Categorized | Business

Hire for the Future

By Tom Irmen

It was just a few short years ago that small business owners seemed preoccupied with the state of the U.S. economy and the future likelihood of success for their individual businesses. What a difference a few years has made. Today, by contrast, entrepreneurs nationwide are preoccupied with filling open job positions.

In June of this year, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Research Center reported that 36% of small businesses were unsuccessful in filling open job positions – the highest level on record. In addition, the NFIB reported that 63% of business owners plan on hiring or are trying to hire new workers to fill existing or anticipated future openings. That’s up five points from last month and represents the highest level since September 1999.

The temptation today is to fill open positions rather than to hire for the future. Trying to fill an open position, while frustrating, can become even more frustrating if you have to refill the same position months later. Here are a couple of suggestions that you may wish to consider if your small business is currently trying to hire.

Discuss the open position opportunity with trusted associates within your company. They know first-hand about the job’s requirements, and they likely have a sphere of friendships unavailable to you. They know these people well and might be in a better position to help you to identify those individuals who are looking for a career rather than merely seeking a paycheck.

Another approach to consider is to seek potential candidates through your vendors. Representatives of your vendors actively market their products and services to other similar companies throughout your marketplace, including your competition. Oftentimes they know of talented individuals looking for new opportunities or hoping to make a move from an employer that might be struggling financially or perhaps one where the personal chemistry isn’t right.

With business optimism at record highs, filling future or currently open positions is critical. Be disciplined, and don’t make the common error of just trying to fill a position. Hire for the future!

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