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The great endeavor of adding an employee to your business for the first time is an exciting, yet nerve-wracking one. But if you aren’t in the business of hiring people, it can be a tricky process — take it from me. If you have no idea on how to hire employees, you’re going to make some costly mistakes. Fortunately, it shouldn’t be a problem if you know what to do.
I remember the first time I had to start hiring, when my first business got to big. It was both nerve wracking and exciting. After posting a job ad on a well-known local recruitment site and receiving a few emails, I scheduled some interviews with individuals whose resumes looked impressive. While I had an idea of what to ask and what I thought I wanted, I figured I could ask the typical questions you encounter in job interviews and go from there. That led me to my very first hire. They were someone whose interview and résumé left a good impression, as it was gleaming with experience and a good educational background — and they were confident (but not cocky!) during the interview. I hired them on the spot, thinking that with all that experience, I could learn a thing or two from them. Unfortunately, instead of becoming a well-oiled team, it felt like I was doing the bulk of the work while I paid my new employee to do nothing. As the days went by, I realized that their résumé was a sham — a mistake on my part, for not calling the references. When I came to my senses, I quickly fired them (not without difficulty), and it left a bitter taste in my mouth. Needless to say, I was more cautious in my next interviews.
All budding entrepreneurs and small business owners want to hire someone with good experience, but a staggering 95% of employers have admitted to hiring the wrong person each year. While it’s understandable that small businesses or startups don’t have the capital to have a full-fledged HR department, I’ve listed a plan for any inexperienced business owner to follow in order to avoid a bad hire and instead, get an experienced employee perfect for the company.
Identify the goal, and make a plan
Hiring an employee typically means that a problem needs solving, which will require you to figure out exactly what that problem is, and how your new co-worker can help. Think about the skill set you want your employee to have, and how much the current salary range is for that in the market — if you have no idea, then it’s time to do your research. Ask friends in similar professions, or make use of the many resources online. Additionally, before you hire an employee, you need to figure out if you’re ready. Is there enough market demand to take on another employee? Will the hire really help your business? Making a plan will help you make sure your hire is really worth it, and make smart decisions that will guide you throughout your hiring process.
Set a budget
Finding the right candidate relies heavily on your budget. After all, someone with 10 years of experience and a wide range of skills versus someone with a budding career will have different salary expectations. While it’s one thing to spend on their salaries, it’s another to actually find them. Fortunately, there are affordable solutions to finding candidates like JobStreet, Glassdoor, and even LinkedIn along with inexpensive methods to test them with Kandio. Not to mention, you’ll also have to start budgeting recurring expenses that come with employees that aren’t their salary, such as HMOs, social security, and depending on where you live, their retirement fund — all of which can be key points in your hiring offer. Setting aside a budget for all steps in the hiring process will help ensure that you maximize all opportunities to get the best hire.
An interview can tell you a lot about someone — but if, like me, you fail to ask the right questions, you can end up with the wrong hire. While traditional interviews take place face-to-face, the digital era has afforded us a more convenient method: through video calling. Video interview software like Spark Hire allows you to interview candidates and gain far more insight than you might have during face-to-face meetings. This is because it allows you to playback the interview and easily compare candidates, so you can review candidates you like best with more focus.
Additionally, you should have two goals when interviewing: verifying the information they placed in their resume, and seeing if their personality fits the culture you want to build. Asking the right questions can reveal their communication and analytical skills, but most importantly, their attitude. If you aren’t sure what to ask, check out our list of questions here, or do some extra research! The “right” questions can vary based on your industry.
When you’re done with your interview, you should have some idea of what the candidate’s asking salary is. If it isn’t within your budget, don’t be afraid to negotiate! But don’t lowball them either. Try to offer other perks like time-bound salary adjustments or work-from-home options that will let make up for offering a different salary rate. In short, you can negotiate just about anything.
At the end of the day, hiring the right person is the goal of any business owner — all you need is a goal and a plan in mind.