How to Hire for Small Businesses

Your Business is Only as Good as Your People

Hiring – and keeping – talented employees is essential for business is success. But in a competitive marketplace, how do you find, recruit, and keep the top talent? These guidelines can help.

#1 – Involve Everyone in Recruiting.

When you’re ready, get out of the office, network, and talk about your business, and ask your employees to do the same thing. Referrals are proven method for finding great hires. And online postings, such as LinkedIn, Monster.com, or LookingGlass can help you cast a wider net and quickly evaluate more candidates. Don’t forget more traditional methods, such as contacting a local university, participating in job fairs or advertising in local papers or websites.

#2 – Let Them Talk During the Interview

Too many small businesses spend too much time talking about their business or telling their story during the interview process. This is the time to learn as much as you can about your candidate and their potential to fit with your company. Instead of telling them about your history or competition, ask them to tell you. This will show which candidates have done their homework and are serious about the position. But go easy — this isn’t an interrogation!

Do take the time to explain the position responsibilities and clearly outline your expectations. Emphasize the challenges of the role, and see how the candidate responds. Check out this great article: 5 Interview Questions Every Small Business Should Ask.

#3 – Recognize that Skills Can be Learned, a Good Attitude Cannot

Culture is a big buzz word these days, but it means more than casual Fridays and free snacks. Company culture is about the values that your employees share and their collective vision for your business goals, and can also be a big competitive advantage that small businesses have over large corporations. It’s easier for small businesses to grow a family mentality and develop a unique personality versus a large corporation with hundreds of employees. Cultural fit should be a priority in your hiring process. In fact, some HR professionals even believe that a cultural fit is more important than relevant experience. When possible, consider having other team members meet with potential candidates to help you determine how well they will fit with your company.

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