Being a start-up entrepreneur is tough.
But then again, no one ever said it’s going to be a piece of cake. You’re chronically exhausted, and that’s not surprising, particularly at the early stages of your business when you practically have to take on most of the responsibilities. Being so busy has become such a norm for you, in fact, that you can hardly remember the last time you’ve actually taken a vacation. A proper one, not those measly half-hour lunch breaks you usually allow yourself.
The good thing is that it doesn’t have to be that way forever. Sooner or later – although you certainly hope it’s sooner – you’ll have the means to gradually build your team and hire a couple of employees to begin with. That spells out not only the ability to delegate some tasks and actually free up a considerable portion of your time; it also means your small business is seeing progress.
As a small business owner, though, it’s important to look at your hiring like it’s a calculated risk – because that’s exactly what it is. Taking on a good employee can do wonders for your business, but putting someone in a position that doesn’t fit him well can do more harm than good and may cause disaster for you down the road. Remember that the whole point of hiring someone for your company is to help you be more productive, not add up to your workload and stress level. Here are some strategies to get you through your hiring process and assist you in landing suitable candidates.
- Build a strong brand.
According to a report released by Officevibe, over 75 percent of professionals are not actively looking for a job, but they’re certainly open to new career opportunities. If you have a strong company brand, it will help you retain the people you already do have, and it will attract employees who are passively on the lookout for potential positions.
A survey done by Glassdoor, meanwhile, indicates that 69 percent of the people who took part in it say they’re more open to apply for a job if the company has a good brand image – meaning it responds to reviews and comments, and regularly shares updates on its culture, work, and events.
So what does that mean for you? Before you scout for applicants, make sure you’ve got your company brand and identity well covered. That way, when you need to do the hiring, you won’t have such a hard time attracting the best candidates to your vacancies.
- Be as efficient as possible.
Statistics reveals that great job candidates are generally hired in just 10 days. It will be to your best advantage, therefore, to streamline your hiring process and make it efficient. You don’t have all the time in the world, after all, and the most in-demand applicants won’t wait for you while you try to get your ducks in a row. You need to be assertive, and even when you haven’t made a final decision, it’s a good idea to keep your shortlisted candidates updated. You also need to be responsive in answering any questions or concerns that applicants raise.
- Write good job descriptions.
In drafting your job description, it just makes sense that you want it to be detailed. But do take note that there’s a difference between a job ad that’s appropriately detailed and one that approaches information overload. Include the requirements and responsibilities of the job, but do it in such a way that it gives a good overview of what a candidate can expect from the job – not totally overwhelm him with it.
And instead of firing off all the things you’d expect the successful candidate to do for the company, flip that notion a little and take the time to discuss what your company can do for the new employee. You can write about your fun company culture, free pizza every Friday, generous paid vacation – basically things that will make someone excited to be part of your company.
- Integrate social media into your hiring.
Of course it’s already a given that you’ll ask for the candidates’ resumes upon application, but what about requesting for the links to their social media profiles as well? If you’re using social media to help with your branding and marketing, it just follows logic that you also utilize it to help you find ideal candidates for your company. After all, going through the applicants’ social media accounts, especially those you’re initially interested in taking on, will tell you more about them than an updated resume ever could. This will, in turn, help you decide if you really want to offer them the post.
- Match the candidate’s personality with the job.
While you obviously want someone with the right skillset to fill in your vacancy, it’s more important to put emphasis on whether the prospect candidate has the right personality to match the job. The point to consider is this: while skills can be learned, personalities cannot. Take into consideration how your candidate will be able to use his natural traits in handling the daily responsibilities of the job. For example, someone who likes to meet and interact with other people will likely do well in customer support. Someone detail-oriented may excel in duties related to administration and management.
As psychologist Maynard Brusman put it: “A great person with all kinds of skills may be [a] good fit for one and [a] poor fit for another, simply based on their personality type.”
Are you ready to build your team? Then start with the right foundation: your core values as a start-up entrepreneur and the mission you want your company to have. Once you have that nailed down, it will be easier for you to find people who will support you in your goals, because you already know what you want to achieve.
What tips do you use in your hiring process? Do you delegate the hiring to someone else, or do it yourself? Share with us your insights and experiences in the comments.