Hiring the right person

Finding the right workers can be a challenge. Since much of a small business’s success depends on the quality of the people they hire, this is a crucial task.

Here are five things to consider when hiring that should increase your chances of success:

Write a clear job description
It is difficult to recruit the right person if you are not sure what job you want them to do. Start by writing down all the tasks you need done. Next, think about the attributes, skills and experience needed. Be realistic. It is unlikely that you will find a great salesperson and bookkeeper in a single person.

Allow adequate time
Start the candidate-hunting process as early as possible. The more time you have, the less you will feel pressured to hire an unqualified candidate just to fill a position. Generally, it is better to leave a job open than to hire the wrong person.

During interviews, don’t do all the talking
It is appropriate to explain the job, and in many cases, to try and sell the job to the candidate, but most of the time the candidate should be talking. Most candidates will be a little nervous so have a few questions prepared in advance that ease the candidate. Consider asking what about the job appealed to them, what particular skills they have, and what they did not like about their last job.

Understand the person
Ask questions that help you get a feel for the applicant’s personality and attitude. Be careful not to ask questions that are or may be illegal, for instance, asking whether a candidate is planning on having a child or asking their age. It is acceptable to ask about hobbies, interests, where they grew up and what their long-term goals are. Diverse interests usually mean a candidate brings more life experiences to a job.

Check references
Even if you have no reason to doubt the honesty of an applicant, you can learn a lot by checking references. Use the reference check as a way to learn how to work more effectively with your new employee. Do not just ask about how hard they worked. Try questions like: What kind of training would you suggest to make the applicant an even better employee? What type of tasks required greater supervision? What duties did the candidate particularly enjoy or do well?

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