8 Tips for Hiring Employees for Your Small Business (w/ New Hire Checklist)

Anybody who runs a small business knows that having the right people to help you with day-to-day operations is essential. In fact, hiring the wrong person can be catastrophic because it can hinder your progress and prevent you from achieving your growth goals.

Here at Addition Financial, we have many small business owners as members and we often talk to them about their businesses. One topic that is frequently discussed is the issue of hiring employees, including which qualities to look for and how the process works. With that in mind, we’ve created this list of eight tips for hiring employees to work in your small business and included a new hire checklist for you to use.

What Do You Look for When Hiring a New Employee?

To some extent, hiring a new employee always requires a leap of faith. Even when you complete your due diligence, it’s impossible to be sure that things will work out. That said, there are some specific qualities that are universal to good employees:

  • Communication skills. Anybody you add to your team should have the ability to communicate their thoughts and ideas clearly.
  • Flexibility and adaptability. Every job has its challenges and unexpected events, so it’s important to hire people who can adapt on the fly and meet challenges as they arise.
  • Education and skills. For each position you fill, you should know the education or skills required to perform it well. 
  • Creativity. Every business can benefit from having creative people in the mix because they’re the ones who can attack problems and arrive at solutions.
  • Motivation. You don’t want to hire somebody who isn’t motivated to do a job well. Otherwise, you’ll end up having to monitor them constantly.
  • Positivity. Positivity can go a long way to building teams and achieving goals. Someone who is overly negative can bring your whole team down.

Focusing on these qualities can help you narrow the field during the interview process and select the best employees for your team.

What Are the Main Challenges in Recruitment?

Recruiting employees poses some significant challenges and overcoming them is essential if you want to find the best employees for your business.

Attracting the Right Candidates

Attracting the right candidate is a challenge for every business. It’s not uncommon for recruiters to hire the best person available at the time of recruiting as opposed to the best person for the job. Attracting the right candidates requires a combination of a strong employer brand, the right job description, and the right advertising.

Engaging Qualified Candidates

Qualified candidates for any job are likely to get a lot of attention which may include multiple job offers. To engage with the best available candidates, you’ll need adequate compensation, including benefits and perks, and enough brand recognition to make you an attractive option.

Building Your Employer Brand

Your employer brand is something that tells potential employees what to expect if they come to work for you. Your brand includes your reputation and your employee culture. You can build your brand by deciding how you want your company to be perceived and then, creating consistent marketing that uses your brand voice and promotes your brand values and company culture.

Optimizing the Candidate Experience

When a candidate has a negative experience during the recruitment process, they’re less likely to accept a job offer if you make one. The key to creating a good candidate experience includes clear, consistent communication. Be up front about when you will follow up and then do what you say you’ll do. You should also be sure that everybody is respectful to job candidates.

Recruiting Fairly

We all have biases that inform our decisions but they can be a serious issue in the recruiting and hiring process. You can work around biases by implementing a scoring system to evaluate applicants and applying all scores consistently.

Accurately Assessing Candidates’ Skills

Even the best interviewer may have difficulty accurately assessing a job seeker’s skills based on what appears on their resume. You can make the process easier by using online assessment tools or creating a list of questions that will help you to elucidate information on the candidate’s resume.

8 Tips for Hiring Employees 

One way to overcome the challenges of recruiting the best candidates is to adhere to these best practices to maximize your chances for success:

  1. Do your research. You should understand what the job market is like, which skills are most important for the job you need to fill, and what represents a fair salary for the skill set and experience you’re seeking.
  2. Plan your recruiting process. It can be extremely helpful to set out your recruitment strategy in advance. Will you interview existing employees for the position? Advertise the job online? Who will screen resumes and which criteria will be used to do so? Who will interview job candidates? Mapping out your strategy in advance will ensure a fair and efficient process.
  3. Write a compelling job description. Your job description should give prospective candidates an accurate picture of what you need while also selling the experience of working at your company.
  4. Outsource hiring if necessary. If you’re just getting started and don’t have a dedicated recruiter or hiring manager, it may be more efficient to outsource the hiring process instead of trying to handle it internally.
  5. Prescreen candidates. Before you begin a formal interview process, we suggest prescreening candidates by evaluating their skills and making sure their salary expectations are in line with what you’re offering.
  6. Conduct in-depth interviews. After screening candidates, it’s time for in-depth interviews, which can be done in-person or with video conferencing. Make sure to ask the right questions (see the next section for help) and pay attention to red and green flags as you evaluate candidates.
  7. Do your due diligence. When an employee makes a favorable impression during an interview, you might be tempted to skip a skills assessment or calling references. Do not skip these steps. They can help you weed out employees who aren’t a good fit and make the right hiring decision.
  8. Make your offer in writing. When you decide on a candidate, be sure to put the offer in writing. Include the salary you’re offering, details about benefits, and anything else that needs to be documented up front.

These best practices will ensure a smooth hiring process.

new business checklist

Interview Questions to Ask Prospective Employees

Before we share our new hire checklist, here are some interview questions to help you screen potential candidates and assess their qualifications to work for you:

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why are you the best candidate for this job?
  • Why do you want to leave your current position?
  • What do you think your current employer could do better?
  • What is your greatest strength as an employee?
  • What is your greatest weakness as an employee?
  • What’s the most challenging work situation you’ve found yourself in and how did you deal with it?
  • What three words would your current employer (or most recent employer) use to describe you?
  • Do you work best on your own or with a team?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

Pay careful attention to the candidate’s answers and follow up as needed. For example, if a candidate tells you that they work best alone, you might ask them to describe an experience they had working on a team and how they felt about it.

New Hire Checklist

When you hire a new employee, you’ll need to follow the correct procedures to ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork and that your new talent settles into their job as quickly as possible.

  • Confirm what time you expect your new employee to arrive.
  • Set up the employees workspace and create accounts as needed (email, etc.)
  • Have someone greet the new employee (HR or whoever will be handling the paperwork).
  • Provide the new hire with all necessary paperwork and have them complete it:
    • Tax documents
    • Insurance forms
    • Non-disclosure agreement
  • Give your new employee a copy of your employee handbook and any other documentation they need.
  • Show the new employee around the office and introduce them to their coworkers.
  • Provide training as needed.
  • Check in regularly to ensure the new employee is comfortable and gets answers to any questions they may have.

Following this checklist will ensure that your onboarding process goes smoothly and that your new employee feels welcome.

Hiring the right employees for your small business can make the difference between achieving your growth goals and falling short. The tips and checklist we’ve included here will help you navigate the hiring and onboarding process to give you the best possible chance of success.

Are you in need of financial tools to grow your small business? Addition Financial is here to help! Click here to learn about our business financial services.

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