To run and grow a successful small business you need two things; the right product or service and great people. What many small business owners fail to realize is just how important the people part of the equation is. If a Walmart makes a bad hire, it’s not that great. But if a small shop with 10 employees makes a bad hire the costs could be devastating.
While the process of hiring, from advertising the position to the new hire’s first day, can seem like a daunting task, here are five tips to help any small business hire the best person for the job.
1. Have a Formal Hiring Process
This may seem like a no brainer but for many small and growing businesses hiring a new employee is an inconsistent process. How many times have you walked into an interview with a potential employee with a million other things on your mind and forgot to ask an important question? It happens. Outlining a specific process from beginning to end is imperative.
2. Follow Your Hiring Process
Seems like another no-brainer but as we know, you get busy. Stuff happens. Maybe you think you don’t have time and you skip a step or two to get there quicker. The ends do not justify the means when it comes to the cost of a bad hire. =
3. Look Beyond Past Performance
While past performance should never be overlooked, it’s simply not enough to put all your eggs in that basket. One big accomplishment on a resume is not enough to assume the breakthrough will be repeated for you. Just because someone sold $10M in product for General does not mean they will be able to repeat that for a small company with little to no brand recognition.
4. Pay Attention to Applicant Attitude and Company Culture
Hiring someone that doesn’t quite fit or won’t get along with fellow employees is a slow killer of small business. You want your business to run like a well-oiled machine. Hiring someone who doesn’t “get” how that machine is fueled will be of no benefit to you.
5. Always Check References
It might come as a surprise to you but people fudge the truth sometimes. Just because it’s on a resume doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because someone is charming in an interview doesn’t mean they aren’t hiding something. A person that twists the truth on a resume will likely take advantage of workplace rules as well. Checking references may seem laborious, but it’s small potatoes to the cost of hiring someone you need to fire after two months.
Remember, taking short-cuts to get someone behind a desk can ease immediate growing pains but can very likely create regrets in the long-term.
The key is to understand that hiring the right candidate takes time. Be patient. Do your due diligence and remember a bad hire can destroy everything you worked so hard for.