After all the hard work and efforts that small business owners put in to setting up their
business and get it running, there comes a point where you need to start hiring people. The
impact of just one new employee joining a small company can be significant. With no room
for error, you need to make the right hiring decisions and choose someone who can hit the
ground running.. However Small Business Owners often realize too late that they’ve made
a poor choice and when they retrospect they realize that it’s probably because of skipping
a few important steps in the hiring process. Here are a few steps and pitfalls to consider
before you start screening for employees.
Ø Determine the job profile that you are hiring for :
It is important that you are very clear about the job profile that you are hiring for. You need
to make sure that you aren’t trying to present the job as something that it isn’t. If you are
looking for a particular skill or type of person to fill a position, then be specific about that.
If you fail to clearly outline the job profile, then you will become frustrated when you can’t
find who you are really looking for, and job applicants will become frustrated when they find
out the job is really something else. Many small business owners find that they need an
employee in the beginning who is willing to take on several different responsibilities. If this is
the case when you are hiring, then you need to make that clear as well. You should let the
job applicant know that their job duties would be determined by what is happening at any
particular moment. When you find employees with such flexibility, you would find that they
are able to adapt better, to a small business environment, and often stay for a long term.
Finally, it is important not to rush the hiring process, since this can be an expensive mistake.
You should make sure that you are taking the time to hire the right person, for the right job.
Ø Do not let “dream candidates” manipulate you :
Make sure you’re not letting emotions and irrational instincts dictate your hiring decisions.
Here are two traps managers sometimes fall into:
The halo effect — You are a victim of the halo effect when you become so enamoured by
one particular aspect of a candidate. It could be anything, the fact that the person is from
your hometown or attended your alma mater, often this fact completely overshadows all
other points of consideration.
The halo effect can also be observed when an applicant has too many exceptional skills and
attributes that make you jump to hire the person without thoughtfully reviewing the hiring
criteria. The worst thing you can do is try to put a right person in the wrong job.
The “cloning effect”— Avoid becoming unjustly impressed with an applicant just because
he or she remind you of a top performer you once had on your team. There is a probability
that you would fail to notice that the individual isn’t qualified for the job.
Ø Make it personal :
In a small business, it is very important to find people who can blend well with the culture of
the company. In fact one poor match could end up causing a lot of problems and mess up
existing group dynamics in your company.
Ø Over estimating the power of MNC’s :
Decide what benefits you can offer. Many small business owners think that they cannot
attract any top level talent because they cannot match the benefits of their larger competitors.
This is not necessarily true. There are ‘always’ incentives that you can offer to entice even
the best of the talent into working for you. Many employees are looking for businesses
where there is a lot of opportunity for growth and potential. A small business is thus often the
perfect opportunity. Of course, there are other perks you can use to tilt the scale further.You
could consider offering options such as: gym memberships or other discounts that may
interest job applicants. Flexible schedules, telecommuting, and even onsite day care are
often all that it takes to hire the right person for the right job. By using some creativity
and planning skills you can find the right employees to help your small business succeed.
Ø Check references:
Once you’ve made your hiring decision, invest time in a thorough reference-checking
process. It may be tempting to skip this step altogether. However, if you really expect to
find the right person for the job, it’s worth the extra effort to try to obtain these insights.
When checking hard-to-check references, handle the responsibility personally and via
a phone call. Instead of passing the task off to someone else, calling a fellow manager
personally can usually yield more candid feedback. It also gives you the chance to possibly
verify the comments made by the candidate during the interview. Be careful about relying
too heavily on information found online. Entering someone’s name in a search engine to
see what comes up may yield inaccurate or irrelevant information, including facts that are
illegal to consider in a hiring decision. Finally, try to cross-verify what you have learnt about
an applicant. Be careful about trusting just one source such as reference checks, interview
impressions, resume data, or testing.
To conclude, it is important that you keep a few key factors in mind while initiating the hiring
process. Hiring for your small business will, in large part determine, how successful it will
be. This means that it is crucial to take the time to adequately plan and carry out the hiring
process. The people who work for you could become one of the most valuable assets for
your small business, if you do it right. Careful attention to the evaluation process can save
you many headaches down the road. Hope this has helped you obtain and retain talent more
easily. All the best and happy hiring!