When it comes down to hiring top-notch employees for your small business, how would you rate your overall results?

While some of your small business peers have done fantastic jobs over the years in bringing in new talent, others can’t exactly say the same thing.

One of the keys for you in hiring quality employers time and time again is making sure you do your homework.

Among the areas to cover each time:

  • The candidate’s job history, especially how long they stayed at a job or jobs.
  • The candidate’s educational background. Does he or she have the educational background that you feel is suffice to what they would be doing if you brought them on your team?
  • The candidate’s skill levels. This is especially important when it comes to online skills. Today’s job world all but demands employees have some level of online skills (the more the better). If someone is void of skills when it comes to properly using the Internet, the importance of social media etc. they may very well not be the candidate for your business.

Focus on Experience and Education Levels

While there are myriad of factors in discerning which candidates you interview are or aren’t the best for your business, jot down these four tips:

  1. Experience – First and foremost, one can never replace experience. Yes, some people have been in jobs for a number of years, yet have not exactly been the best employees at their respective companies. As a recent presidential candidate noted, “she has experience, she has bad experience.” Finding those candidates with good experience may prove a little daunting at times, but don’t lose sight of how important a factor it is;
  2. Education – When it comes to the education level of each and every candidate you interview, hiring educated talent for your small business should never be taken for granted. Whether you run a small law firm, work in conjunction with law enforcement or a prosecutor’s office, or run any one of thousands of other businesses, having the best and brightest on your team is imperative. While hands-on experience is always a preference for most employers, one’s educational background is something that you should review thoroughly.

Do They Seem Like a Go-Getter?

  1. Personality – As important as both experience and education are, you can never overlook personality. For those individuals you bring in for interviews, pay close attention to their personalities. Do they seem truly interested in the position or positions available (see more below)? Do they appear to be someone willing to roll up their sleeves and help co-workers whenever asked? Look to see if they ask lots of questions about your business, how your company works with others in your chosen line of work etc. Yes, some candidates will hide their true personalities, something you might very well overlook at first glance. That said don’t be taken for a fool and end up hiring someone with their interests and not yours in mind;
  2. Interest – Finally, even though some candidates are truly shy (especially when it comes to sitting through an interview and/or doing one over the phone), study their interest level. You specifically want to review how interested they seem in not only the specific job or jobs you have available, but also the company in general. Did they do their homework before the interview, researching what it is exactly that your business does? If not, you could get someone for the short-term; missing out instead on a better candidate had you waited a little longer.

Bringing in the best workers for your business is far from an exact science, but it is something you can do rather well if you put time and effort into it.

No matter what your business is, you want top-notch employees on your side. This is especially true when running a smaller company, one where so much is asked of each and every individual.

That said is your small business hiring the best of the best or settling for less these days?

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business topics on the web.