Hiring the Right Employees at Your Small Business
by Alison Ringo
In small business every role counts. There’s no room for dead weight or interpersonal friction.
So it follows that, in a small business, every hiring decision is crucial. Without ESP, it can seem near impossible to tell when you’re about to majorly blunder. Here are some pointers to making an educated guess.
It’s Not About the Resume – Say you’ve already pared down your choices to candidates with relevant experience and knowledge. Now take your concept of The Perfect Background and throw it out the window.
Most hiring managers know what it’s like to see the ideal CV then meet the candidate and have the interview fall flat. But not all hiring managers are disciplined enough to go with their guts here, especially when the job in question has less interpersonal emphasis than, say, a sales or PR role.
Don’t kid yourself: even if you’re filling the driest of dry roles that involves nothing but number-crunching, this person will be an integral part of your team, professionally and personally.
Read Between References’ Lines – Thorough reference checking is essential to small business hiring. Don’t just ask the reference who they are to the candidate, their opinion on the candidate’s work, strengths and weaknesses, etc.
Get a read on the references themselves. Do they seem driven? Do they give you clues about why your applicant left a certain company? Do some digging to make sure this is a former manager you’re talking to, not a colleague who’s been prepped ahead of your call.
Better Early Than Late – Above all, don’t put off your hiring needs until you need someone “yesterday.” Especially in an up and down economy, waiting to interview until you’re drowning in backlogged work takes you totally out of the driver’s seat.
Not only will applicants read your company as desperate to make any hire, but you will feel rushed into accepting the first or second person who walks through the door.
Start early, prolong the process and even lose a good candidate or two if necessary, but leave yourself plenty of time to make a decision and do your work.
Tough Truths About Managing Employees in Small Business