Steps to Recruiting and Keeping the Best Employees for your Small Business
You have managed your business, whether it be a direct mail marketing practice or pet care business for the last few years. As a disciplined, independent entrepreneur, you have managed every detail; the semi-comedic introduction plays out like this:
“Are you the CEO?”
“CEO, secretary and janitor.”
However, as a well-studied businessperson, you also understand that the key success is intelligent growth, and the key to growth is hiring passionate, intelligent professionals to manage the aspects of the business which have distracted you and hence bit into your revenue. The question you need to ask yourself is, “I know I need the right office manager, general assistant or sales coordinator, but how to I get him or her to join my team?”
In short: you need to be recruiting.
The good news is that while finding the right fit will take an investment of time, by following some basic steps, you can expedite the project and begin enjoying the ROI that comes from hiring the right help.
- Be Clear – to yourself as well as to the people you interview. Sit down and brainstorm every responsibility you can see this new employee Mashable‘s editor, Lauren Drell, makes the point that small businesses rely on a person’s ability to multitask; the situation at your own service-based company for which you are recruiting will be no different. Therefore you need to be clear about specific duties: “office manager must have two years of experience with Excel, particularly with pivot tables and v-lookups.”
Clarity is vital; cutting corners by underestimating the need for excellence in mundane skill such as quickly turning screws if your small business specializes in quick oil changes to people in a rush, will come back to haunt you if you are not clear on this point.
- Be Flexible – People are attracted to small, growing businesses because they often offer a wide array of responsibilities and a “causal work environment”; confirm that your company follows this policy. Offer the chance to telecommute or bring the dog to the office. As stated in the Wall Street Journal, smaller companies are less bureaucratic and have a more ‘human’ touch when it comes to personnel management than do many large firms.
- Be Challenging – Take a page from the high school basketball or soccer coach; it’s great to have a convincing conversation with a confident, intelligent applicant, but ask for a demonstration. If your company offers tax preparation service to other small businesses, ask your interviewee to take a client’s tax return home and send completed work via email by noon the next day. A serious job seeker will jump at the chance to show his or her ability.
- Be a Copy-Cat – In an article published on Bankrate‘s website, business editor Dana Dratch advises reading your competition’s open secrets; by reading what they are looking for in their own help wanted ads. Doing this offers two valuable insights: 1) greater knowledge of what skills are needed for a small service provider’s success and 2) an accurate estimate of what the costs of hiring a certain type of employee will be; benchmarking will be easier.
- Be Forward-Thinking – Dratch states that you should never stop recruiting; that is, even when you are fully staffed, keep your eye out for new opportunities and the right talent to manage them. Small business consultant, Rick Meekins, likens the process to climbing a flight of stairs, with identifying the need as the first step and final satisfaction as the final one. Aepiphanni, which has provided effective advisory on such planning for over 10 years, offers free initial assessment via its website.
You have ensured that your company has established itself as a reliable service provider by managing the entirety of the business by yourself. Now is time to move from being a ‘one-man team’ to the leader of a winning team. Call the consultants at Aepiphanni today for a free assessment of your current business and how to make the best hiring decision.
Aepiphanni’s Ian Erickson has been advising managers and clients in a wide spectrum of industries on the most effective strategy for several years. In the coming weeks, Ian will continue to discuss various situations facing service-based businesses and how to turn challenges into opportunities.
Aepiphanni is the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Our entrepreneurial multidisciplinary team works with clients to develop differentiating solutions and provide direction focused on lasting, strategic results. We exist to help our clients CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.
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