This post from guest blogger Ben Baldwin appears in our series Small Business 500.
There comes a time in every small business when hiring new staff is inevitable. A little known fact by job seekers (and well known fact by those well versed in interviewing) is that this process can be just as uncomfortable for those doing the hiring as it is for those being interviewed. Here are some sure-fire tips to make sure you have a clear picture of what you’re looking for before you look at the first resume in your stack.
1. What are your job-candidate must haves?
These are your absolute non-negotiables. You would be surprised how many people go into the hiring process without identifying the skills or personality traits that are necessary in the position they are hiring for. Before you can start looking, you need a clear picture of what it is you’re looking for.
2. Who will this person be interacting with on a regular basis?
Is that beer-slugging, go-with-the-flow guy you know from your baseball team the best person to be interacting with your customers on a regular basis? And is that soft-spoken PR grad the best choice to be in your office doing back end work with the rest of your rowdy team? Keep in mind who your new hire will be interacting with on a regular basis — and make sure they’re a strong fit.
3. Is the job description flexible?
So your new job candidate knocks your socks off, but they don’t quite match the job description you posted. Do you ignore them for the better-suited candidate, or hire them anyway? That entirely depends on how flexible your job posting is — something you should determine before the hiring process begins.
4. How much time can I devote to training?
Let me emphasize this now: Training a new job candidate takes time…. lots of it. If someone is a strong fit, the hard skills can be learned, but it will require a larger investment of your time. Don’t forget: Less experience might mean more training time, but it might also mean fewer ingrained bad habits.
5. Will they fit in well with the team dynamic?
Each new hire has the ability to influence your team, and you want to be sure they’re influencing it in the best way possible. Once you’ve created a strong team dynamic, make sure that your new hires are not only a good fit with the job, but with the company as well. And be honest about your culture, not aspirational. Are you actually as fun as you think you are, or are you more buttoned-down?
—Ben is the founder of ClearFit, the app that’s fixing hiring. ClearFit is the only online solution that makes it easy for absolutely anyone to find and hire the best person. Ben has 13+ years experience building hiring tools for the Fortune 500 and small businesses. He’s also a patent holder & board member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO/YEO).
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