Employees are among a small business's most valuable assets, so hiring solutions must play a key role in any effective strategic business plan. It's not just that hiring a good employee will help your business grow; hiring a bad employee and then having to let them go can mean a loss of time, effort and money - not to mention the negative effect turnover has on your workplace.
There's no way to guarantee that the person you decide to hire will work out, but the various elements of successful hiring solutions can significantly tilt the odds in your favor. Here are five critically important factors that contribute to making the best hiring choice possible for your small business.
1. Job analysis
You can't make a good hiring decision if you're unclear about the position itself. A job analysis can help identify the skills, knowledge, education, abilities and experience a prospective candidate should have to perform a specific job. Your challenge is to determine the level of work experience needed, as well as the appropriate levels of education, training and/or need for certification. One tip: When possible, assess the knowledge, skills and personal characteristics of individuals who have successfully performed this job in the past and include those criteria in the job analysis.
2. Job description
The information you compile during the job analysis will influence the wording of the job description - which in turn is designed to attract the right type of job candidates. An effective job description clearly spells out responsibilities, competencies and skills required for the position, as well as relevant details about working conditions, skills and experience needed, and how the open position relates to other jobs within the organization.
3. Finding qualified candidates
You know precisely what the job entails, but where do you find qualified candidates to fill the position? The best hiring solutions include a comprehensive strategy to attract the right job-seekers from a variety of sources, including but not limited to:
- Employee referrals - Who do your current employees know that might fit the bill?
- Online job postings - Make use of the most popular online employment sites to advertise the position.
- Word of mouth - Turn to your professional network, asking friends and colleagues to suggest qualified candidates.
- Advertising on your company website - Draft a compelling statement on your "Join Our Team" page, "selling" prospective employees on your company's vision, mission and values. Let job-seekers know what sets your business apart from others, and why it's such an attractive place to work. And make it as easy as possible for interested candidates to submit their application.
4. Applicant tracking
If you've successfully leveraged the hiring solutions mentioned above, you should receive a significant number of job applications. How can you keep track of them and, more importantly, identify the most promising candidates?
Recruiting and applicant tracking software enables HR managers and others involved in the hiring process to analyze the information they receive from job-seekers and more efficiently identify those candidates worth pursuing. A paperless recruiting and applicant tracking system can save time and potentially reduces the costs involved in your hiring process.
5. Background checks and drug testing
Now your search has narrowed to one or two of the most promising candidates. But before extending an offer, it's time to conduct a thorough background check to help protect against a candidate's misleading or incomplete information about their employment history and related matters. Pre-employment, post-offer drug testing can reinforce your drug-free workplace policy, helping to reduce workplace accidents, minimize employee turnover and potentially protect against a negligent hiring lawsuit.
When looking for a background screening company:
- Conduct an online search for customer complaints and reviews
- Verify that the company belongs to the National Association of Professional Screeners
- Check on the company's standing with the Better Business Bureau
The services of a qualified background employee screening solution may reduce the chances of having to terminate an employee at a later date and then start the recruitment process all over again.
Attracting and retaining qualified candidates isn't easy, but with a strategy based on effective hiring solutions, you can go a long way toward finding the prospective employee who is best suited for you and your business.