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The Keys to Success in Small Business Hiring

The Keys to Success in Small Business Hiring

By Tom Irmen

Hiring great employees has replaced financial concerns as the top challenge confronting small business owners today. Employees are your company’s lifeblood, and they can assure either your success or your demise.

Very few of us possess a human resources background, and our continually improving unemployment rate further complicates our hiring efforts as the available labor pool continues to contract. So here is a list of several hiring challenges that you’re likely to confront and how they can potentially be overcome.

» There’s a “pulse” syndrome
I routinely observe business owners who react to a pulse. They have a position to fill, which requires a single individual, so they hire the next person that comes through the door. This is particularly true of startup companies. Far too often we’re so engaged with the day-to-day activities required to launch a new enterprise that we fail to take the necessary time to identify qualified applicants, but we’re never too busy to replace them. These bodies with a pulse risk not only slowing down your forward progress, but perhaps taking down your small business altogether. Properly screening qualified applicants requires far less time than it takes to replace them.

» Competing with the big guys
How can you hope to compete in today’s labor market when large organizations offer better benefit packages and higher starting salaries? While those perks may be deciding factors for some applicants, others might prefer less bureaucracy, more flexible working conditions, and perhaps a greater opportunity for advancement. With a growing number of large corporations shedding employees, fewer applicants feel that corporate America offers the employment the same security they once believed existed.

» No human resource talent
Few of us possess the full array of talent management skills and HR experience needed to efficiently hire, train, and manage new associates. But by carefully selecting applicants that possess these skills, you can gradually overcome many of your deficiencies by creating a team of like-minded individuals who don’t need to be micro-managed.

The key to success in hiring is to allocate the necessary time to carefully identify the needed qualifications required by an applicant to succeed in their new position. Screen applicants carefully, and avoid the “pulse” syndrome. Find the right candidate who will not only complement your team, but perhaps supplement your areas of personal weakness.

Looking for a few good team members? How about former members of our military? Performing as part of a team is second nature to them, and they frequently exhibit a level of loyalty and respect for leadership that is uncommon nowadays.

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