6 Top Tips For Small Businesses Looking To Hire New Employees

24th November 2015
Catherine Vickery

As a small business, hiring an employee is huge. It is exciting because your business needs an extra pair of hands, and your company dynamic is about to completely change. However, it’s also terrifying because your business needs an extra pair of hands and your company dynamic is about to completely change…

Don’t panic. This is really exciting and you don’t need to have done an exam to hire the right person, you just need to read these top tips:

1. Write A Job Description

It can be difficult to know who to hire when you don’t know exactly what skills or abilities you are looking for in a person. Sit and write a job description writing down exactly what tasks you want your new employee to do. Look at the job description and think about it carefully – does it match the salary you are offering? Is it too much work for one person? Does the job involve a broad range of skills you’re unlikely to get from one person? Writing a description will not only help you understand what you are looking for, but it will also help you refine your salary, the hours you are offering and help you prioritise the skills you need in your new employee.

2. Understand Your Company Culture

Once you have written a job description you can then think about the kind of company culture you have. You may believe because you are a small business that you have no company culture yet. Well, it’s time to recognise that even if you are a small company, you do have a certain way of working and an attitude to work that forms your company culture. Recognising this style is important as it will then help you see the qualities in interviewees that fit with your company culture. Ask yourself:

  • How are decisions made in the company
  • How are decisions communicated
  • How are employees recognised
  • What is interaction like amongst employees
  • What is the general attitude like in relation to work

You may find that you recognise perhaps your company likes employees to perform well and enjoy their own job satisfaction, taking a pride in the work they complete. This can help you then understand an interviewee who says they like being managed and thrive under pressure and love being recognised by the company they work for simply won’t suit your dynamic.

3. Network To Recruit

Of course you will want to advertise the job you have with us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t network to recruit as well. Use social media and let your contacts know you are hiring. This is a great way to get more of a response to your job, and to get applicants who past colleagues or customers recommend.

4. Tailor Your Interview Process To Suit Your Needs

Not all interview styles work for all employers. It may be that a traditional interview process where you interview several candidates in a day is too time consuming for your needs. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to tailor your interview process. Consider a group interview where you get a lot of candidates in for some group chats and interactions. From there you can invite your top 2 or 3 back for an extended interview. Alternatively you could conduct Skype interviews or telephone interviews to pre-screen applicants. A trial afternoon can also be a good idea if you think someone might be great but you are unsure. Many people can shine in interviews but show their true colours when their foot is in the door – a trial afternoon (paid) is a good way to get past any fronts.

5. Think Carefully About Your Interview Questions

Think about the kind of person who would be a good fit for your business and your job description and write your interview questions based on those things. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that ask for a sign of someone’s personality as well as questions about the job – in small businesses personality counts for a lot because there’s no-one to hide behind.

6. Ask Us, Get Your Colleagues On Board, Or Ask A Friend To Help

Often it can help to have someone else’s opinion and input when you interview someone, especially if you’re not very experienced. It can also help the dynamic of the interview be less intense if someone else is there to throw questions or responses in. Ask a colleague to help if possible, or consider getting a friend or family member to help you. You should also definitely make sure you get advice from us on selecting the right person for the job – we have a wealth of experience you will benefit from. Extra opinions, experience and advice can be really useful with such a difficult decision.