Best Practices When Hiring New Employees
Our economy is thriving. According to the Small Business Administration, in 2018 there were 30.2 million small businesses with a total of 58.9 million employees in the U.S. In fact, small businesses make up 99.9 percent of all U.S. companies and account for 47.5 percent of all employees. So, if you’re planning to expand your business in the next few months, you’ll need to attract and hire the right kind of talent to support your operations during this exciting time.
Of course, with so many candidates available, it can be a bit overwhelming to find individuals who possess the right skills and who are a match for your company culture. Keep the following best practices in mind:
- Clearly specify the job duties, responsibilities and desired qualifications: Set some time aside to list which duties the open position involves on a day-to-day, weekly and monthly basis. In addition, clarify what the candidate’s responsibilities will be and list the required education and experience.
- Encourage employee referrals: According to the Society for Human Resource Management — or SHRM — employee referrals accounted for almost a third of all hires in 2016. Explain to your staff what type of position needs to be filled and ask them to refer anyone they think would be a good fit.
- Review the applications and make a shortlist: Select the candidates who possess the required qualifications and whose cover letters make them stand out. The resulting shortlist can include as many candidates as you can comfortably handle.
- Schedule the first round of interviews: You can do the first round of interviews by phone or via a teleconferencing app. Ask about each candidate’s qualifications and experience, and assess whether or not he or she would be a good cultural fit.
- Select the top three candidates: In addition to education, experience and cultural fit, try to ascertain how long these candidates are likely to stay with your firm. You don’t want to invest a lot of time and resources in someone who merely sees the opportunity as a stepping stone.
- Background check: When you’ve chosen your number one candidate, check his or her credentials. Follow up with references, contact previous employers — if you have permission — and run a criminal background check.
- Put together an offer: If the background check doesn’t reveal any issues, put together a job offer with a competitive salary and benefits package. In some cases, a candidate might want to negotiate certain aspects — for example, the salary or the option to work at home one day a week — so be very clear on how much room there is for negotiations.
Remember: Making a bad hire just to quickly fill a position can have a negative impact on your company — plus, you’ll have to repeat the hiring process, which is time-consuming and expensive. That’s why it’s wiser to take a bit longer to ensure you hire someone who’s capable, trustworthy and the right fit for your organization.
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