As a business owner, do you avoid small business hiring for fear of making the wrong choices?
We understand how stressful a decision this can be, and how sometimes it’s just easier to handle the task yourself as opposed to spending time, money and resources on hiring someone to help, only to have them disappear shortly after.
Here at All-Systems we pride ourselves on having built a great, long lasting team. The hire that’s been with us the longest is going on 31 years, and the average duration of employment for our entire staff is 11+ years. It is something we are extremely proud of as an organization.
We attribute our team’s longevity to a combination of thorough screening, treating our team like family, and matching like personalities to our company culture.
Over the years we’ve created an onboarding process that works great for us in finding the right talent in the shortest amount of time. Below we’re sharing our employee hiring process so that next time you hire, you can be sure you make the right one.
Small Business Hiring
Craft The Right Ad
It’s important your for hire advertisement does a good job both advertising why someone would want to work for your company, as well as being as detailed as possible on what the position entails, and what’s in it for the potential employee.
To follow is the structure we use to draft our ads. To download our ad template, along with other templates we use in our interview process, click here.
In the intro, include a brief history of your organization and mission. It’s also helpful to include what department position falls into, and how it fits into your organization.
You want to be as specific as possible here. Draft the job responsibilities in a bullet point list. Include everything applicable regardless of how small the task may seem.
Applicant Should Be…
List personally identifiable traits your ideal applicant should have to be a good fit for your organization. This may vary based on the type of position.
Some that All-Systems includes:
- Confident in their abilities
- Productive with minimal supervision
List the specific requirements the applicant must have. This could be degrees, certifications, or application proficiencies. Could also be skillsets related to your industry.
Not Required but a Plus
List skills you’d like to have, but are not a deal breaker. This can include skills that you’d be willing to train on, but it’s better if the applicant already knows them.
Including this is up to what you feel comfortable with. In general you will get more responses with it listed.
Perks & Benefits
List benefits and special programs your company offers employees.
How to Apply
Be detailed in how you want the applicant to apply for the position. If you don’t want people showing up to your store unannounced, here’s the time to say it.
Make Sure Where You Run the Ad is Targeted
You wouldn’t want to run an ad for your products or services and pay for it to be presented to people who aren’t your target customer, would you?
Just like your product marketing, you’ll want your talent hiring to be targeted as well.
Here are some of our picks for sites to post on to find different types of hires.
Entry-Level & Internships
Installation, Management & Operations
Respond and Schedule Phone Interviews ASAP
By not taking action immediately, you miss out on the most talented and motivated individuals looking to start ASAP.
Make sure the applicant is qualified via their resume prior to contacting them. You are not obligated to respond to every applicant.
We find that majority of applicants respond to an email better than a phone call.
Phone Interview Tips
Keep calls to 15 minutes or less. Remember, you are only trying to get a first impression and determine if they’re worthy of an in-person interview. Because of this, the call can be short.
Request the applicant call you for the appointment. This helps you weed out individuals who may not be very motivated.
Use the call to screen whether or not the individual will be a good fit for your company.
Things to look for:
How they sound on the phone
- If incoherent, they’ll probably be just as incoherent in person.
- Make note if they sound upbeat, or depressing.
- If you are interviewing someone for a receptionist or phone position, make sure your first impression is how you want your customer’s to be as well.
Their general personality
- If they sound good and you generally seem to like the person and they feel like they’d be a good fit, schedule an in-person interview.
In-Person Interview Tips
Make Note of the Time of Arrival
If they run late but call well in advance to notify you and explain why (lost, car issue, etc.) it’s not necessarily a deal breaker.
If they show up late with no explanation, they more than likely will report late to work as well. We usually refuse these interviews if the time slot is missed.
Make Note of How They Present Themselves
Would you want your customers to be greeted by this person?
First impressions matter, especially for interviews. If they aren’t well groomed and put together in an appropriate manner for the position they are interviewing for, you can rest assured they’ll put the same lack of effort into their appearance if they came to work for you.
Create An Interview Template
We find it to be easier to ask all our applicants the same questions. Questions will vary based on position. So create templates for each position in your organization to make it easier when you have to hire.
Want to see a sample of what we use? Click here.
Use an Aptitude Screening Test
We use one that was handed down 30+ years within our organization called the Wonderlich Test. For us, we’ve been able to pretty accurately determine if someone is a good fit for a certain role based on their score on the test.
The higher the score, the more management potential someone has.
While this step isn’t 100% necessary for small businesses, putting this process in place may yield you better prospects.
Have Their Potential Peers Interview Them
This suggestion is more for small businesses without an HR department where the owner or another manager are usually doing the screening.
Have people who will be working on a regular basis with the applicant sit down for a one on one with them, without you.
This helps your existing staff feel appreciated for their opinions, plus many times they’ll sense the applicant may not be a good fit before you do.
You always get the final say, but in general your team will want the best applicant as well because they don’t want to have to pick up slack from a subpar hire. It’s a win-win for all involved.
Provide a Timeline
Be transparent with applicants on the timeline in which you need a hire, as well as how you will contact them if hired. Also make clear if you will contact them if they are not hired (you are not obligated to, but it’s a good measure to tell them).
Can’t Decide? Do More Interviews
Schedule a round two if you’re stuck between a few well qualified applicants to give everyone more face time to make a decision.
With a dedicated system in place, hiring doesn’t have to be a headache, it can be a help.
For many small business owners, this is a necessary step to take some of the load off of you so you can instead focus on growing and scaling your business instead of the day to day operations. It’s an investment you’ll make in time and money upfront, but will pay off in the long run.
Want all this info in an easy to read PDF? Download our Small Business Hiring Guide by clicking here.
What’s been your experience with hiring? Share your tips and thoughts below in the comments.