If you want to have an amazing business, a good place to start is to hire amazing employees. However, even in a bad job market, this is not an easy task. Throwing an ad in the paper and conducting a handful of interviews is not the best way to get great employees. Here are a few tips for finding great people to fill out your organization.
Know What You Need
Knowing exactly what you need out of an employee is very important. My family’s business went through delivery person after delivery person for years. The issue was that the business is seasonal, and there was no work in the summer. Instead of hiring with that in mind, we always hired full–time, hoping to be able to keep them on over the summer. Of course, that never happened.
Finally, a switch was made. My father decided to hire part-time; multiple people if necessary. These drivers would be on call and only work when needed. Going into the hiring process like this, the business was able to find a couple of people who fit the bill exactly. Both my father and the drivers are very happy with the arrangement.
Analyze what your needs really are before you hire. Setting up honest expectations at the outset will make for an easier time later on. A lot of small businesses need their employees to pitch in on just about everything. Be blunt about that when you hire, otherwise you may end up hiring someone who just won’t roll up their sleeves and help out in a pinch.
Hire the Employed
There are great people that are out of work, and you may be able to find a great employee this way. But there are far more people who currently have a job, so don’t ignore this vast hiring pool. If you have a great experience with a person who works somewhere, you might find yourself thinking they would be a great fit for your company. If you are hiring, why not extend them an invitation to apply?
This extends to people who are self-employed. No one should be off limits for your hiring process. If you see a great person, it is in your best interest and theirs to ask them if they would consider working for you. It will be a huge compliment to them, and you never know, they may say yes!
Build Excitement Around Your Brand
Zappos doesn’t have any problem finding great employees, even though their starting pay isn’t really that great. What they have done is set an expectation around what it means to work at Zappos. Employees there are encouraged to let their personalities show and to have fun.
Is your business an exciting place to work? If not, how could you make it more so? Things like flex-time, the ability to work from home, encouraging employees to have fun, providing educational opportunities, charitable efforts and more can really help you build excitement around your brand when it comes to finding amazing employees.
Pay More for Better Employees
It is cheaper to hire amazing employees, even if you have to pay more per employee. This is because the right person can accomplish so much more. If someone is a great fit for your business, they will help your business advance in incredible new ways. If they are just collecting a paycheck, just doing what they are told, they are only helping you to tread water.
Work hard to find the right person. Entice them with the excitement of working for your business. But if all else fails, offer to pay them more than they are getting now (or would get elsewhere).
Hire From a Network
When possible, hire people you already know. You don’t have to know them intimately, but if you have seen a person “in action” you have a better idea of whether they will be a fit for your business. This can include as casual a network as this person who checks out your groceries, to as intense a network as a family. You can build networks on social media, at local organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, at church, or wherever. Always be on the lookout for interesting people.
Hire for Personality Above Technical Skill
Finally, don’t get too caught up with what a person can do. Sure, there are going to be some technical skills that your employee will need. But many things can be taught. What can’t be taught is an amazing personality. If you find a person who will be amazing but who does not have all the technical skills, hire them anyway. Teach them what they need to know. Their natural tendencies to be a hard worker, to be friendly, to see new opportunities, are worth so much more than any cost you will have to teach them the skills they need for the job.