Finding the right employees isn’t easy — especially when you’re used to serving every customer yourself. Here’s how to take it one step at a time.
Describe the job.
Be detailed about what you’re looking for. Your job description should include:
Hours per week
Employee status (full-time, part-time or contract)
Talk a little about why your company is a great place to work. You can mention the kinds of jobs you do, what your customers are like and what your employees might learn from working for you.
If you’re not quite sure how to describe the job, start by keeping a list of the things you need help with as they come up.
Figure out what to pay.
You might pay hourly or offer a salary. Don’t forget to think about benefits, bonuses and perks that can help you attract the right candidate.
Research pay rates for the kind of job you’re offering. Sites like Indeed have a salary research tool that can help with some kinds of jobs. Decide all of that before you start looking for someone so you can make sure you have the budget for an employee.
Post the job listing on job search sites, like Indeed, CareerBuilder, Craigslist, and LinkedIn. Tell your friends, business connections and any local colleges or training schools in your line of work. You can also ask current employees for referrals.
Narrow the field.
Set aside specific times to look at resumes and applications. It’s easier to compare candidates side by side and you’ll waste less time. Pick the three most important things from the job description — the “must have” qualities you’re looking for. Put any candidates who have all these qualities in one pile, then sort other resumes into another pile as backup options.
Call your shortlist.
Spend 10-15 minutes on the phone with any candidate who looks like a good fit. The point is to figure out if it’s worth meeting them in person. If you decide not to invite someone in for an interview, it’s thoughtful to send them an email thanking them for their time and letting them know you’re going a different direction.
Make a list of questions that you’ll ask every applicant. Start with easy ones to help the candidate relax, then move onto trickier topics. Take detailed notes.
Don’t forget: It’s not legal to ask about an applicant’s age, race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or marital status.
If you’re ready to hire someone, make sure to ask for and call their professional references. You’ll want to know about their strengths and weaknesses, performance at prior jobs and soft skills. Don’t go out of your way to find reasons to disqualify the candidate. The point is to make sure you get a complete view on their work and how they handle real-world challenges.
Remember your paperwork.
Hiring even one employee means a different set of government regulations to comply with. This could include getting an EIN (Employer Identification Number), setting up records for withholding taxes, making sure they’re eligible to work in the U.S., getting workers’ compensation insurance and more. This all needs to be done before your new employee’s first day.
The right hire can make all the difference in a small business. You should be slow to hire and quick to address any performance issues. Make sure you set your new employee up for success by clearly outlining expectations, working hours and any information they need to do their job well. If you do end up hiring someone who’s a bad fit, it’s better to cut the cord as soon as possible to save money, keep up employee morale and protect your business.