To grow your business, you’ll need help. But finding – and keeping – great employees can be a challenge for small businesses. Whether you’re a first-time employer or already have employees, even if you mostly hire contractors, learning the keys to successful hiring can substantially increase your growth and success.
I’ve been hiring great people for over 15 years, and they’ve substantially helped me grow my business. Some have been with me, on and off, for over a decade. And I’ve worked with hundreds of thousands of small companies.
Below are seven strategies for successfully hiring the very best employees. After reading these strategies, be sure to also take advantage of these free hiring resources that Intuit Payroll is providing:
- Sign up to attend my free Hire Your First Employee Webinar; 1/28; 9:30 a.m. PT
- Get a free copy of my new book “Hire Your First Employee: the entrepreneur’s guide to finding, choosing and leading great people” at: www.intuitinc.com/hire.
Now to my strategies:
- Hire for attitude, train for skill. An eager, smart employee can learn new software, equipment and the ins and outs of your industry, but if they don’t have a good work ethic and attitude, you’re stuck. Of course, if you’re hiring a pilot for your airline, they have to have skills – or a software programmer – but for most jobs, it’s the attitude and intelligence that matters.
- Develop a clear, thorough job description. This enables you to identify exactly what tasks you need handled, making it easier to understand the kind of person you’re looking for. And you’ll use this to create a compelling help wanted ad.
- Prepare for interviews. Just as candidates need to do their homework, so do you. Have a list of open-ended questions to ask, read the applications and resumes thoroughly, conduct phone pre-screening interviews (saves you time!) and check candidates out online before you meet.
- Get creative with benefits. If you think you can’t compete with big corporations on pay, get creative by providing more flexible work hours, a dog-friendly office, impromptu and unusual rewards, or a family-like atmosphere. Remember, one of the best benefits of working for a small company is that employees get to do more and learn more. Give them a chance for growth.
- Have a clear – but short – personnel manual. List work hours, holidays, vacation and sick leave policy. If there are other issues that are critical to your business (such as safety or customer service concerns), list those too. That way there are no misunderstandings later.
- Get help with payroll. One of Rhonda’s Rules: use a payroll service if you have even one employee. That’s because making mistakes can cost you big. Even with contractors it’s easy to pay late, forget to file paperwork. Instead, get an easy payroll service, like Intuit Online Payroll, or an accountant to prepare your payroll.
- Become a great boss. When you get a reputation as a great place to work, you’ll have more applicants, referrals from current employees, and higher retention rates. One key: say thank you and good job! Everyone wants to be acknowledged, and one area where small businesses can do a much better job than big corporations is letting employees know how much you appreciate them. Just saying “thank you” at the end of the day can increase employee loyalty.