As your business grows, you may need more people to support the growth. Yet it is no secret that hiring the right talent has been a challenge for small business owners.
Hiring the right person can accelerate your small business growth. On the other hand, hiring the wrong person can ruin your growth, impact sales and deteriorate employee culture. In my experience providing leadership training to companies, I’ve learned an important lesson:
If you want to improve your sales and culture, hire slow, fire fast and reward current employees through promotion.
Here are four steps to hiring top talent for your small business.
1. Personality, Attitude and Enthusiasm. When seeking to hire employees for your small business, screen for good personalities, attitudes and enthusiasm. You can always teach new employees you hire the skills required for the job but you cannot teach an amazing personality.
Additionally, attitude and enthusiasm are infectious and transferable traits. For example, when someone is in a bad mood, the customers and colleagues they come in contact with may be affected by their bad mood. Unfortunately, this experience can hurt sales and employee morale. In my experience, when working with someone with a bad attitude, colleagues avoid that person., an approach that likely hurts the business.
2. Improve Your Job Descriptions. According to researchers for a Wall Street Journal article, job descriptions were re-written based on two approaches:
Needs-Supplies focuses on job descriptions that express what the company can do for the applicant.
Demands-Supplies focuses on what the company that is hiring can expect from the applicant.
Those who responded to the Needs-Supplies approach were rated higher than those who responded to the Demands-Supplies approach. In other words, consider writing job descriptions in a way that shows how the applicant can fit the company’s culture and future.
3. Improve Your Interviewing Process. Applicants are already nervous. Start the interview process and experience on a positive note. Have your staff greet interviewees on time and make them feel welcome by smiling, offering them something to drink and maintain eye contact as much as possible.
Try to avoid rushing through the interview. No one likes to feel rushed, especially if it wasn’t their fault. As an interviewer, if you don’t have time to interview them, will you have the proper time to answer their questions when they are stuck?
The fact of the matter is a talented candidate is evaluating their fit with your company just as much as you’re evaluating them. They are assessing the culture, how other employees respond and the overall vibe of the working environment. At the end of the day, the new employee has to commute to this location every day, so how they feel is important.
4. Be aware of Digital and Social Media Trends. How a person behaves on social media and how they represent themselves at the business are important for your business. Does the job candidate exhibit a social media behavior congruent with your company’s values and missions? If not, then this may be another factor to consider when extending an offer of employment.
Be sure to speak with your legal counsel to determine whether it’s lawful to evaluate the social media profiles of your applicants.
The right employees can take your business from mediocre to meteoric. Using these tips to improve your hiring process can alleviate your leadership duties and help you grow your business.
Ebong Eka is no stranger to the world of personal finance. As a certified public accountant and former professional basketball player he offers a fresh perspective to small business planning and executing. With over fifteen years of accounting, tax & small business experience with firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche and CohnReznick, Ebong provides practical money solutions tailored to the everyday person, the aspiring entrepreneur or the small business owner.
Ebong is the founder of EKAnomics, a sales, pricing and leadership firm. He is also the founder of Ericorp Consulting, Inc., a tax and management consulting firm. Ebong is the author of “Start Me Up! The-No-Business-Plan, Business Plan.”
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