Hiring a new employee takes preparation Hire power attitude, that’ll be more important, in the long run, than someone with exactly the right experience or education. Sure, if you’re hiring a pastry chef for your new Italian restaurant, you need someone who is able to make tira- misu. But for most positions, look for willing, eager-to-succeed employees and train them for the specific job tasks. Don’t be in a hurry. Yes, if your res- taurant is opening this Friday, you need that chef and wait staff now. (And why didn’t you give yourself more time?) But most small businesses can afford to keep looking until they find the right person. Of course, you’ll never find someone who’s exactly perfect, but filling a position just because you need some- one now is likely to lead to problems later. Don’t do all the talking. When you’re conducting an interview, it’s typical to just start talking. Yes, you’ll want to tell an applicant about the job and your company. But you won’t learn enough about an appli- cant if you do all the talking. Don’t be overly impressed by cre- dentials. It’s easy to be swayed by names of big corporations or leading universities on a résumé. But remember, you’re looking for the best candidate, not the best résumé. Don’t be swayed by your first impression. For important jobs, arrange
for a second in-person interview with your
top prospect. And be sure to check references.
Don’t make—or imply—promises
of job security or future raises. For
legal reasons, be careful not to say anything
that can be misinterpreted as an implied contract, such as “I never fire anyone,” or “You’ll
be here for at least five years.” It’s a good idea
to give new hires an offer letter spelling out
their pay and benefits and making it clear that
they’re an at-will employee (meaning you can
terminate them without cause). C
By Rhonda Abrams
IF YOU WANT to grow your business,
sooner or later you’re going to have to get
some help. But hiring can be tough. Sure, it’s
nerve-racking when you’re the one looking
for a job. But surprisingly, it’s also intimidating when you’re on the other side of the desk,
looking to hire just the right person to help
grow your company. With the proper preparation, however, you’ll find just the perfect
person or people to add to your team. You
won’t have to do everything alone, and they’ll
help take your business to the next level.
consider whether one real live person can
manage very different tasks. Is it realistic for
an admin to also do some basic bookkeeping,
light shipping and occasional updating of
your website? Probably. Is it realistic to think
that an admin will be able to manage your
computer network or make outside sales
calls? Probably not.
Ten hiring do’s and don’ts
Do write a clear job description.
It’s tempting to just jot down a quick job
description when it’s time to place a help-wanted ad. But developing a clear job description is actually a key to hiring success. It helps
you attract exactly the right applicants, saves
you time and helps you understand exactly
what interview questions to ask and what
tasks you’ll assign to your new staff member.
Do interview several candidates.
Even if you’re really excited about one applicant, you’ll have a better idea if he or she is
really the right person for the job if you interview at least three prospects in person. To
save time, before having someone come in for
an interview, schedule a phone interview. A
15- to 30-minute phone call can save hours of
Do be realistic. While it’s typical in a
small business for people to wear many hats,
The Costco Connection
Costco offers online payroll services to
Costco members, through Intuit. For information, visit Costco.com and click on “Services.”
Do be prepared. When interviewing,
have a list of questions ready and be sure to
ask the same questions of every candidate, as
well as questions based on each individual’s
own résumé. And, of course, obey the law.
Don’t ask any questions that can be seen as
discriminatory, such as “Which religious holidays do you observe?” or “Do you plan on
having children?” (There’s a list of legal and
illegal questions in my new book, Hire Your
First Employee, which you can get free—just
Do hire for attitude, train for skills.
If you find someone with a can-do and will-do
Rhonda Abrams has started four successful
companies. Currently, she heads The Planning
Shop, a publisher specializing in entrepreneurship and small business (
com). She is the author of Successful Business
Plan: Secrets & Strategies.
COSTCO AND INTUIT have teamed up
to make Rhonda’s
newest book, Hire
Your First Employee,
free to Costco members. You’ll get this
178-page, $24.95 value
absolutely free. Just go
Get Rhonda’s book FREE!