5 Hiring Tips for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Hiring new talent is an investment of time and energy, and it's important to get it right. Selecting team members who are a good fit and have the right aptitude will help your small business grow, and it has a direct impact on your company's culture and brand. 

If you're looking to onboard employees or contractors in the near future, consider these five small business hiring tips. 

5 small business hiring tips

Be clear about your expectations

It's important to be upfront about what you are and aren't looking for. When creating the job description, outline the responsibilities as well as the qualifications necessary to do the job. No job is ever exactly as the description lists, but this will give the candidate a good idea of what to expect ahead of their interview. 

If this role is expected to evolve with the company, be prepared to discuss this in more detail. Some employees work best with a structured workday and repeated tasks. If this role will be somewhat less structured, it's important to be transparent about your expectations so you can attract high quality candidates who are excited and interested in the opportunity and prepared for the challenge. 

Culture is key

If you’ve worked for a company with a poor or toxic culture, you understand the importance of creating a good culture. It affects everything from retaining staff to fostering creativity and collaboration! 

When it comes to hiring, keep in mind that skills can be taught but attitude cannot. When deciding who to hire, you may find it better long-term to select the candidate who is slightly less qualified but has a good attitude over the more qualified candidate who doesn't fit the company culture. 

One of the best ways to determine culture fit is to involve your other team members in the interview process. Watch how they interact with each other and try to get a sense of their work ethic, personality, and adaptability in a group dynamic. 

Don’t settle for mediocrity

The Pygmalion Effect teaches that our expectations create a self-fulfilling prophecy. This means if you expect mediocrity, that's what you'll get. However, if you expect excellence, your team will rise to the occasion. 

Hiring takes time, energy, and money so make a point to onboard people you feel like are worth the investment. Not everyone will work out, of course, but when you approach hiring with an expansive mindset you'll be further ahead than if you're expecting average.

When possible, take your time to find someone who fits the qualifications of the role and culture of your company. Having the right people around you will pay off in the long run and help you avoid the hiring-and-firing cycle as much as possible. 

Hiring is a two-way street

During the hiring process, remember that the candidate is also interviewing you and your company. Do your best to represent your business properly, while also highlighting all the reasons why they would want to work with you. 

This is one of our biggest small business hiring tips! Put in the effort to stand out and demonstrate why your business is a high-quality place to work so you can attract and maintain top employees.

Think of the interview process as a first date. Be on your best behavior, showcase what working with you could mean for the candidate, and pay attention to whether you have a connection with each other or not. 

Consider contractors or freelancers

Hiring is key to scaling, but taking on employees is a long-term commitment. If you're unsure whether your business can afford an employee (either full time or part time), contracting the role to an agency or a freelancer may be the best next step.

For example, if you need someone to manage phone calls and incoming emails but you don't have enough work for a full-time administrative assistant, try working with a live receptionist. Or perhaps you need help with day-to-day administrative tasks but you don't require them on site. In this situation, a virtual assistant may be a good solution. 

As businesses grow and scale, expanding the team becomes necessary. No matter the roles you decide to hire for first, take care to bring in people who are going to act as building blocks to continue your positive trajectory. We hope these small business hiring tips will help you find the right fit.


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