Hiring new team members is always an exciting time for a small business. It means you’re ready to move to the next level and are looking for someone who can get you there.
Unfortunately though, bad hires happen, and can leave you out precious time and money. To increase your chances for getting a new hiring decision right, check out these four small business hiring tips:
Look for people who have experience with public speaking.
A lot of times small business owners will only look for public speaking experience in applicants when hiring for their Public Relations team. The fact is though, that public speaking experience is a benefit to any position in your company.
Public speakers are confident, communicate well with others and are inspiriting (if they’re good anyway). These are all important skills for managers of any department – and for regular team members too.
When there are communication issues within a company (no matter how big or small), the end result is employee frustration, decreased results, big mistakes and in-team fighting.
Hiring confident and clear communicators will improve any business. This is why I always advise giving bonus points to any applicant who has experience with public speaking (and references to back up how good she/he is).
Give priority to applicants who list results in their resume.
I’ve had the fortune to look through a lot of applicants in my day and learnt a lot of marketing lessons. The resumes that always stand out to me are the ones that list results. Marketers who tell me their average conversion rates, sales reps who list their quarterly revenue intake, engineers who implement key features that lead to increased revenue or retention and so on.
Giving priority to these applicants ensures you’re talking with people who believe in their skills. They would not list their current numbers if they didn’t believe they could provide the same or better results for you.
Don’t waste your time with applicants who list “self-starter who also works well with a team” as a key benefit. Everyone says that, look for the people who go above and beyond even in their resume writing.
Ask interviewees what software tools they like to work with.
Once you’ve brought applicants in for an interview, be sure to ask them what software tools they like to use. This may not always naturally come up in an interview because A.) you already have software in place that you don’t want to replace or B.) It just doesn’t come up for whatever other reason.
I always make it a point to bring it up though. Even if you’re not planning to replace your current software, asking an applicant what tools he/she likes to use will tell you a lot about the person. With a logo design firm like ours, we ask about the design software the candidate likes to work with.
Is the applicant familiar with industry standard tools? Does he/she have good reasons for liking one piece of software over another? Can he/she intelligently talk about the benefits of the software he/she likes and how it would relate to his/her job role with your company? Geeking out over software during an interview can reveal a lot about the skill level of the applicant.
Check out social media profiles to see if there is a culture fit.
Culture fit is really important within small businesses. Team members must work closely together and if there is a lot of tension the environment won’t be conducive to good work.
You’ll get a really good feel for a person during the interview, but then again people often put their best foot forward in interviews. After an applicant leaves, check out his/her social media profiles. While the applicant may have Facebook or Twitter blocked from the public if he/she doesn’t you can get a good idea of what the person is really like. This can also help you understand how social media may be killing a brand.
Some say this is stalkerish and inappropriate, but its expensive to hire someone only to fire them weeks later. Take a quick peek at social media profiles if you want an extra reassurance that a particular applicant will be a good culture fit.
What other things do you look for in a new hire? Leave your best tip in the comments below.