Small business owners often feel they are at a disadvantage when it comes to hiring the best employees and many times ask, “How do I put a firm process in place that results in hiring and retaining the right talent to build a winning team?”
The small business usually has fewer benefits and perks and, many times, lower salaries than what is offered by larger companies. However, whether you have one employee or 200 employees, you must have a viable hiring process. Listed here are a few things you can do to increase your odds of hiring and retaining the right talent.
First, look at your business beyond the goal of making a profit and understand that you must be clear about your company’s purpose, culture and core values. You uncover your purpose when you answer questions like: “Why am I in business?” “What is my vision for my business?” “What values do I feel most represent the company culture I would like to create?” “What behaviors or attitudes do I envision my employees having?”
Once you have a firm understanding of your purpose, culture, and core values, then all decisions regarding your business should line up with those qualities including who to hire.
Secondly, many small business owners neglect to establish and then follow a formal hiring process. Too often this results in employees who are not right for the position. Like larger businesses, you need an effective hiring process which includes writing job descriptions, finding the right recruiting sources, establishing interviewing practices and selection criteria, conducting background checks and establishing an orientation or “onboarding” process.
Unfortunately, small businesses are too often tempted to take shortcuts and fail to put a hiring process in place. Instead, they hire the first person referred to them or they hire family members that clearly don’t fit the company culture. The result? Turnover. Some studies state that, on average, it can cost 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary to replace that “failed” employee. When you factor in training time and lost productivity, the cost is even higher! It’s imperative that you put a process in place and then follow it.
Last, there is more to hiring than just looking at the employee’s experience. Don’t neglect the role that soft skills play in determining the right employee for your company culture. During the interview process include questions that can help determine a person’s work ethic, integrity, curiosity, initiative, and the ability to be a team player. Soft skills will often give you an indication of how successful a person will be on the job.
At the same time, as an employer, it is important to note that employees are looking for companies that are a good fit. Just as there are certain common attributes of a good employee, there are also attributes common to companies who value their employees and realize that the company’s bottom line depends on their employees’ performances.
Today’s employees expect to be engaged, motivated and inspired about coming to work. Betty Bender, the former president of Liberty Administration and Management Association said, “When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.”
Employees respond to a number of positive attributes that even a small business can adopt. What are some of the attributes that make a positive work environment and culture? Take a look at a few:
- Employees value working in a company where they believe they are cared for and valued as individuals.
- Employees expect trust and integrity to be at the core of and to permeate all levels of company values and culture, from the CEO down.
- Employees perform well at companies that give feedback, praise, and recognition.
- Employees appreciate working for companies that provide stretch assignments, professional development, and lead by example.
A company can only grow as fast as it can hire great people. The benefits of finding great people who fit with your company culture, share your vision and who can make an immediate and lasting impact cannot be understated. The right hiring process, when followed, is going to provide a better chance that you hire the right person for the job.
What are your tips for employee hiring and retention? Join the discussion by leaving a comment below.
Meet Shaunna Tyus, MA, CEO and Founder of Daily Works Workforce Solutions, LLC – your answer to training workers for success in today’s challenging work world.