Running a small business can be very lucrative, however, if you have employees ,the business becomes a bit more detailed. Employees are an extra expense for businesses and choosing the right employees can be a daunting task. As the Human Resources manager for a small business, I have found the following information to be helpful. By following the advice below, you may save yourself stress and grief over hiring the wrong person.
When you make the decision to hire an employee, you must first decide how you want to go about putting the word out that you are in need of an employee. There are several ways that you can do this. Obviously, word of mouth is the least expensive of these options. Nearly everyone knows someone who is looking for a job. Another way is advertising. There are many methods of advertising that you are hiring; the hard part is deciding which method is right for you. You can also opt to use a temporary agency to have an employee placed at your business for a trial period, if you find the employee to be a good fit, you may then opt to hire the employee full time. Temporary agencies can be costly; you should shop around to find the best price.
If you opt to use word of mouth to find your new employee, be very careful about friends and family. Generally speaking, friends and family do not make good employees. There are, of course, some exceptions to this rule. Friends and family tend to be less productive due to the nature of your relationship. They may take more time off than other employees and they may, for lack of a better word, “slack” because you are family and we all know that we don’t like strife in our family. If you use word of mouth, I recommend you hire someone who is merely an acquaintance of someone you know. Someone who has a proven track record in the field, or at least a steady work history will be the best fit. Do not hire them right away. You will want to schedule an interview with this person. Interviewing will be discussed later in this article series.
Advertising for a new employee dates back as far as the creation of employment. You have many advertising venues from which to choose. One, still very popular, is placing a classified ad in your local newspaper. If you choose this option, make your ad short and to the point. Do not include too much information, but more importantly, do not include too little information. A good classified ad might read something like:
Help Wanted: Small equipment business seeking individual with accounting experience. Excellent communication skills a must, bi-lingual a plus. For salary information and consideration please fax your resume to 555-555-5555 or mail to P.O. Box 111, anycity, ST, 12345.
I strongly advise against including your office telephone number in this ad. This will prevent a flood of phone calls with inquiries about the open position. Savvy prospects can, and sometimes do, have the initiative to find out who the fax number is listed to, and will often use this number to find out your business number. If this is the case, do not discount these calls. Keep in mind that it took some initiative and work to find out the phone number and make the call. This type of person may be just what you are looking for in an employee.
Using the internet is one of the most expensive ways to advertise that you are hiring. There are several companies that you can choose to advertise with. This method of advertising will allow your advertisement to reach more people, which is a plus. The more people who see your ad, the better the chance of finding the right fit for your business. If your budget allows for internet advertising, I recommend it. With internet advertising you have the ability to be more descriptive and explain exactly what you are looking for in an employee. The prospective employee can also have a better understanding of what their job duties will be. In my experience, internet advertising generates many more leads than other methods of advertising. This can be both good and bad. You will have to weed through more people who are a bad fit, but you will also have a greater chance of finding the perfect employee. Again, when you advertise on the internet you will not want to include your office phone number. You may include an email address so that prospective employees can easily send you their resume.
Temporary agencies are another great way to get an employee. There are many pro’s and con’s to this method. The decision on using this method is entirely up to you. Temporary agencies will pre-screen employees to your specifications. They will send you a handful of employees to interview and you can choose the one that is the best fit. The temporary agency handles the payroll and payroll liabilities. It can be less work, but also can be much more expensive. For an employee making around $8.00 per hour, you can expect to pay the temporary agency from $11.00 to $13.00 per hour. On the plus side, a temporary agency affords small business owners the opportunity to “try-out” employees. If you find that a temp is not a good fit for your office, you simply call the agency and they will send someone else. On the other hand, if you have found the employee gold mine and would like to hire them, you may be required to pay additional fees to the temporary agency in order to have them released.
Whichever method you choose in advertising that you are hiring, take your time. This is not a decision you can enter into lightly. The future of your business may rely on this decision. Of course, if you make a mistake, you can always start over, but the goal is to do it right the first time.
The next article in this series will discuss choosing which prospects to interview for the position. Once you have your advertisement in place, you will begin receiving resumes and applications. Choosing which ones to interview can be as simple or as hard as you make it. If you found this article useful and would like to read more by this author, please click on her name at the top of this page.