This article is contributed by Adrian Matthews.
For all the horrors of the current economic climate, there is one good thing to come out of the recession; there’s never been a better time to look for new staff. Jobs are scarce and as a result, there’s never been more talented people without one.
Should you find yourself at the helm of a small business, now is therefore a very good time to invest in your workforce. Here are eight simple tips for doing so wisely.
Define the Position
First off, you’re going to have to answer one very important question, what exactly is the job? Many small business owners fail to clearly define the position that they’re offering.
And unfortunately, a vague job description makes finding the right person to do it incredibly challenging. The best way to figure out exactly what you’re looking for is to make a list of every single task that you see your new employee doing.
Make Sure You Need Someone
Some small business owners rush into the decision of hiring a new employee. This is a major mistake as it can easily result in a monthly pay check that they don’t need to be paying. Before advertising any position, always look into alternatives.
- Is there any way that you could handle the job yourself?
- Could one of your existing employees take on the tasks?
- Would you be better off hiring an independent contractor for a limited period of time?
- Should you experiment with a temp while you’re answering these questions?
Pay What the Position is Worth
If you can’t afford to pay the market rate to fill a particular position, think long and hard before trying to fill it. The best employees aren’t cheap and the cheapest employees are rarely worth hiring. To determine the market rates for a position, take a look at your local competitors. How much are they offering? Resist the urge to undercut them, what you save in wages, you’ll lose in job performance.
Make a List of “Must Haves”
What exactly are you looking for in your new employee? What are the specific requirements that they must meet? If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, your odds of finding it are slim to none. Make a list of specific requirements and cross out all applicants that fail to meet them. Keep in mind that you’re operating in a buyers market. In other words, you can afford to be picky.
Sell the Small Business Angle
When advertising the position, don’t try to hide the fact that you are a small business. Instead, highlight the advantages of this fact. Working for a small business generally involves far less paper work. Ideas are more likely to be heard, names are more likely to be known and regulations tend to be lot less rigid. Think about the perks that you can offer too i.e. a more flexible working schedule or perhaps the ability to telecommute.
Pay Attention to Personality
Don’t underestimate the importance of hiring somebody with the right attitude. Large businesses don’t really need to worry about this but small businesses do. This is because they tend to have significantly fewer employees and adding one bad apple to the mix can really change the working environment. Make sure that you find somebody who will complement rather than clash with your companies existing employees.
Use Your Experience
If you’re hiring somebody to perform a task that you have performed many times yourself, take full advantage of this fact. Avoid text book interview questions and focus on the challenges that you have personally faced in the past. Ask potential candidates what they would do if faced with similar challenges. By avoiding text book interview questions, you will be encouraging candidates to show you how they really think.
Finally, just because you love your business, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody else does. When talking to potential candidates, try not to oversell the position. If you set an applicant’s expectations too high, they’re unlikely to stick around when those expectations are not met. It’s therefore very important to be brutally honest about both your business and exactly what the position entails.
Author Bio: Adrian Matthews owns a water bottle manufacturing plant. He keenly follows business developments and suggests fellow businessmen to follow his word of advice on hiring matters mentioned in today’s post.
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- Money image courtesy of radiant guy (Bashar Al-Ba’noon) via Flickr
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