The holiday season can be a quiet time for many businesses, which makes it a great opportunity to spend some time looking for new staff members.
Rhonda Abrams: OK, so let’s say you’ve decided to take the leap and hire your first employee. Let’s talk about how you can make the right choice, right off the bat. I’ve come up with a list of some do’s and don’ts to help you make the right choice.
First, do pre-screen candidates on the phone. Your time is valuable and you’re going to be polite, and there’s no way you’re going to get someone in and out of your office in less than 30 minutes. So take the time to pre-screen them on the phone.
Also, make sure you have at least three candidates to see. Even if you’re really excited about one candidate, you’ll have a better idea if they’re really the right person for the job if you interview at least three people.
Here’s the most important thing to remember. Don’t do all the talking. It’s natural to want to tell them about your company and try to sell them on the job, but you’re not going to learn enough about them if you’re doing all the talking.
Also, have your questions ready and make sure you ask the same questions of all the applicants, as well as specific questions based on their particular résumé.
All right, let’s talk about some of the don’ts. Make sure you don’t make promises of job security. That’s a legal issue. So don’t say, “I never fire anyone” or “Once you come to work for us, you’ll be here at least five years”.
And don’t be swayed by big name companies or big name schools. You’re looking for the best candidate, not the best credentials.
But most of all, remember one of my rules, “Hire for attitude, train for skills.” What I mean by that is that if you find a person who has that can do ad will do attitude, that’s more important than someone with the exactly right skills and experience.
If you’re ready to hire, you can get a free copy of my new book, “Hire Your First Employee”, compliments of Intuit. Just go to FirstEmployee.Intuit.com.