Foster an open door policy
Employees of large companies often feel ignored. Complaints about broken systems, cumbersome processes, and even outright mismanagement are often not addressed. Emphasize that you take the opposite approach, checking in regularly with your employees and asking how you can best set them up for success.
Offer cross training
Employees can get pigeonholed into a position with a large corporation without a clear path forward. Make cross training a priority so your team has the ability to learn additional responsibilities that will help them advance at your company or wherever they work next.
Present your operating budget
Not every business owner will want to bust open the books when hiring talent. But if you want an employee to accept a pay level below what a larger company could offer, you can be transparent about your business costs. This opens the door to a dialogue about how the candidate can impact future profits and payroll.
Interview best practices in 2022
Hiring new employees is a crucial component of small business success. Attracting strong candidates that fit your company culture and can add value is no easy task. But you can set yourself up for success from the very first interview. Here are best practices to consider.
- Determine if you need a full time employee or freelancer
It’s important to understand the difference between hiring an employee and working with an independent contractor. Determining the right fit for your small business will help you determine what taxes need to be withheld and can help you avoid legal trouble.
An Independent Contractor typically operates under a business name, invoices for work completed, can have more than one client and sets their own hours. An Employee typically performs duties dictated or controlled by others and works for only one employer.
Before you start your search, look at the scope of the position and talk to a financial professional about tax implications. For more information to help you make a decision, visit our blog to read Hiring Help: Do you Need an Employee or Independent Contractor?
- Don’t go on just instinct
It feels great to meet a candidate you really get along with, but don’t conflate the good energy for ample qualifications, or even a guarantee that your new hire will gel with the whole team. You shouldn’t hesitate to confirm that the most exciting prospects live up to the first impressions they make. Consider verifying all the information on candidates’ resumes, as lying on a resume is not as uncommon as you think.
Skill tests can tell you whether your prospect actually boasts the talents they claim to have. These tests will provide you with an unbiased assessment of how much your prospect actually knows about the work with which you’ll task them. If your prospect tests well, it’s a good indicator that they have the skills to support the workload, and your business, for the long haul.
- Have the candidate talk to the team
One of the fundamental tenets of good business is to not go it alone – after all, that’s why you’re hiring employees in the first place. If you get a great first impression from a job candidate, have them speak with your colleagues to assess their fit for your company. You can set up a formal interview or just have the candidate swing by the office for a bit – as long as you respect both your candidate’s and your coworkers’ time, either option works.
- Ask about the candidate’s most recent workplace
Often, job interviews focus mostly on performance and tasks. You can learn just as much about a job candidate by asking them about where they’re doing their work. Have the candidate discuss their current work environment and culture and what they would change about both. Their answers may help you better see how – or if – they’ll be a fit for your company culture.
- Discuss customer and client interactions
Since job interviews often pertain strongly to work functions, they may overlook another key company culture trait: customer and client interactions. Will your employee be able to appropriately communicate with the people who pay for your goods and services, or with other team members if they are an internal employee?
Small businesses that survive and thrive in this uncertain economy will be those that can continually adapt and pivot when necessary. Even if you’ve adjusted your hiring practices since March 2020, you may need to evolve further to keep up. Keep an eye on industry hiring trends and best practices to make sure your business remains competitive.