A smoothly running business with proficient and productive employees starts with selecting the right talent for your company. Best hiring practices is not just the latest HR buzzword term; hiring the right employees ensures that your company has the essential skill sets to meet your business objectives, and the brightest minds to innovate within your company.
But when hiring for a startup or a small business, the rules change a little bit. The reality may be that you just don’t have the same resources or budget of a large organization. So with that in mind, how do you ensure that the best candidates for the job are being hired? Here are some tips to ensure you are adhering to the best hiring practices for a startup or small business.
- Put care into creating the position
- Create transparent job descriptions
- Don’t rush the interviewing process
- Promote your employer brand
1. Put care into creating the position
Before creating a new position, carefully evaluate what holes the new position would fill – what tasks someone in this role would be in charge of, and how they’ll enable you to achieve your business objectives by helping you with problems you wish to solve.
Some questions to ask yourself include:
- What would the employee’s day-to-day activities look like?
- How long would it take them to complete each task per day/week?
- Do they have enough to do to keep them productive?
- Conversely, can they reasonably manage to complete their given tasks in a given week while maintaining their work/life balance?
- What experience and traits would the ideal candidate have to excel in this role?
Asking yourself these kinds of questions when crafting a new job position is important for all companies, but is especially a best practice when hiring at a small business or startup, where an employee in one role is often tasked with wearing many hats.
2. Transparent job descriptions
It can be tempting to represent a job in the most flattering light possible in order to attract more applicants. But keep in mind that your goal should be to create an accurate and transparent description of the job position and your workplace culture – even if that includes the mundane or less exciting aspects of the job.
Doing so helps match company needs with employee expectations, and ensures that applicants get a realistic view of the role and company to which they are applying. This will ensure you avoid accidentally disappointing new hires who feel like they have been misled by the job description and as a result, feel stuck with responsibilities they were not hired to oversee. It will also help you avoid unintentionally attracting employees who do not fit in, or agree, with your overall workplace culture or company mission.
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3. Don’t rush the interviewing process
We get it – the dozens, if not hundreds, of job applications that come into your inbox can be time-consuming and overwhelming to sift through. Not to mention that it can be difficult to find the time to conduct numerous interviews with different applicants. When you are hiring at a startup or a small business, chances are, you may be balancing these HR-related tasks with other core aspects of your job, making time spent on the hiring process time away from your other duties.
When hiring, many managers make the mistake of settling for the first candidate that meets the criteria they are looking for to fill a position. When you meet someone who can be a potential suitable fit for the role and your team, you may want to hold off on closing your recruiting right away. A business must invest; not just in dollars, but in talent, and an employee who is a new hire today can potentially stay at the company for 10, 15, 20 years. This an especially good hiring practices for small business or startup, where a single employee can account for a significant percentage of your entire workforce. Choose your employees wisely!
4. Promote your employer brand
Some employers forget the fact that hiring and recruiting is a two-way street. Just as you are evaluating applicants, remember that applicants are evaluating you as a potential employer too! If there are aspects of your company that you are proud of, these can be leveraged in order to appeal to applicants. Think of things such as:
- Workplace culture: Flexible hours, ability to work from home, collaborative work environment, support for work/life balance
- Employee benefits: Comprehensive insurance plans, PTO, lifestyle benefits and other non-traditional employee benefits
- Financial compensation: Competitive salaries, end of year bonuses, business equity
- Other perks: Career growth potential, a state-of-the-art workspace, ping pong table, snack bar
One of the primary reasons why employers offer great employee benefits and other perks is for employee attraction and retention. Got them? Advertise them! Applicants need to know what makes your company stand out among hundreds of other companies which are also hiring.
Many small businesses find it difficult to compete against large companies and corporations in certain areas such as salary or group insurance coverage. In order to draw top talent to your company, ensure that you are highlighting what truly makes your company not just worthwhile, but a pleasure to work at (just be honest about it!).
Workplace culture and employee benefits can make or break the employee experience. It goes without saying that all employers want the most qualified candidates for the job, but it is also important to hire candidates that are passionate about your ethos and what your company strives to do.
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