How to Find the Right Employees for Your Small Business

Finding the right person for the job can be really difficult for any organisation however, this difficulty is often compounded for small business owners. Not only would the wrong person hinder the progress of your business but, ultimately, it could have an enormous financial impact.

We have compiled this article for 2 reasons:

  1. We’re lovely and want to help
  2. In helping you, we hope your business will thrive!

This post will guide you through the entire hiring process and help you to get it right from the offset.

Why is this so important?

In short, the costs can be astronomical for getting this wrong. Let’s take an example. You’ve hired a terrible Salesperson. Your business turns over £150,000 in sales revenue each year and you have, 4 salespeople in your team. That means the average yearly revenue generated by a salesperson is £37,500. Let’s say you’re paying them £17,000 a year, that means they are worth £20,000 a year to you.

In this example, just a 10% decrease in performance would cost you £2000 each year in wasted revenue. It all adds up doesn’t it?

So what’s the solution?

The solution is to get it right from the word go. The goal of a good business should always be to grow. Growing means bringing people onboard. How can we ensure those people are the perfect fit?

Here are 5 top tips:

1. What do you want to achieve with this employee?

Be really specific with this one. As you saw earlier on, the wrong choice can be massively costly. Sit down and draw up a list of specific problems you want to solve with a new employee. Perhaps you know the key to your growth is in selling more of your product, in this case, the key to hiring the right person will be in how they can move you towards more sales.

but, it goes deeper than that. It’s not enough to just desire more sales, what about sales platforms? What about sales techniques? Do you need to advertise or cold call? Do you need to build a website or sales funnel? The answer to these types of questions will lead you to a conclusion about the type of person you need to get the job done.

Using this information, you can draw up a document outlining the job description. A job description needs to describe what the job will look like day to day, what the aims of the role is and how you will measure achievement. It should describe the benefits you offer as an employer, how you’ll train them etc.

Once you have done this, you will be beginning to get a clear idea about the type of person you are looking for for the role.

This leads us to tip 2…

2. Produce a person specification for the role.

Once you’ve got a really good idea about what you want to achieve with this employee, you should also be getting an idea about what kind of person will be best suited to meeting your objectives.

Draw up a list of qualities. Think about the ideal person’s skills. For example (let’s use sales again), you’re looking for a person who can increase your online sales revenue by cold calling potential clients and getting them to sign up for a free trial of your product. The skills someone doing this role would need are things like: Good telephone manner, good understanding of your web presence, persuasive speaker, someone who can build rapport quickly. Think about the kind of experience you want from your employee, do you want someone with years of experience or someone who can bring a fresh approach to the role? Think about qualifications, would it be better to hire a registered and qualified accountant to help keep your accounts in order or someone who’s never qualified?

Here’s an example of a person specification for the role of Sales executive.

Remember, the more comprehensive you are at this stage about the type of person you are looking to hire, the smoother the shortlisting process will be.

3. Craft a tailored job advert.

You’ve got a job description. You’ve got a list of requirements for the type of person who will the role. These are two great filters in place already, let’s add another one before you’ve even looked at an application form. Writing the right kind of job advert, aimed at the type of person you’ve got in mind will ensure that many of the applicants already fit the bill.

For example, if you’re looking for someone who is tech-savvy, familiar with the use of smartphone applications and proactive, an ad with a service like Jobswipe Hire means you are only reaching that cohort.

Whatever the role, make sure your advert is designed to appeal to your ideal candidate.

4. Take your time with the screening process.

Let’s face it, reading through applications is never going to be thrilling. Have in mind a number of applications you are happy to read each day that won’t impact your enthusiasm. Because this is all about finding the right person, make sure you’re in the right space mentally to screen applicants.

Read carefully. Keep in mind the ideal person you are looking for as you read. Do they meet all of your essential criteria? Do they meet as much of your desirable criteria as possible?

Is the application interesting or do they use generic, stock phrases?

There’s no rule of thumb when it comes to how many people you want to invite to interview.

If there’s someone else in the business you trust, call in a second opinion.

Ask yourself, does this person appear to be the sort of person who will get on well with my other employees? Do they appear to understand my business? Are they enthusiastic about my vision for the business and do they appear to be likely to carry that forward?

5. Enjoy the interview.

This is your chance to really gauge the candidate’s suitability. Ask interesting, open-ended questions. Listen carefully to their answers and pay close attention to their body language. Throw curveballs in their, questions designed to catch them off-guard and test their ability to think on their feet. Make notes. We would recommend you allow plenty of time for interview days. 2 good interviews could easily take up a working day so, don’t schedule in too many.

We hope you’ve found this article useful. It’s really important to make sure you’ve figured out an exit strategy if things really aren’t working out with your employee. Schedule regular 1:1 time with your employees to gauge how they are getting on.

If there was one piece of wisdom we would consider essential it would be this: look after your staff and your staff will look after your business.

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