Best Hiring Practices for Small Businesses
For small businesses, recruiting and hiring new employees may take time. When starting out, your company may only have a few employees, so when adding new hires to your team, it’s important to take the proper steps to ensure you are hiring the right employee.
Here are the 6 essential steps to follow when recruiting and hiring new talent to your business:
1. Determine Staffing Needs
Before jumping into finding candidates, you need to decide what candidate you are looking for. Determine your needs for a new hire and have a proper understanding of what specific qualities you are looking for. Your needs should be based upon the functions of the role, your company’s values and the internal gain your company will have by bringing on a new hire.
When crafting a job description, make sure you include your goals within the description. Candidates need to have a clear understanding of what is expected of them in order to qualify for the position.
2. How to Find the Right Candidate for a Job
Once you’ve crafted a clear job description, post it and start your search for your next employee. Take advantage of online recruiting sites such as Indeed, Monster, and Jobs.com. Some sites include built-in tools that will help you sort through all the applicants. Remember to specify what specific skills are needed in order to qualify for the job. For example, if the job requires a bachelor’s degree or a certain amount of experience is required, you can filter out the candidates by those specific needs. Or if there’s a specific skill the candidate needs, like experience with Microsoft Excel, you can filter those specific qualifications out as well.
3. Conducting a Job Interview
Once you’ve gone through and chosen the most qualified candidates, run phone screenings to help better understand the prospects. Phone interviews are a great way for small businesses to narrow down the prospective candidates before inviting them in for an in-person interview. Phone interviews can also save you time and money. Before conducting these interviews, make sure you have a list of potential questions to ask the candidates.
After narrowing your candidates down to the most qualified top talent, bring them in for an interview. As a small business, you may not have a streamlined interview process, but with time it’s a process that can easily be developed. Since you’ve conducted phone interviews, your pool of candidates to bring in for in-person interviews should include only the most qualified. Now it’s your job to dig deeper and find out how these candidates can potentially add value to your business.
Have the qualities of your ideal employee in mind when interviewing. Center your questions around your needs and ask questions that will ensure you get the answers you’re looking for.
4. Employment Verification
A critical step of the hiring process for small businesses is verifying a candidate’s information. Once you have your top candidates in mind, you want to check that the information they provided is accurate, and that you’re hiring an honest individual. It’s important for your business to conduct background checks that include criminal records and education verification, reference checks, and skill checks if needed.
Sometimes the information provided on a candidate’s resume doesn’t accurately represent their true abilities and skills, so make sure you’re implementing a verification strategy before offering the position. There is a great risk for hiring new employees, especially for small businesses, so make sure your hiring process includes this verification to guarantee that you’re not bringing on a bad hire.
5. Extend an Offer
So now you’ve found the perfect candidate and you’re ready to move forward with the job offer. Part of the process is coming up with a fair salary for your new employee. You need to have a salary range that is competitive with other companies and directly reflects the individual’s unique skills and qualifications. Understand the pay range you’re able to financially afford while also considering whether the range is fair to the employee and within their salary expectations.
There are plenty of tools such as salary.com, that can aid you in determining a fair salary range for your employees based on your industry, location and specific job title.
Once you have a fair salary range determined, you need to craft an offer letter. You may run into a situation where a candidate may try to negotiate the given salary. If you know you don’t have a budget that allows you to negotiate, prioritize talking salary range during the interview. Present your general salary range to the candidates and get an idea of each individuals salary expectations. This way you both have a clear understanding and there’s less chance of salary negotiation to take place.
Aside from the salary, you need to provide the potential new employee with a description of other compensation such as health, dental, retirement, 401k match, and any other unique benefits that your company offers.
6. Have an Onboarding Process for New Hires
You’ve found the right candidate, they accepted the position, now it’s time for the on-boarding process. It’s important to have an organized training process so your new hire feels comfortable stepping into their new role. Spend the first day going over all the basics. Imagine yourself in their position, what questions would you want to ask in order to have a clear understanding of compensation, the role itself, and the company dynamics? Of course, there will be a lot of questions during this transition, so be upfront of all expectations from the get-go to minimize any questions and mistakes later.
Bringing on a new employee is an exciting time for any small business. A growing team leads to a successful business, and in order to have that success, it’s crucial to implement an efficient and effective hiring process that will bring in the best talent to support your business.
Corey Doane is a contributing editor for 365 business tips HR section. She has a B.S. in Public Relations from San Jose State University and has experience in PR, marketing and communications.
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