Thursday, February 5, 2009

Small Business - Hiring employees

Hiring an employee is possibly one of the most important decisions any business would take. This is particularly true for a small business. While getting a very suitable candidate can make a huge difference to business success, the cost of hiring a wrong or unsuitable candidate can be very high. Since a small business would have only a few employees, it is all the more important that each of them meet the expectations of the business.

Hence it is essential for a small business to evaluate and recruit candidates very carefully. However small businesses often do not place much importance to this function. Hiring is often done in an ad-hoc manner without much planning. Here are a few tips that might be useful in this regard.

What to do before hiring?

- Prepare a detailed job description for the job you are hiring. This will help you select a better suited candidate. It will also help a prospective candidate decide whether or not he will find the job appropriate.

- Think of the educational background, quantum of experience, and type of experience you are looking for in the candidate.

- Sometimes you can get good candidates by word of mouth advertising. Existing employees are often a good source to refer new candidates. If this is feasible for you try and get candidates this way. If not you have to take up the other options of either advertising in media, or searching through job sites databases or going to a recruitment agency.

What to do during the hiring process

- Ensure that the candidates coming for recruitment are attended to promptly and professionally. This is most likely their first impression of your organisation, and it should be a good one.

- Spend time studying the resume of each candidate before interviews/discussions.

- Do verify any references given.

- It often helps to have an interview panel of more than just one. Different people bring different prespectives to the process.

- Keep the entire process professional and courteous. The objective should be that even candidates not selected should go away with a positive opinion of your organisation.

What to do after the hiring process

- The first few days/weeks of a new recruit are most important. This is when he/she makes up their minds to a large extent about the organisation.

-Make sure that the process of joining and starting is as easy and comfortable as possible.

- Ensure that the job role, reporting requirements etc are well understood.

- If it is a trainee position, have a well-structured training program/plan well in place. If it is a more experienced position ensure that the actual project/job is commenced early on.