Your business is big enough to hire employees, but not big enough to have employees who oversee hiring. As your business continues to grow, how can you ensure that hiring is done strategically and efficiently? This post explores how to create a process for recruiting, interviewing, and on-boarding new employees.
Part 1: Recruit top talent by posting your job opening in the best places
One of the biggest pitfalls of small businesses is when they need employees they look for applicants from their pool of friends and relatives. While this may save you money on recruitment, just because someone is close to you does not mean they are competent enough to do the job. However, some small businesses feel like they’re too small to actually get out there and look for applicants, thinking nobody will be interested in such a small company.
This way of thinking is counter-productive. For your small business to grow, you will need the best people for the job, and part of that is knowing that your company deserves the best. And the best way to find competent applicants for the job is through online job boards. A recent survey shows that over 18,560,000 people are hired through online job boards per year, and a third of most companies are comprised by talent found through online job ads.
As a small business, online job boards are your best bet because they are inexpensive and you gain access to a larger pool of potential employees. Of course, some job boards are better than others. According to a recent survey done on job seekers, 84 percent use Indeed to find a suitable job. LinkedIn comes in second with 81 percent, Glassdoor with 78 percent, Monster with 74 percent, and CareerBuilder with 71 percent. These websites have a higher applicant pool and a better system put in place for finding the best candidate for the job.
Part 2: Interview candidates strategically to avoid hiring mistakes
Small businesses tend to be a bit more personal and friendly compared to larger corporations. However, this intimate, personable ambiance often derails interviews, as the interviewee and interviewer start chatting about personal things that are not related to the work at hand. A bit of chit chat is good, but if you know more about your applicant’s dog than their knowledge of the job, then your interview process is clearly inefficient. To pick out the best candidate from your pool of applicants, remember these tips during the interview.
- Before interviewing applicants, have a set of questions in mind. These questions must be applicable to all and related to the job at hand. These questions will guide you during your interviews so you don’t get frazzled or distracted.
- Know exactly what you want from your future employees. What does the job entail? What is the exact job description? Interviews are a two-way street and your applicant will ask questions to gain clarification about the job. You must be ready to give concise answers to prevent confusion later on.
- Be honest without being harsh. You can be direct with your applicants without sounding too harsh. If their answer to one of your questions worries you, tell them about your concerns and ask them to elaborate. Interviews are structured to prevent distractions and straying from the topic, but if an applicant has a unique point of view on certain matters, it is something worth listening to.
Part 3: Onboard new employees to ensure employee satisfaction and retention
If you think that the hardest part is over once you’ve found the best candidate for the job, then you have another thing coming. Now that you have a new hire in your midst, it’s time to properly onboard them. Efficient onboarding results in increased productivity, company loyalty, and job satisfaction. Here are the steps you must take to properly onboard your new employee:
- Orientation: New hires should be informed about the rules and regulations of the company, from dress codes to attendance policies. Mix negative and positive topics—make sure that the talk about sanctions and violations does not take longer than discussions about benefits and opportunities. Consider giving employees a written handbook of all company rules, regulations, benefits, and more if there is a lot to cover.
- Employee documents: As much as we hate paperwork, all documentation for your new employee must be filed and completed.
- First interactions: If you already have other employees, make sure to give your new hire a tour of the office, and allow them to meet their co-workers. New employees must feel welcomed and that they belong in order to keep employee engagement.
- Training period: Employees who get the full brunt of their work duties from day one tend to experience more stress compared to employees who undergo a training period. Training periods are the time when they’re allowed to be slower and make mistakes. Remember to assign either yourself or a senior employee as a guide to new hires to ensure that they learn the ropes.
- Progress goals: Create short-term goals and milestones for your new employees. This means setting a standard on their work performance as time goes by. For example, during training, you may excuse blatant mistakes and low output, but three months from now, you may shoot for a greater amount of work to be done. Confer your goals with your new employee, and guide them on their path to improvement.
- Have enough resources at hand: Make sure that your employees have access to knowledge and resources when they are faced with a problem or situation they’re not familiar with. It’s important that your employees know that you’re always available to give answers to difficult questions.
Just because your business is small and new, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a proper procedure for hiring new employees. A well-planned and efficient hiring and onboarding process will ensure that the employee you hire sees eye-to-eye with the company’s ideals and will fit right in with your work methods and existing employees. The better you are at the recruitment and onboarding, the lower the risk of your employees leaving, which means you don’t have to go through this lengthy and stressful process more than necessary.
David Waring is the co-founder and publisher of Fit Small Business, a rapidly growing website that reaches over 600,000 small business readers a month. Prior to starting Fit Small Business, David served as a top executive at Forex Capital Markets LLC, which he joined as an initial employee and helped grow to a publicly traded company with over 700 employees.