16 Feb Small Business Boot Camp: Hiring People
All set to hire someone? If so, congratulations! You are growing. But bringing on staff, even just one person, means there’s a lot to consider, from who to bring on to contending with the added expenses and legal obligations. But when the workload is getting out of hand and you know you’re ready to expand, don’t hold back.
Determine What You Need
No matter how awesome your potential hiree is, if they don’t meet your needs or expectations, there’s no point in bringing them on. Assess what tasks you want your employee to take on, whether you need them on a full or part-time or freelance basis, and how much you want to pay them. Good accounting software can help you balance the cost of bringing them on with the increased revenue they should bring to your business.
Get to Know the Person (as much as Possible)
Hire with a bowlful of logic and a dash of intuition. Make sure you do a decent background check into the person to make sure they don’t have a questionable past or criminal history. This is mandatory. Apart from that, it can be hard to tell how they’ll fit into to your work environment before bringing them aboard. To avoid this complication as much as possible, you might consider letting the person have a trial shift before you officially hire him or her.
Sandwiched between meeting and hiring is the interview process. There are so many ways to do this it’s not even funny (although some interviews can be). While some employers might choose to ask specific types of questions, covering a spectrum of categories might give you a more rounded idea of who you’re dealing with. These include:
-Concrete questions (ie. “What are your strengths/weaknesses?”; “What attracted you to this company?”)
-Behavioural questions (ie. “Have you ever worked with a team that wasn’t compatible? How did you handle it?”; “Has an employer ever asked you to do something you disagree with? How did you handle it?”)
-Opinion questions (ie. “What kind of personality do you work best with?”; “What are the qualities of a good and bad leader?”)
-Promotional questions (ie. “Sell me this *item*.”)
Be Upfront About the Job
Although it’s important to highlight the good things about the job, it will also behoove you to honestly mention potential challenges. Would you appreciate stumbling into potentially embarrassing situations? There are positive ways to approach this. For example, if you have a somewhat small budget for materials or have difficult clients, it’s good to tip new employees off about that and teach them how to work around these roadblocks. A really good hiree will welcome these challenges. On the other hand, don’t go out of your way to make things difficult for them.
Consider the Business Culture You Want to Create
Every employee brings his or her own mood, pace, desires, and practices to work. In smaller environments, one person can have a huge impact on the overall vibe of the place and how things get done. Make sure you have a clear idea about the atmosphere you want to create and be open to how another person can help your vision evolve. Just be wary if you sense negativity skulking about.
Apart from doing logical background checks and, well, the best you can, there is no infallible way to hire someone. But that goes for everything. As long as you do your best and make an educated decision about who you bring on and why, rest assured you’re on the right path.