5 Steps to Make the Right Hire

Are you ready to add another member to your small business’ Staff? In today’s economy, hiring the right person is more important than ever – but don’t worry, we can help! Use these five steps to find the perfect employee for your business.

Step 1: Create a competitive job description.

Be specific when writing the job description for the position you’re posting. Using vague titles – such as account manager or product coordinator – doesn’t cut it. Know the expectations for your new hire and identify them in the position description.

Need some ideas? Check out job postings from your big business competition. Research responsibilities and expectations for similar positions and tailor the findings to fit your small business. A job description might sound elementary, but starting the process with clearly defined goals makes finding the right person much easier. It also makes life easier after the hire – your new staff member can hit the ground running, since he or she will know exactly what the expectations are.

Step 2: Select tailored resumes.

The days of having a one-size-fits-all standard resume are over. Look for applicants who have read the job description closely and highlight relevant job experience and skills in their resume and cover letter.

Not only does a tailored resume indicate that a potential hire is qualified for the position, but it shows he or she is interested enough in your small business to put time and effort into the job. Also look for references in resumes and cover letters that indicate applicants have researched your small business.

Step 3: Look for critical thinkers.

In today’s business world, being knowledgeable about an industry is not enough. Employees need to be able to take information and apply it. Critical thinking – brainstorming and creating strategic ideas for your business – is essential, so make sure your potential hire can do more than regurgitate information from a Google search.

How do you find a critical thinker? You can glean information like this from the interview by telling potential hires about a problem your small business has faced, and ask how they would have resolved the issue. Or hand interviewees a case study and give them 20 minutes to come up with a plan. Another option is to assign a small post-interview project. For a sales or marketing role, applicants could create a plan for marketing or pitching a hypothetical new product.  Projects that create a tangible result make it easy to evaluate the critical thinking skills of multiple applicants side-by-side.

Step 4: Ensure personalities mesh.

While skills and experience are important, building a cohesive team is crucial. Don’t sacrifice for a candidate with a great knowledge set who has a personality that won’t mix well with your other employees.

Have a conversation during interviews about what applicants like to do inside and outside of the work environment. Do they like to collaborate and brainstorm new ideas? What are their hobbies? Mention social activities your team does together outside of the office and gauge the response. Also consider making an informal lunch interview a part of the process – take a promising candidate to lunch with his or her prospective team mates and see how the candidate interacts with everyone.

Step 5: Wait for follow-up.

So you spent hours writing a detailed job description and days weeding through resumes to finally come out of the interview process with two critical-thinking, full-of-personality candidates. Who do you hire?

The person with the best follow-up. Applicants who are most interested in working for your small business should contact you shortly after the interview. Good follow up could be an email or thank you card; great follow up includes a thank you with highlights from the interview and extra research or additional ideas the potential hire looked in to after the interview.

What skills do you look for when hiring a new member to your team? We’d love to hear about them – comment below!

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Wasp Barcode

Wasp Barcode

Wasp Barcode Technologies is a barcode manufacturer that provides data capture and tracking solutions designed specifically for small business. While designed for small businesses, the same attributes appeal to departments and local offices of larger organizations. Wasp solutions are ready-to-use, right out-of-the-box and aren’t simply scaled down versions of complicated enterprise products. With Wasp Barcode, owners and managers will spend less time learning new products and more time running their companies.
  • http://morefreetimezone.com Andrea Feinberg

    This is a nice list however I start with something I don’t see here at all: what does the job need? Since that’s the reason you’re seeking out a new team member, why not give it the priority it deserves? Does it need a social butterfly? Some one who’d rather be on a desert island? A numbers’ cruncher? An idea maven? All pretty important to know and it rarely shows up on a resume so don’t forget to do a strong benchmark analysis!

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  • http://www.smallbusinessexpert.us Jerry

    The list above is a good start. However, someone outside your industry can bring fresh ideas instead of the same way that business has been done for years. There was a large bike store who would hire people without bike experience, but their attitude and behaviors were the key. The rest of his competition would just hire plenty of people with bike experience. Product knowledge can be taught.

    Sometimes, you can “spy” on the applicant at their current job to see their performance.

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    • http://waspbarcode.com ageorgi

      That’s a great point, Jerry. A lot of knowledge can be taught on-the-job – but attitude is inherent!

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