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Practical Hiring Tips for Fledgling Small Businesses

To say a lot of hard work goes into starting a small business would be an understatement. In addition to locating the ideal workspace, engaging with prospective clients, and studying the competition, small business proprietors must also seek out top talent. Dedicated employees are the lifeblood of any business, and an enterprise is only as strong as its weakest team member. That being the case, no entrepreneur can afford to treat recruitment as an afterthought. Small business owners looking to fill open positions with the best possible hires would be wise to consider the following measures.

Screen Thoroughly

Far too many businesses take applicants at their word and fail to properly screen each candidate. Even if a candidate is able to present themselves well in an interview, this doesn’t mean they possess the necessary skills or knowledge for the position they’re trying to land. This is why checking background, references, employment history and education history is so vital to the hiring process. Businesses that regularly deal with large numbers of applicants should consider investing in cutting-edge screening solutions and integrated workflow management tools. The more thorough your screening process, the less likely you are to place unqualified applicants in important positions.

Be Careful About Hiring Friends and Family Members

In virtually any enterprise, being at the top comes with an assortment of perks. In addition to getting the final say on most matters, being the boss often entails getting to hire the exact candidates you want and determining who receives raises and promotions. As such, it’s hardly unusual for small business owners to staff key positions with close friends and family members. Not only does this enable them to work with people they’re comfortable around, it gives them the opportunity to provide assistance to loved ones in need of gainful employment.

While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to lend a hand to friends and family members, there are numerous downsides to employing people with whom you have preexisting relationships. For starters, telling these individuals what to do or expressing disappointment when they’ve failed to meet expectations can be extremely awkward and uncomfortable. In the worst-case scenario, you may come to resent them for taking advantage of your kindness, and they, in turn, may come to resent you for acting like a boss in spite of all the history you share. Additionally, staff members with whom you have no prior relationship are liable to become resentful if they see you giving preferential treatment to these employees.

Of course, this isn’t to say you should never employ friends or family members. If someone you know is the best fit for an open position, why not give them a shot? However, before extending a job offer to a loved one, make sure to meticulously outline their job duties and expectations. This will help clear up any ambiguity and provide them with a good idea of what they can expect as your employee.

Clearly Outline Responsibilities and Expectations

Poorly defined job responsibilities and expectations are liable to create confusion among applicants and may ultimately result in people being hired for roles for which they are ill-prepared. To nip this problem in the bud, make a point of being as clear as possible when creating job descriptions. The clearer you are, the fewer applications from unqualified candidates you’ll need to review.

In addition to crafting solid job descriptions, you’ll need to reiterate exactly what each position entails throughout the interview process. It’s vitally important for candidates to understand what will be expected of them and what a typical workday at your enterprise will look like. This will help prevent successful applicants from feeling overwhelmed and ensure that on their first day, they’re able to hit the ground running.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a small business owner who isn’t constantly on the hunt for top talent. Skilled employees are conducive to the success of any enterprise, so developing smart hiring practices should be among the top priorities of every entrepreneur. Fortunately, while it may take a fair amount of knowledge and follow-through, finding the right person for every vacant role isn’t nearly as daunting as some businesses make it look. Entrepreneurs who are eager to refine their hiring practices can benefit from the previously discussed pointers.


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