Starting a small business means taking ownership of your company. You hustle to find customers, advertise your business and get your office up and running. For a long time, it can feel like you are a one-man show. As your business finds success, that eventually means taking on new employees to help you with your workload.
Finding new employees serves a new challenge. It can be an intimidating prospect. That’s understandable, as hiring the wrong employee can cost you time and money, and can harm your business. That’s especially the case for a small business. One bad employee among hundreds can blend into the crowd, but when you only have a handful of employees, one bad apple can spoil the bunch.
As you meet and interview potential employees, there are several considerations you should keep in mind:
- Competent and capable. A potential employee must have the education and skills needed to do the job. Knowledge and skillset aren’t enough, however, the employee also must be willing to tackle any task that you put before them. A quality employee is capable of growing in their job and taking on new skills and responsibilities as needed.
- Dedicated. No one wants to hire and train a new employee only to see that person leave in a few months or a year. Make sure you discuss future plans with potential employees to make sure they would be dedicated to their job with your company. You don’t want to hire someone who might just be passing through town or taking a position with your company until their dream job opens up elsewhere. In addition to asking about a person’s long-term plans, look at their work history. Frequent job shifts can be a red flag that a person doesn’t take commitment to a company seriously.
- Personable. No matter a person’s skill set or level of education and experience, nothing can make up for a sour personality. As you talk to potential employees, evaluate how well you believe they would fit in with other employees and how well they would talk to and treat your customers. One abrasive employee can sour everyone’s mood at work and leave a bad taste with your customer base.
- Ethical. You need employees who are honest and who do things the right way. It can be hard to judge a person’s character from an interview; this is where it becomes important to call references and previous employees to check a potential employee’s integrity.
When you find the right employee and you are ready to make a job offer, there’s one final consideration: Compensation. Make sure you are offering a competitive package that’s consistent with your industry and the position. Fully and openly discuss compensation as part of the hiring process and make sure that your potential employee is comfortable with what you are offering. Having a fair compensation package that an employee is comfortable with will help ensure that the employee feels valued in their new position in your company.