Small business owners know there is a fine line between entrepreneurship and individualism. Most businesses start out as a one-person show or small team. They might begin with something small – a sustainable idea that they can nurture over time. And, in order to nurture their idea, eventually that one person will have to grow a team to support them.
Hiring is essential for growth in small businesses. The danger is that a bad hire can be extremely expensive and disruptive, especially for companies still trying to establish themselves. Finding the right talent in less time becomes a mission-critical priority. We’ve compiled eight helpful tips to help you find better employees to grow your vision.
Define Your Small Business Needs
Take a moment to identify the skills and qualities necessary to fill the intended role. It might help to create a profile of what an ideal candidate might be. For instance, a public relations professional might need to be personable, organized, and already well-connected. Make sure the prospect has skills that are complementary (but not identical) to what is already on staff to ensure that they add unique value.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
In the penny-pinching stages of an early business, it’s tempting to look for the cheapest option for a new hire. This is almost always a mistake because what you save in salary, you’ll pay for tenfold in time and aggravation. Also, avoid the entrepreneur’s instinct to hire inferior talent for ego-related reasons. Hire a talented, impactful individual the first time.
Keep Track of New Roles
When businesses start to grow it’s not always obvious what kinds of skills, experiences, and personality traits they need to add to the roster. Start keeping a list of tasks/duties that you would prefer to delegate to others. Then, use those lists to guide where you recruit, how you write job descriptions, and who you hire. The goal is to find someone who perfectly satisfies your current needs/wants while still having something to offer down the road.
Grow Your Coverage
As you begin to hire new people and grow your business, you will also need to expand your workers’ compensation coverage. This ensures that both you and your team are protected against accidents and the unexpected. Growth becomes a lot more stable and sustainable once that protection is in place.
Traditional channels like job sites, LinkedIn, and other career-oriented platforms are still potent, but your efforts should extend across platforms. Use social media to advertise your job opening and tap into emerging networks of professionals. Also, make sure your openings/ads are mobile-friendly, as a larger percentage of searches now take place on phones and tablets.
Use the Interview to Listen
If you have little to no experience conducting job interviews, your instinct will likely be to talk more than listen. You do need to have a conversation and provide the interviewee with information, but it’s much more important to listen. Ask open-ended questions and let the candidate make or break the case for themselves.
Educate and Train
Hiring the right person does not mean that person is ready to go on day one. The more extensively you train, educate, and onboard new hires, the better. No one wins when you invite someone into the ranks, then leave them to fend for themselves.
Invite and Integrate Feedback
It’s harder for new hires to settle into small businesses simply because the existing environment is so tight-knit. Be sure to invite new hires to offer feedback, ask questions, and raise concerns without worry. Then, accept that outsider feedback as helpful, and begin implementing that feedback to improve operations, should it be worth doing.
Growing a small business or startup is not easy, but is extremely rewarding. Do your best and hire people that will do their best, too.