Are you in the process of hiring more employees for your small business? Recruiting and interviewing candidates is a long and tedious process, but if you can perfect the hiring formula, your business can flourish and enjoy unprecedented success.
They say that 80 percent of the work gets done by 20 percent of the people, and 80 percent of your problems come from 20 percent of your employees. Now think about what your business would look like if you identified the valuable 20 percent, and chose to expand that group exclusively.
There is no limit to your success if you can just figure out how to hire and motivate the right people.
Here are five fundamental tips to help you hire the right employees:
- It’s all about attitude. Assess candidates’ skills, certainly, but more importantly, look for those with the right attitude. The right attitude is that which fits the culture of your company. What attitude do we look for at Ajax Union? An ideal candidate has a positive, confident and can-do attitude, and wants to learn and grow. The right attitude will shine in tough situations in any industry. Remember, you can always teach your team member new skills. They can learn how to blog, how to utilize Google AdWords, and how to put together proposals. But you can’t teach attitude.
- Ask the right questions. Stop talking already! Let your candidate do the talking. The single most common mistake interviewers make is that they fail to interview. They talk too much and as a result, glean only a little bit of information about the candidate. Ask difficult questions and give the interviewee enough time to answer. I always ask our candidates who their last manager was and what that manager would say if I called them right now. It’s a challenging question that solicits an honest answer. Chances are, you will get the truth.
- Do a background check. You like the person — now what? Don’t offer the job just yet. While you might feel that they’re a good fit for the position, it’s imperative you check out their references first. Never hire someone before you check references and do a comprehensive Google search. Your new team member will be a representation of your business, so take some time to speak to his or her previous supervisors and see what the manager says about the candidate. A comprehensive background check can save you a headache down the road.
- Be both personable and friendly. Even if you find yourself thinking that you’re not going to hire a certain candidate, you are still representing your company. The way in which you conduct yourself in the interview and how you treat the candidate are instrumental to how the candidate forms an opinion of your company. Be polite and professional. Protect your company image, even if the candidate will not be representing your business.
- Find out why they left their previous job. The reasons for which a candidate has left other jobs, or is willing to leave a current position, reveal a good deal about their personality, work ethic and priorities. Even after the interview and the background check are complete, learning this last piece of information can inadvertently reveal a lot about your potential hire. Find out why a person is leaving their current post. An unresolved issue at a previous job may continue to be a problem at a new position.
Joe Apfelbaum brings more than thirteen years to the online business, technology and marketing community. Serving as CEO and Co-Founder of Ajax Union, he has been featured on Fox Business Network and Fox Business News and was selected by Google as a Certified Google Trainer.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
Reprinted with permission from the YEC: 5 Ways to Weed Out the Wrong Candidates