What is the number one obstacle to growth that your small business will face? You might think it’s having the capital to fund the growth, but actually the number one issue is hiring the right employee for the right position.
Often it’s not that you can’t find people to hire; the issue is that it’s hard to find the right person for the position you’re trying to fill. The people we fall in love with in the interview sometimes don’t have the right personality and aptitude to fit in with our company culture or perform the duties we’re hiring them to handle. The interview process is crucial to our hiring process, but finding a good match starts much earlier than the interview. Even though you may be in a time crunch to bring someone on board, the important first step is to create a profile of who you’re trying to find.
The easiest way to start, if you’ve had someone in the position before, is to create the profile using the person who was ideal for the position. If it’s a new position, think about the type of personality the person should have. Also consider what types of things the person should be good at and enjoy doing. Don’t neglect thinking about the values and culture of the company and its other employees when designing the profile of your new employee. What you should end up with is a list of attributes that would be desirable in the perfect hire. Prioritize those so you’ll know what’s really important.
Before advertising the job, make sure your job description paints an accurate picture of what the employee will do and the skillsets he/she should have. A good way to start is to list every task/job that the new employee will have to do, along with the skills the person would need to have. Use this list to categorize the tasks when creating the job description.
Finally, when you’re ready for the interview, prepare questions that will accurately help you determine if the interviewee fits the profile you’ve created. Don’t settle for answers that sound prepared; dig deep and find out WHAT the person really thinks, and HOW he/she thinks. Make sure candidates understand that you will check all their references and previous employers. Taking these steps will help you to match the right candidate with your job. Last word: always trust your gut. If something seems off, it probably is.
(Source: Alisa Kirk, Area Director, UGA SBDC at Clayton State University)