Small Business Bootcamp: Getting Back Into the Hiring Game

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*Be sure to check out the other article in this series Independent Contractor or EmployeeMore Tips for Successful Hiring

Automated Data Processing reported that small businesses added 75,000 jobs in January. If you are part of a small business that took a hit in the latest recession, you may have been out of the game recently when it comes to hiring. With the market swinging upwards for small business growth, it is time to review effective hiring methods that can be used in even the smallest of organizations. Here are 6 ideas from Forbes to get back in the game:

Measure passion. Skills and talent are important, but you must also take into account whether candidates are passionate about going to work for you. Did they do pre-interview research to inform themselves about your organization? Are they enthusiastic during the interview? Do they illustrate their talents and passion with stories of previous experience? It is answers to these types of questions than can help evaluate whether or not potential employees really want to work for your company, or are simply looking for any old job.

Utilize established relationships. Often, you can find employees just by contacting folks you already have relationships with. Dial up some of your business colleagues or post an update on LinkedIn informing contacts of your hiring needs.

Offer incentives to team members. Your current staff represents a goldmine for finding new employees. Institute a referral program in which team members can earn cash rewards for referring a new hire. Just make sure you advertise the dollar amount as “after-tax” — there’s nothing worse than employees thinking they just made $1,000 only to find out that a good chunk of it is going to Uncle Sam.

Institute a “day in the life” program. Consider creating a program where potential hires come in and shadow one of your employees for a day. This familiarizes candidates with your day-to-day operations, plus it gives you an idea of how they function with your existing staff. If you’re hiring freelancers or virtual employees, schedule a Skype meeting with a current staff member to discuss duties and responsibilities.

Search social media. When using social media to find candidates, LinkedIn should be your first stop. After that, check any potential hires for inappropriate Facebook postings, as well as negative or offensive tweets. Be sure that you do not factor any protected class information into your hiring decisions (gender, race, religion, age, disability, origin or pregnancy).

Interview like a pro. Whether in person or over the Internet, make sure you get the interview right. Show up on time, be positive, and diligently address any red flags you may have found on a resume. There are good and bad answers to any issues — interruptions in work history, for example — so make sure you ask all the right questions and let candidates respond accordingly.


Traci Kingery, PHR is an HR Professional and freelance writer based in the Midwest, specializing in immigration and talent management. When she’s not improving unemployment, she keeps busy with her husband and four children.

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