10 Steps For Hiring Staff For Your Small Business

As a small business owner, you’ve probably done it all yourself – servicing clients, bookkeeping, answering phones, or even cleaning the office.  But if the business is going well, at some point, you’ll decide to hire a team member.  

You can either use a recruitment agency or conduct your own staff recruitment. This decision of how to hire people depends on your available time, budget and confidence in doing it yourself.  

If you choose the latter, here’s a list of steps to consider.

1. Create a Position Description: A position or job description establishes the job requirements such as job title, type of employment, hours, probationary period, salary and responsibilities.

2. Advertise: Consider where you will easily find relevant job seekers. For example, online job boards, industry press, LinkedIn and even word of mouth. Think about where you will find the right type of job candidates so you are not inundated with unqualified job applications.  

3. Shortlist: Review each applicant and create a shortlist of approximately five applications, considering them against the position description. Also, consider any strengths and weaknesses that you can glean from the application and how this complements your skills.

4. Establish interview questions: Create questions to establish skills and experience, including problem-solving, personality type, working style, and fitting into the business’s culture. You also want to determine their long-term motivations and ambitions.  Again, refer to online resources to help create these questions.

Ideas and Questions

5. First-round interviews: Can be conducted in person or over the phone. Initial phone interviews are a great, efficient way to establish a candidate’s basic skill set and personality type. If you’re more comfortable doing this in person, then schedule a 1:1 in a quiet, confidential space.

6. Second round interviews: Once you’re down to two to three preferred candidates but can’t decide, then schedule a second-round interview. A second-round interview is where you establish their cultural fit and potential. Ask them to offer examples of challenging situations, lessons learned and what they can provide the business going forward. If you know a second-round interview will form part of your recruitment process, then explain this to candidates during the first interview.

7. Reference checks: Once you’ve decided on your preferred candidate, conduct at least two reference checks. Ask about the candidate’s competence, professionalism, and potential.  It’s a good sign if the referee states they would happily employ that person again. You may also consider doing a more detailed background check.

8. Job Offer: If applicable, once they’ve verbally accepted your job offer, send an employment contract also known as an offer letter. This contract is a legal document which needs to be signed and returned to you.

9. Unsuccessful candidates Always notify people who did not get the role. If someone has taken the time to come in and meet you, then return the courtesy by phoning them rather than sending an impersonal email.

10. Induction & Training – Once they’ve commenced, make sure you offer all the relevant training and induction need to fully understand the business, their role, their team members and client requirements. Make sure they have all the required business tools and are familiar with their worksite.  It’s also important to regularly check in to ensure they’re settling in and performing their role. The onboarding process is a great way to answer any questions or address any challenges they may be having.

Hopefully, the above ten-step process has given you some insight into hiring an employee. Recruit and hire process can be overwhelming if not managed properly. So make sure you plan ahead as this ensure both you and potential candidates get the best experience of you and your business.

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