How to Hire the Best Employees

April 17, 2013

Hiring the wrong person can be disastrous for a small company, especially at the start of a new year. So, it’s critical that you get it right early on before it’s too late.

It’s always a big moment when a small business owner hires their first employee, and over the years, old and new staff alike can really help the business grow. When your small business enters into the New Year, new clients or more customers can keep demands high, and the work load may become a bit intensive for those already working within the company. In order to keep up with the growing clientele, new hires may become an essential part of keeping your business afloat. Having an extra pair of hands can help your business to really grow and, by taking some of the everyday tasks off you, enable you to re-focus on what you do best, whether that’s making sales, developing new ideas or working with your customers.

But, hiring the wrong person can be disastrous for a small company, especially when trying to start the new year on a good note. So, it’s critical that you get it right. Here are five tips on how to ensure you hire the right person.

Determine who is your “ideal candidate” before hiring.

Once you’ve written your job description detailing what the employee will do, compile a list of attributes the perfect employee would have. Don’t worry about setting the bar too high – after all, how will you be able to judge the applicants unless you know what you’re looking for in an ideal candidate

Once you create a list of attributes that fit your ideal candidate, it will be easier to pinpoint what kind of employees you want to hire into 2015 and keep for years to come as the company grows.

Be mindful of how the candidate’s personality may affect performance.

No matter what kind of experience or qualifications an applicant might have, a true indicator of how well a candidate may perform is in their personality and character. A person’s character very well may be a much bigger factor in their performance than whether they have a college degree or know how to use a particular computer program.

Make it a goal in 2015 to ask these questions when interviewing:  A Do they seem like a self-starter? How would I think they’d interact with customers? Would they seem willing to roll up their sleeves and go the extra mile? How well do would they cope under pressure?

Promote yourself as a good employer.

Your small firm is unlikely to be able to compete with the salaries or promotion prospects that bigger companies can offer, so you will need to be imaginative to attract the best candidates. Start by asking yourself: “Why would I want to work for me?” Some people prefer to work for small firms, because they don’t like to feel they’re a small cog in a big machine; they enjoy working in a little team and may not be too worried about having a structured career path providing they are offered the prospect of increasing responsibility as your company expands. As a small business owner, it’s just as important for you to sell the idea of working for your firm to a good candidate as it is for that person to make a favorable impression on you.

Offer interesting perks to lure the best candidates.

Although your business may be small and its budget tight, offering attractive benefits to lure the best candidates, even if your budget may not stretch to medical insurance or an end-of-year bonus. But the perks you offer needn’t cost that much: they could be flexible working hours or getting your birthday off every year. Or why not give them something that appeals to their personal passions or pastimes? Perhaps a family pass to an amusement park, or tickets to a big baseball game. They might appreciate that more than a check, because it shows you’ve really thought about it. You want to make the ideal candidate think: “This is a company I really want to work for.”

Set goals on paper as a business owner for your own and your business’ growth.

If you’re growing professionally and achieving your goals, it’s likely that your company and your employees will follow suit. That’s why it’s important to start off properly, even if you plan to have only one employee for the foreseeable future – you’re an example of your business and your staff.

Likewise, this may means drawing up a contract for your employees to sign, which sets out clearly what you expect from them, and what they can expect from you as a business owner. Additionally, you are potentially vulnerable if something goes wrong and there isn’t a written employment agreement between you, even if your employee is a friend or family member who helps you for a few hours each week.

Tell us! How do you plan on reaching your 2015 business goal of hiring the best employees to help your business grow?