Last week marked National Small Business Week, recognizing the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. If you are managing a small business – or even a larger business – your ability to hire the right people is paramount to your success. After all, bringing on a “bad” hire drains resources, negatively impacts morale, is costly, and can ultimately put you further behind than when you had the open position.
As you grow your business, below are five hiring mistakes to avoid (and tips to avoid them).
- Don’t Rush to Hire – While there is typically a sense of urgency tied to filling open positions, try your best to be strategic. This includes interviewing a good amount of candidates. Having more candidates will allow you to find your ideal candidate, while reducing the risk of hiring someone sub-par that you will ultimately have to spend time replacing down the road.
- Don’t Skip the Pre-screening Step – Why waste interview time with someone who is not the right fit for the role? A simple pre-screening call can uncover a candidate’s knowledge and experience, helping you determine if they are worth bringing in for an actual interview. As part of this phase, other factors such as salary and hour requirements/desires can also be vetted.
- Don’t Interview without Structure – Take an honest look at how you have done interviews in the past. Is there a formal process with structure? Have you been pleased with your recent hires? If not, implement a system where you: identify the roles you need to fill; review the position performance requirements; evaluate your corporate culture and compensation spectrum; and ensure goals are aligned among all team members.
- Don’t Overlook Cultural Fit – While a candidate may look perfect on paper, there are other important factors at play, including how that person might fit into your organization’s culture. It’s critical to ask yourself whether that individual’s personality and behavior patterns are both suited for the job and for your company’s culture. How will that person interact with colleagues and customers?
- Don’t Neglect the Onboarding Process –Ensure a satisfying employee onboarding experience with a positive first day. Have a formal orientation process/training program in place that encourages interaction with other employees within the department. Have an open discussion about the job, including expectations and goals. Other items to have in place before they start: a pre-determined schedule of meetings, a process for completing necessary paperwork and documentation, and a fully-functioning desk with a computer up and running.
Simply taking a step back to think about the above mistakes – and how to avoid them – can make all the difference between having a business – and growing a business. Good luck!