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Hiring for a Small Business 5 Practices You Need to Know

Hiring for a Small Business? 5 Practices You Need to Know

Small business owners and hiring managers often have limited budgets. As a result, they must be resourceful in order to stay on track financially, while still growing their team.

Fortunately, new technology and a strategic approach to the hiring process makes it easy to snag innovative, creative professionals when it’s time to expand.

If you’re a small business owner or hiring manager looking to make sure a new addition to your staff is a strong one, here are a few tips worth trying:

Implement a trial period

You spend a significant amount of money, time, and energy getting a new employee up to speed.  In fact, according to the 2014 Training Industry Report from Training Magazine, small businesses fork over about $1,200 per new employee.

Before you dedicate yourself to onboarding this individual, you’ll want to verify they’re actually going to stick around for the long-haul.

One way small businesses can do this is by implementing a trial period. It’s almost as if the individual is in a contract-to-hire role. Rather than committing company resources to someone and quickly realizing the match isn’t a good one, you can first be sure the individual is a good fit.

Use video interviewing

When you’re a small business owner, you don’t have thousands of dollars to fly a potential new hire into your city for an interview. At the same time, you don’t necessarily want to limit yourself only to candidates located in your immediate area.

Video interviewing is a practical and affordable solution to this dilemma. Candidates respond to interview questions via video, so you see how they would benefit your business, while also getting a feel for their body language, mannerisms, and level of comfort with technology.

If the professional proves to be promising, you can choose to bring them into your office for a face-to-face conversation. If not, you’re able to quickly move on to the next applicant.

Think outside the box

Many hiring professionals inadvertently pigeon hole applicants — or would-be applicants — when recruiting to fill an open position. However, when you’re working for a small business, it’s essential to shed stereotypes and analyze candidates based on skills and interview behavior, rather than just educational background or previous industry experience.

For example, if you’re looking for your next great salesperson, they might be working at your favorite coffee shop or clothing store. They may not have the experience you typically look for, but if they have the ability to sell and a willingness to learn, this could make for a promising new hire. Computer programs, terminology, and company protocol can easily be taught to someone with the right amount of enthusiasm.

Zero in on the traits that make current employees successful

If you have a few key staff members who are essential to the success of your company, you probably wish you could clone them. While science may be a few years away from making that possible, take some time to analyze what makes these individuals successful. Is it a certain personality trait? Aptitude in a particular area?

When you identify the kinds of individuals who typically excel within your company, it makes it easier to know what to look for when your team is ready to expand.

Go through a typical workday

If time allows, do more than just a standard interview session with your candidates. Incorporating a practical element to your interview process enables you to get a better sense of whether this person would actually thrive in your office.

If your new hire will have to attend weekly design meetings, have candidates sit in for part of this meeting. If they would be asked to pitch ideas once a week, have them come up with a few sample suggestions.

It’s easy to fake your way through a “What’s your biggest weakness?” conversation. But would this person excel in the actual day-to-day flow of the job should they get hired? A practical element to your interview process is a good way to tell.

Small business owners and hiring managers need to be resourceful and creative in order to attract top tier talent to their team. By analyzing top performers, maintaining an open mind about potential new hires, and making the most of hiring technology, those working for small businesses can find their next invaluable employee.  

What are some other tips and tricks small businesses can use when hiring? Let us know in the comments below!

Lauren Levine

Lauren Levine is a copywriter/blogger who contributes to a number of magazines and websites including The Frisky, USA Today, and others. She also authors her own blog called Life with Lauren. She loves cooking, anything on the E! network, and is trying to convince herself that running isn't so bad.