Find the right employee for your small business

Corporations will spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours trying to find the best talent, even for junior roles. Unfortunately, small business owners usually don’t have the luxury of engaging pricey recruitment firms and undertaking endless rounds of interviews with every candidate.

Here’s how you can maximise your chances of finding a ‘keeper’ while minimising your expenditure.

Treat the Available Role like a Good or Service You’re Selling

If you have something to sell, the first step is to advertise it. This can range from a note in your store window to posting on your business’s social media accounts, or paid ads on Seek and LinkedIn. The selling doesn’t stop when the candidates show up either. You’ll need to point out the advantages – such as wide-ranging experience, autonomy and a family atmosphere – of working in your small business. The more quality leads you can attract, the higher the likelihood of landing a quality employee.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Was the candidate enthusiastic when you asked them to come in for an interview? Did they turn up on time and made an effort to be well presented? Do they speak positively of their former employers? Ticking all those boxes doesn’t necessarily mean the candidate is right for your business but failing to tick them should set alarm bells ringing.

Interview Like a Boss

There are three things you need to determine when interviewing candidates:

  • Do they have the right skill set?
  • Have they got the attitude to do the job well?
  • Will they fit in?

The best way to work out the answers to those questions is to ask what HR experts call ‘behavioural questions’. So you should ask the candidate questions such as: “Tell me how you handled a conflict with a colleague” or “What are some of the strategies you’ve used to handle an upset customer?”

It’s also a good idea to conclude the interview by asking, “Why should I hire you?” It allows the candidate to summarise what they bring to the table, and may also result in them mentioning skills or character traits you hadn’t thought to ask about.

Trust Your Gut

Recruitment remains an inexact science. As a small business owner, you have limited capacity to carry a poorly performing staff member. So trust your intuition if it’s telling you something isn’t quite adding up with a particular candidate.

Recognise your Hiring Mistakes

For whatever reason, sometimes things just don’t work out. That should be clear by the time a new employee is reaching the end of their probationary period. Have the humility to recognise you made the wrong choice, conduct the awkward conversation with the soon-to-be ex-staffer and begin the recruitment process anew.

By using these tips, you will be able to interview effectively to find the right candidate for your small business.