There are many ways to manage expected business growth. You can improve or streamline your systems, sub out work to independent contractors, or take on more work yourself. Yet at some point, sustained business growth may mean hiring full-time or part-time employees.
When you decide to hire a new employee, it’s tempting to get someone (anyone!) into the job as soon as possible. We recommend that you FIRST think through what you need, who you want, and what you can afford. Then, create a hiring plan. Proceeding carefully can make the difference between finding a temporary fix or hiring the right person for the job.
Before you hire, think carefully about:
- How much will a hiring process cost you?
- How will hiring a new employee add value to your business?
- What are you able to offer in terms of salary and other benefits?
- What are the specific tasks that need to be handled by this position?
- What are the basics of the position (full/part-time, on-site/remote, etc.)?
- What skills and experience are necessary to do this job well?
Be clear about the “must-have” v.s. the “would-be-nice-to-have” qualifications for this new hire.
- Where are potential candidates looking for jobs?
- Who might know someone great for this job?
Diversifying your outreach will help you find the most qualified candidates. Online job sites may be the best way to promote the job but be sure to do your research. Some sites are industry-specific, some are free and some are pricey. Let colleagues, friends and customers know exactly who you seek. Word-of-mouth can be powerful! Social media, your website and e-newsletters are great ways to spread the word.
- How will you communicate with applicants?
- What are the steps in your screening process?
- What interview questions will help you identify the best applicants?
Consider asking applicants to answer questions by email first, and then interview select candidates by phone. Only bring the best candidates in for face-to-face interviews. Adding these screening steps may save you time in the long run. Choose your interview questions carefully. You want to explore the candidate’s range of experience and skills, how they will handle challenging situations or conflict on the job, and how they will fit into your business culture.
- How do you decide which applicant is best for the job?
- How does your hiring team agree on who to hire?
Often the “right” hire isn’t completely clear. A candidate may have great qualities/skills in one area but deficiencies in another area. (We use evaluation tools with our clients to assess the pros and cons of each candidate.) Be sure to request at least three professional references and then call to confirm that your impressions match others’ experiences. When you finally come to a decision, be sure to act fast. If you love this candidate then chances are other employers do, too! Call or email to offer the job and then follow up with an offer letter.
Once you complete the hire, it’s time to create a plan to on-board this new employee!
Are you thinking about hiring someone? We help small businesses hire new staff. We develop job descriptions and interview questions, and help design the right hiring process. We can help manage the hiring process from outreach to interviews to selection.