How do I recruit and select employees for my small business?
The hiring process is one of the most fundamental steps in the growth of your small business. The prospect of bringing new people into the fold can be thrilling but also an anxiety inducing and with everybody being time poor. You want to make sure that you are making the right decision quickly.
To help you with this process we have devised a 5-step process to help you attract highly skilled, loyal team members that will enhance your business and make your life easier!
- Be Clear
Whether you are advertising on Gumtree, Seek or Social Media you need to be clear about what exactly you are looking for. What is the Job? What skills does it require? How often will the employee be required?
To help answer those questions, you may want to consider keeping a running list of tasks you would like the new employee to do (start this list a few weeks before posting for the position) and develop a clear job description.
After you have established what the role and its duties you may want to create selection criterion. The selection criterion is a checklist of the basic qualities that your new employee will need to have to be in the running for the position. That may come in the form of previous experience, a certain academic grade level or their availability.
Overall you want to be as transparent as possible, open about the possible challenges your business faces, establish realistic expectations and show off your company culture and values.
- Fish where the fish are
Now that you know the kind of person you are looking for, the next step is to get the word out. When advertising for a position it is essential that you target the people you are looking for.
If you are looking for short-term flexible work why not consider a university student. They have knowledge, spare time and are often hungry for any experience they can get their hands on. If you are looking for someone technical why not visit a demo-day? Someone in sales? Check out a trade show.
Another method you may want to use is your established relationships. Often you can find suitable employees through people you already know. Shoot an email to business colleagues or post on LinkedIn. The same goes for your existing employees. Getting your team involved in the hiring process makes a lot of sense and will help the new employee slip into your organisation with ease. After all, no one knows your business as well as your own team.
Whether it’s online or in person, be ready to interview like a pro. This means having done your research on the candidate and have questions prepared. Show up early with a positive attitude and respectfully raise their work history. You may want to ask the candidate when he/she has demonstrated a skill that is important for the job you are offering or what makes them think they fit the job criterion.
Remember the candidate is also checking you out and assessing whether they want to work for your business. Don’t forget to explain what you and your business are about – subtly sell yourself.
As well as the formal job related questions a huge part of the interview is getting a sense of the candidate’s personality and whether they will fit into your team. You may want to ask some questions about their life outside of work to get a better understanding of them as a person – chances are they wouldn’t have pre-written responses to this type of question, a great chance to see how the candidate thinks on their feet!
- Test Drive
It is time consuming and expensive to hire someone, but hiring to replace someone is even more expensive and time consuming. So before you want to commit, it might be worth considering a paid trial run, whether that be a day or just a few hours. No amount of great references and achievements can replace someone’s work ethic and ability to work in a team. It will give the candidate an opportunity to show off their skills not to mention the peace of mind it will give you, the employer.
*Cue Rocky balboa training montage*
Ok maybe not quite as intense as Rocky Balboa’s training montage, but not that far off! Once you think you have found your employee it’s time to get down to business. Don’t just show them the ropes, show them how to use the ropes, how to tie them in different ways, how to interact with the other ropes – l think you get the picture.
How the new employee is trained will set the tone for the rest of their working life with you so take your time.If that means having you or another employee works with them all day or for a couple of days, so be it. You only get one opportunity to train someone – do it once, do it well.
So you think you get to breathe a sigh of relief, now that you have found your perfect employee? It’s not quite over yet.
Once you have found your perfect person it is essential that you check in with them constantly. An easy way to make them feel included is to decorate their desk with personalised work hats or uniform items and introduce them to the other members of your team.
Once they have been there a few weeks it’s important and you solicit and offer feedback, ask how they are adjusting to the team and if they have all the tools they need to do a good job. Ok, now you can breathe a sigh of relief. You should be off to a great start now to building the team that will take you closer to your business’ vision.