Your staff are some of the most important cogs in your business machine, especially if you own a client- or customer-facing business. For plumbing services, cafes, restaurants or retail shops (just to name a few), your employees can become the face of your business. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to hire the right person, not just the first one to apply. You might be asking, “How do I find that person and still have time to run my business?”
Here are our 4 tips to help you hire the best employee for your small business:
1. Write a killer job description
Ultimately, a job description is the element that aims to attract potential employees to the position you are offering.
The secret to a great job description? Know exactly what the job entails – every duty and responsibility. If you can, try put yourself in the role for a day. This will help you understand the core responsibilities and skills that a successful candidate would need. Some skill requirements might be rudimentary, while others might require more specialised capabilities or education. Knowing and tracking that difference allows you to open up the application field and slice through it more accurately.
Above all, avoid vague descriptors in your job descriptions – keep it specific. Saying something like “a good team player” doesn’t provide the specifics you might be after. On the other hand, mentioning key skills like leadership or time management will ensure that your ideal candidate encompasses the role of “a good team player”, and holds all the necessary skills. The more detailed the job description, the more likely it is that your candidates are a solid match for the role.
2. Position the job as a sales pitch
In the same way you are trying to find the right employee, many candidates are also trying to find the right job. Your business is unique, so present that as a point of difference to your candidates. Think of the job process as a marketing tool. By “selling” the job, you can ideally raise interest and attraction from more candidates. Your goal should be more than just to recruit. You should additionally aim to convey your business as an engaging brand with a clear mission. As mentioned prior, the language you use during recruiting is marketing for your business. It can therefore help you find candidates who get what your business is really about. As the owner of your business, you should already be skilled in portraying the culture, benefits and backstory of your business to anyone – including potential employees.
3. Conduct a thorough screening process
A screening process will help ensure you pick the candidate that is best suited to the advertised position. Before you even begin looking through resumes, create a list of questions that will help to determine who progresses and who doesn’t. These questions should help you develop a sense of who would fit the ideals that you want for your business. If your job requires specialised skills and training, it could be beneficial to screen your candidates based on their level of education or skill set. If your business relies heavily on customer service, it could be beneficial to base the screening process on their customer service experience, rather than education level.
4. If possible, set a trial period
This step is more suitable to some businesses, as opposed to others. If you own a cafe, restaurant or retail store, you could offer strong candidates a trial shift. This can include shadowing one of your employees, or yourself, in store and in action. Seeing how the candidate would work in your store can help you determine if they’ll be a good fit, if they were hired.
The hiring process is vital for small business owners. A poor hire can affect a small team in negative ways. Likewise, using tactics to hire smarter will bring you new hires who are passionate about your business, and eager to build it with you.