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Small business owners often struggle to find time to address key business initiatives. And, when hiring needs arise, whether from growth or turnover, a business owner’s time or lack thereof, is a major factor in the success or failure of a hiring initiative.

Yet, making a bad hire can also be a big drain on an owner’s time. Better to invest your time to hire right than to pay the high cost of turnover that affects not only your personal time, but also your company’s productivity.

Increase your odds that you make a good hire by avoiding the following mishaps.

1. Failure to define the position.
If you don’t know what needs to be accomplished, how are you going to find the right person to do it? Identify key responsibilities for the position and then build a desired skill set around these responsibilities.

• Identify the top 4-5 key job responsibilities that are most essential to the position. Ask yourself, “What do you want the person to do and what skills, behaviors or experience do they need to have to be successful at doing these tasks.”
• Set performance goals to measure the employee’s success. Ask, “How will I know if the individual has accomplished the key job responsibilities?” Set clear metrics for success.

2. Failure to write a compelling ad.
Create a marketing message that targets your ideal candidate. Draft it so it compels the applicant to respond. They must be able to envision themselves in the job. Incorporate words that reflect the behavioral style or attributes you are seeking. Write the ad from the perspective of “What’s in it for them?”

Ads that attract top performers effectively answer the following questions:
• “What will I do?”
• “Whom will I work with?”
• “What will I learn?”
• What will I accomplish?”
• “What will I earn?”

3. Failure to have a corporate career site.
Your corporate career site can be one of your most effective recruiting tools. Candidates that visit an employer’s web site tend to be a higher quality candidate. Review your website and ask yourself the following questions.

• Does your website have a “Careers” button on its home page?
• Does the “Careers” button take your candidates to a place that tells them why your company would be a great place to work at?
• Does your career site provide a listing of available job opportunities?
• Can a candidate view specific details about each available job?
• Can they apply on your website?

4. Failure to screen candidates thoroughly.
Perform your due diligence on each viable candidate through pre-screening questionnaires, phone interviews, and multiple interviews. If you, as the owner, are the only manager in the company, ask an outside advisor such as a business coach to also interview your final candidates. Hiring can be an emotional activity, so an objective opinion from an outside advisor can help you avoid hiring based on the “likeability” factor.

Once you have finished your interviews and have identified your top candidate, it is advisable to conduct the following;
• Check references
• Run a background check
• Conduct skills testing
• Perform behavioral assessments.

5. Failure to treat candidates as customers.
First impressions are important. A relationship begins the first time an employee communicates with your company as an applicant. If the hiring process is performed well, a trusting relationship builds. Treat an applicant poorly; they will assume you treat employees the same way.

• Respond promptly to candidate inquiries.
• Be prepared and on time for interviews.
• Don’t oversell the position or the company.
• Communicate desired job performance objectives.

If you treat each candidate as a potential customer, you will have a greater chance of selling them on your company’s value proposition. Top performers will be more likely to listen to your story of why your organization is a great company to work for and they will be more willing to give up another job for the one you are offering.

If you have a hiring need, give us a call at 317-578-1310 for a complimentary discussion on strategies to effectively recruit top performing talent.

If you need help recruiting top talent, give us a call at 317-578-1310.

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