on endeavours he or she undertakes and how they manage change and uncertainty.
- What methods do you use to make decisions? This may tell you if the person has trouble making decisions. A person who does things the way they have always been done or who relies heavily on other people’s opinions to decide may not be an ideal candidate for a small company which usually needs independent people who can make decisions under fire. To get at the true patterns of someone’s decision-making processes, pose a situational question.
- Should employees be able to criticize the boss? In what ways? This separates yes-people from applicants who could enhance your business by asking intelligent questions. But you also want to make sure you do not hire an argumentative person who disagrees just for the sake of it. To figure out which camp an applicant falls into, ask them if they have ever disagreed with a boss, and what the situation was. You can also ask for an example of a time they challenged their supervisor and had the situation turn out positively.
Good Luck and if you need any more advice or tips get in touch.