Good Hiring Practices Every Savvy Entrepreneur Should Know

by Cory Howell · 24 comments

Good Hiring Practices for Entrepreneurs
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When it comes to being an entrepreneur, it isn’t always easy. 

And whether you’re a solopreneur that outsources certain aspects of your business,  or a small business with regular employees, good help can be hard to find!

However it doesn’t have to be quite so difficult, if you put a few systems and practices into place first. When you know exactly what you need and what you’re looking for, it makes eliminating unqualified candidates a much less painful experience.

Cory here (heh… my name sake!) has generously contributed to BGB today to help you in your hiring process and make it as stress free as possible on both sides of the fence. Please make him feel welcome and drop any questions or insights you may have in the comments below.

Before you hire a new employee, you will need to determine your company’s short-term and long-term needs. This will enable you to craft a well-worded and well thought out job description. You should do this before you even post the job opening. This job description will aid you in determining if the candidate will be a good fit for your company both today and in the future.

The question then arises, how do I make sure that I am hiring the best candidate and that any new employee will not be a liability to my business? This is where you need to establish good hiring practices.

What to Do Before Hiring

  • Determine if you really need to hire additional staff – can the workload be reapportioned amongst your existing workforce?
  • Determine if you will need the additional staff for short or long term employment – short term employment is better handled by contacting an employment agency or possibly hiring a contractor.
  • Consult with your managers and employees in that area of your company (if applicable) for assistance in drafting a detailed and comprehensive job description – the more detailed, the better.
  • Determine the salary range for the new position.
  • Post the new position both internally and externally – be sure that your employees are aware of the external post – ask them to network with friends and family for qualified candidates.
  • Review all applicants for the correct qualifications, but keep an open mind – pre-screen the applicants to weed out those who are obviously not qualified.
  • Once you are into the interview process, you should check and double check all references – past employers might have a policy where they will only admit to the candidate’s length of employment. Try to read between the lines to see if the candidate might have been let go for poor performance or theft.
  • Verify the candidate’s Social Security Number – this can easily be done by running a credit report on the candidate (be sure that all applicants are aware of this).
  • Run background checks on the candidate – for this you will need to know all names previously used and all past places of residence and employment since the candidate turned 16.
  • Be careful during the interview to avoid asking any questions that are illegal – such as age, race, religion, political views, or sexual orientation.

During the Interview Process

You can conduct the initial interviews via phone or email. Be sure to save all email correspondence with your applicants. If your phone system allows, record all phone conversations with the applicants. Notify the candidate that you are recording the conversation. Most states require that you notify the other party of this.

During the interview process, assess the candidate’s potential for working well with your existing staff and company structure. The candidate with the five star résumé is not always the best candidate for your company. Do not hesitate to schedule multiple interviews with each candidate. While this is time consuming, the right candidate will accept this. Be wary of candidates who press you for a fast decision.

Have them assess some aspect of your company to see if they have the skills and insight your company needs. Have them meet some of their potential co-workers to see how they interact. The most qualified candidate in the world is worthless to you if he or she cannot or will not work well with your existing staff.

If the candidate appears to lack the skills you need, ask the candidate to convince you that he or she can do the job. Many job skills easily translate to other fields.

The candidate needs to be aware of responsibilities that go with the position. Will they be supervising other employees? Will they be responsible for handling secretarial duties such as sending their own faxes?

Your candidate might have performed the same duties with a former employer, but had the ability to delegate the more menial tasks, such as sending faxes, to other employees. A new employee will not fit in well if he or she tries to delegate job tasks to other employees instead of handling them themselves. When this happens, it creates a hostile work environment and that is always bad for business.

Be sure that the candidate is eager to work for you for the right reasons. The salary that you are offering should not be the candidate’s main reason for applying. Be sure to have an employment package prepared so that there will be no delays once you are ready to make a job offer. Be sure to cover the benefits of working for your company.

Potential Benefits You Might Include

  • Vacation and sick leave
  • Medical insurance benefits – health, dental, and vision
  • Profit sharing

Last, but not least, be sure that the new hire is aware of all company policies. These can include a dress code, computer use restrictions, compliant procedures, and contact information for who to call in case of illness or if the employee is running late.

A well-informed employee will be happy and productive. Do not forget to emphasize the opportunities for the employee to grow with your company.

There you have it folks. Don’t get derail your business venture by creating an unqualified team- look for and expect the best and your business will thank you. And if you found this post useful, please consider sharing it with your pals. Mucho appreciated!

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