For the sake of your small business, how much time and effort do you put into hiring the right employees?

When running a smaller company, the right hires are all the more important, especially given how smaller businesses tend to rely on their workers even more so than bigger brands.

If you make one wrong hire, it can throw off the rest of the team, meaning the “assembly line” of your office can be negatively impacted.

With that being the case, look to see if you are bringing in the best employees.

Background Checks Do Matter

For starters, what is your typical process when interviewing new applicants?

Do you do the interview yourself or have one of your team managers and/or human resources do the work?

Some small businesses do not have enough manpower to do each and every interview, so it oftentimes will fall on the shoulders of the man or woman running the company.

No matter which individual or individuals in your office does the interviewing, here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Experience – The level of experience he or she potentially brings to the job is of course going to merit the most attention. Having employees essentially train on the job can be cumbersome to say the least. While some small businesses have the extra time and effort available to help employees learn the skills needed for their respective duties, others need people that can roll up their sleeves and jump right in. If someone looks really good to you on paper, yet lacks some of the specific skills needed for the job, you have to determine if they are worth spending a little extra time and effort on so they can get a better grasp of specific needs required for their roles with you;
  • Character – One’s character and how they will fit in your office with other workers should never be taken for granted. The same holds true of their personalities and how they are likely to deal with customers (both in-person and over the phone or via email). You want employees that will do a bang-up job of representing your company, along with working well with others in the office. While you may have a resume in front of you that looks like their experience and skills are a great fit for your business, you may get another opinion when you see how they act on an interview. Finding that right combination of experience and character is always the biggest task at hand;
  • History – Even though a potential employee you are interviewing may have a red flag or two in their past, don’t automatically discount them. Maybe they had a run-in with a former employer that did not end well. Perhaps they had a DUI and got it resolved by going to an attorney like a Sean Park or another such professional in that field. Do they have a resume that shows a little too much job hopping over the years? Yes, there are some red flags that you need to spot; just don’t assume if you see one or two that this applicant’s resume is immediately headed for the trash bin. Let them explain why this action or actions happened, giving them the benefit of the doubt at least during the interview process;\
  • Future – You’ve undoubtedly asked applicants where they see themselves three or five years from now. It almost seems like that is a question that is standard on most interviews. That said it does behoove you to get a feel from an applicant if they do plan on being with you for a reasonable amount of time. Otherwise, you could end up with a revolving door, something that is not good for your business or your customers for that matter. In the end, having a revolving door of employees for your small business will ultimately cost you more money in terms of hiring and training.

In running your small business, there are myriad of factors that go into attaining and maintaining a long-term successful run.

Those that you hire are a major piece of the puzzle, a puzzle that you need to complete.

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