In small companies there isn’t much room to hide under-performers and each person is responsible for a large piece of the company’s everyday flow. There are some things small businesses need to consider in their hiring practices.
1. Passion goes a long way – A small business needs people that are intelligent and passionate about what the company is doing. These traits are the ingredients that give an employee the drive to take pride in their work and see a job to completion. Having employees that fit with your company culture is essential both for harmony and productivity. This is the image you want projected to the outside world!
2. Hire for aptitude – Many small businesses have been successful when they hire for aptitude, or ability to learn a task, over experience in a similar role. The right training is a necessity, but for those individuals who easily pick up new skills - the sky is the limit.
3. Use your network and ask for referrals – No one knows your small business better than you, so lean on your network and professionals you’ve worked with in the past that you believe the company would benefit from. In small company’s you will generally find your employees are also invested in what the company is doing, so lean on them for referrals as well. It doesn’t hurt to offer an incentive if they bring someone onboard!
4. Get involved – Conventional ways of sourcing candidates may drum up some kind of pipeline, but getting out in the community and networking with other business professionals in your area may be even more effective. Spread the word! Create an online presence with a newsletter or blog. Don’t let your company be the best kept secret.
5. Be mindful when creating your interview team – The candidates don’t need to meet with the whole company, but do need to meet with those key decision makers who can evaluate their qualifications critically and provide constructive feedback.
6. Have an onboarding process in place before day one – Put together a series of sessions ranging from company culture and intent to history and strategy. Having all these things spelled out means that everyone who joins the company will have the same experience.
Once you have great talent on board, it becomes easier to attract more of the same. Talented people are interested in constant growth and being around other talented people inspires and drives motivation. Don’t hesitate to give employees ambitious goals and stimulating projects to work on.