How to Hire The Right Employees for Your Small Business

Are you sitting comfortably?

Welcome to my series of podcasts that will help you to navigate those inevitable difficult events at work that are part of being a manager. 

Today, I want to talk about how to hire the right people for your small business. 

If you want your small business to grow and be successful, you need great employees. One of your most important jobs is finding the right people for your team, especially in a small business, where having even just one underperforming employee can seriously affect productivity and profits. 

Hiring good people will help take some weight off your shoulders and give you the time and space to focus on important tasks and grow your business, but hiring the wrong people can make life much more stressful. 

So, how do you find the right people?

Firstly, be clear on what you need help with. If you’re busy and desperate enough to consider hiring the first available person, don’t.

Take your time. Make a list of tasks you would need the prospective employee to do and think about how much time these tasks should take.

This will help you decide whether you actually need a full-time employee or whether it would be enough to hire virtual help on an ‘as needed’ basis. 

The list of tasks you’ve drawn up should form the basis of a job description. Write a good job description that accurately (and truthfully) describes the job and outlines tasks, skills required, and possibly salary and benefits. A comprehensive job description will mean that you are more likely to attract the right candidates, and you’ll have something to refer back to if things don’t work out. 

Make sure that the job description is seen by the kind of people you want working for you. Where are they likely to see your job ad? Are they on LinkedIn, another social media platform, or are you likely to find them through recommendations from colleagues or, friends and family? 

Once you have received applications, sift through and shortlist the people who most closely fit the profile of your ideal employee. Look for more than qualifications and experience though, dig down into their employment history. Does someone not tend to stick around in a job for too long? You may want to rule them out given the time and money it might take to train them, but if they tick every other box, maybe ask them about it in interview. 

During interviews, ask about goals and aspirations and what motivates them. Ask them to share any relevant experiences they’ve had in previous job roles. For instance, if you need someone who can work to tight deadlines, ask them to give you an example of when they’ve met a tough deadline in the past. This is the best way of finding out whether someone is going to be a good fit. 

If you think you’ve found the right person, now it’s time to convince them why they should work for you. If you’ve found a motivated, qualified, and experienced person, the chances are they’re going to have more than one option open to them, so make them see why they should work for you. 

Share your vision for the future with them and tell them how they can contribute and grow within the role. Summarise exactly what they are being offered in terms of contracted hours, salary, benefits, and start date, and put it in writing. Making sure that you agree on the terms saves any problems down the line. 

It’s always a good idea to have a trial period when a new employee starts working for you. This will give you the chance to make any adjustments to their role if necessary and, of course, to decide whether someone is a good fit.

If someone is not a good fit, don’t avoid having the conversation. You don’t want to be stuck with someone who doesn’t pull their weight or who doesn’t have the necessary skills. Remember too, that the trial period is also about whether you are a good fit for the employee. 

During the trial period, schedule a check-in with your new employee. Talk to them about how things are going, and give them feedback. If you want them to do things differently, now is the time to say. Keep in mind that you want them to be the best employee they can be and communicate this to them. 

Finally, the secret to attracting the best employees is to make your company one that the best people want to work for.

Create a positive and supportive culture in your business. Encourage open and honest communication, allow employees to contribute ideas, be flexible and supportive, and encourage personal development. This will make your business a very attractive place to work. 

I hope that you got some good tips from today’s podcast, and I’ll see you next time for the next one in the series. 

This is The People Mentor signing off. 

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