Hiring for Small Business

It’s tough finding the right person to hire in order to help you grow at the pace you desire.  The pool of potential employees is large, especially in this economy, but the talent and commitment level of the potential new hire is difficult to surmise.   You can only determine this through thorough interviewing and having the candidate interview with at least one other senior level employee.

Here are some of the key characteristics we look for during the interview process:

  1. Work ethic.
  2. Education level.
  3. What their parents did for work and their parents’ education level.
  4. What else they did in high school and college besides going to class.
  5. What motivates them?
  6. What they are looking for in a career and work environment.
  7. How they prefer to be compensated.  Small base salary with bonus.  Large base salary with no bonus, etc.

Once the interview process is completed but prior to extending an offer, it’s a very good idea to have the candidate come in and “shadow” the person who is doing the work that will eventually be moving over to the prospective new hire.  We prefer having the candidate come in after lunch and shadowing until the day is over.  Purposely, we extend the day past 5:00 p.m., usually until 5:30 or 6:00 p.m.  We want to see how badly the candidate wants the job and how committed they are to finishing the work for the day.  We’re looking for people that will “go the extra mile” and “do what it takes” to complete their work before leaving.  Even if the business hours are 8:00 to 5:00 p.m.  If they are itching to run out the door at 5:00 p.m. we pass on the candidate.

As you know, if you are an owner of a small business, your workday never ends.  You want employees that share a passion for their work, take pride in their work and are committed to making the organization a success.  Anything short of that and you will have a high level of turnover and find yourself not only doing your work, but doing the work of others as well.   This negative feedback loop will not only affect your wellbeing, but will ultimately collapse your organization.

In summary, hiring someone is easy.  Hiring the RIGHT person for the organization that fits in with your corporate culture is difficult.  Take the time to “vet out” the people coming through your door and if you find someone that is a fit, do not be afraid to pay them a little more than you might have originally budgeted.   It will create loyalty and pay dividends down the road.