Hiring the right people is one of the most important aspects of any business.
Hiring the right fit for any enterprise can be a daunting task, but the difficulty can sometimes compound even further for the entrepreneur who wears multiple hats. Lacking a HR department or dedicated staff to rely on a small business owner has to cut corners when seeking the right candidates. However, cutting the wrong corners can become a costly nightmare. Sean Glasser, Founder and CEO of BLUETRACK, Inc, gives tips he’s learned over the last 20 years in hiring for small businesses.
- Make Sure There is a Long-Term Need
Before even considering hiring someone for a role, Sean Glasser recommends being honest with yourself and your company to see if there is a legitimate long-term need for that role. Oftentimes, small business owners get overwhelmed by having to do multiple jobs or share multiple hats with their small staff. A natural inclination is to want to hire someone to handle those tasks. It is expensive to recruit, hire, train, pay and possibly fire new staff, especially when the tasks they were hired to do no longer become necessary. Asking yourself if this need will be consistent over time based on real information and not wishful thinking is important.
- Be Flexible and Creative
Sean Glasser recommends being flexible and creative with small business hires. The choice is no longer having someone full-time or no one at all. In today’s developing marketplace an entrepreneur has more options than ever before. Companies or freelancers that specialize in the task needed are often a good option when you are unsure how busy you can keep a new hire. Usually, they also come with experience and skill that is hard to match in a new employee. Alternatively, many extremely talented new moms and dads are looking for part time and flexible hours while raising their little ones. They often have expert level skill but cannot dedicate the time a large corporation may require. This offers a perfect win-win for a small business who may be more flexible to gain great talent to their team.
- Don’t Hire People You Cannot Fire
As a small business owner, you typically look first to people you know to fill roles. This can be a costly mistake. While it’s easier to envision your brother, girlfriend, or the son of a neighbor in a role, it’s not always a smart long-term decision. There are some added benefits to working with people you already know, such as trust or chemistry. However, on the flip side there are many downsides. A disagreement in work or personal life could spill over. Resentment can form with other employees over special treatment. A day may come when you determine this person is not a good fit for your company and you may be reluctant to let them go costing you significant amounts of money or hard feelings. If you can avoid this temptation don’t hire people you know on a personal level.
- Review Resumes for Red Flags
Seasoned HR pros know how to spot red flags on resumes but as a full-time entrepreneur, you may not be as versed in it. Being able to spot these warning signs is important to avoid costly training and firing of someone who was never a good fit in the first place. Someone who has a new job every few months or every year is not someone you want on your team. While there could be a reasonable excuse for switching roles after a short time, a pattern of doing it is a sure-fire red flag for someone who will jump ship quickly. Additionally, while some applicants will be 100% accurate many if not most will overstate how amazing they were at their old jobs. It’s important to focus interviews on questions that reveal whether their real world experience really matches what they put on paper.
- Test Them and Be Objective
Sean Glasser recommends that small business owners be objective in hiring. People tend to judge a book by its cover but this is not a good way to conduct a business. Hiring someone because they remind you of someone you know or they look or act like you is not how you run a successful business. The best way to judge if someone will perform well at a task is seeing them in action. Creating a simple test that measures the actual job skills needed can go a long way in finding the right candidate fast and fairly. Sean Glasser has used this method many times in bringing in some of his best hires ever.
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