Earlier this month, we wrote about how the U.S. economy has begun adding jobs within the small business sector. We advised that a review of the business’s cash flow strategy and financial plan were necessary first steps before adding employees.
Let’s assume the financials are in order, and your business is ready to take the next step; it’s time to add employees. If you’re like most small business owners, you may have some reservations… will you have enough revenue growth to support the extra salary? Are you willing to delegate important work to employees to not only lighten your own workload, but to help employees grow and improve?
Perhaps your questions are more pragmatic: Where do you find great employees? How do you make great hires?
The Washington Post published an article titled Tips for Small Business Hiring. Although the article dates to 2011, the advice is still sound. First, the Washington Post advises small business owners “make time to hire.” It may be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day processes of running a business, but supporting long term growth relies on your ability to find, attract, and hire good candidates. Making time in your schedule to manage recruiting and hiring should take the same priority as “a client meeting or business transaction,” according to the author.
In addition to making HR functions a priority, the Washington Post also advises small business owners to consider a “try before you buy” model. Whether your budget allows you to test your candidates on a contract-to-hire basis, or you need to focus on a project-by-project basis, this test drive can save your small business in the long run. That is, some great candidates may not mesh well within your small business’s culture; if you can avoid upsetting what’s already a good culture, it will benefit both your business and your current employees.
Growing your small business is full of questions, and there’s rarely an easy answer. But by prioritizing the recruiting process and “testing” your candidates, your business will be in a better position to make the right hire. Check back next month, when we’ll take a look at some of the legal questions that may come up as your business expands.