As small business owners we wear a lot of different hats, but the one that usually gets the least attention is that of “human resources”. In other words, hiring a new employee. The following are some thoughts on the subject:
- A “just get me someone” mind-set will only lead to bigger problems in the future. As an owner you need to have a good idea of where you want to end up so that a new employee can be shown how to help you get there.
- Don’t assume that the new “hire” knows the responsibility of the position. Experience at another firm in a similar position does not mean that it conforms to your vision. Again, a strategic vision or better stated, a specific vision for the new “hire” must be communicated effectively during the interview process.
- Many small businesses hire only when the are on “overload”. This results in a lack of time to for the new “hire” to get up to speed and meet your expectations. As owner, you must be a mentor and spend the necessary time to teach them your vision of how your type of business should be run.
- In a small business with only a few employees, they should all be included in the decision making progress of the firm. You don’t have to follow their suggestions but at least the new “:hire” knows that he has been heard. This will develop loyalty.
- Don’t view your new “hire” as a “mini-me”. You can’t make someone an exact replica of yourself. You are looking for skills that compliment yours, not one that clones it.
- Give them challenges and responsibilities.Then it is up to the new “hire” to prove themselves.
- Even in a small firm, a “good new hire” is interested in the future. Have a career path ready to share.
- Stick to your guns. If you have developed an accurate job description for a position, don’t get caught up if the ” I really like this person” trap. don’t hire someone if their characteristics don’t fit your job profile. Stick to the position you are hiring for.
Even in today’s economy and our high unemployment rate, it may take time to find the right person. Don’t “short change” yourself and hire only because your desperate. Take your time; have a written job description; talk about the mentoring you will do; talk about what is expected, and talk about the future with a time line and performance bench marks.
“What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt – it is sure where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.
Have a great day!