[This article was written by Reizel Sales.]
The United States is home to over 28 million small businesses. During the startup phase, a business owner will handle all of the tasks involved in running their company alone. However, as the business starts to grow, hiring on new employees will become essential.
Most business owners are surprised to learn just how many qualified candidates there are on the current market. The average job opening attracts around 250 applicants. Using tools like applicant tracking systems is essential when trying to streamline and organize the hiring process. An applicant tracking system allows you to store resumes and make them searchable, which can help you narrow down the list of applicants in a hurry.
The main concern you should have during the hiring process is avoiding mistakes. Below are some of the common hiring mistakes you need to steer clear of.
1. Avoid Casting a Narrow Net
Finding qualified candidates is only possible when using the full power of the resources at your disposal. Some business owners fall into the habit of posting their job listings on the same forums. Often times, these habits will lead to a very narrow net being cast, which severely limits your hiring options.
Instead of getting the same applications over and over again, work on extending the reach of your job listings. Utilizing the power of social media and your own website is a great way to inform more people about the openings you currently have.
2. Always Check References
As you start to receive lots of applications, you may have the desire to rush through the vetting process. This is always a bad idea that may even lead to you hiring the wrong employee. While doing things like checking references and work history can be time-consuming, it is definitely worth the time invested.
The last thing you want to do is to go with your “gut feeling” regarding whether or not to hire a person to work for your company. Using cold hard facts and data is the only way to make educated decisions during the hiring process. By checking a person’s references, you can start to frame a vision of who they are and whether or not they are the right fit for the job at hand. If you simply don’t have the time to vet each candidate on your own, hiring a staffing agency to provide help is a great idea.
3. Preparation is the Cornerstone of a Successful Hiring Process
Before you start to put out information online about an opening with your company, work on clearly defining what you are looking for. Some business owners make the mistake of defining the requirements of a particular job in broad terms. Ideally, you want to be as specific as possible when laying out the requirements and responsibilities of a job.
Not only will this help you get qualified candidates, it can also help applicants figure out whether or not they want to take the job. Being too vague about the work a person has to do may lead to some problems in the future. A new employee may get the feeling they were tricked, which can cause them to become disgruntled. By taking the time to create a job listing with lots of details, you can avoid bumps in the road along the way.
4. Work on Selling Your Company to Potential Employees
The worst thing a business can do when trying to attract qualified employees is acting like the person would be lucky to work for them. Modern workers have lots of options when it comes to the companies they can work for. This is why you need to work on selling your company to potential employees.
The job listings you create should feature a breakdown of what your company does and how successful it has been. Failing to include this important information may lead to qualified candidates looking over your listing.
If you have a hiring manager who is handling this process, work closely with them to figure out the approach they will take. You need to make sure the hiring manager knows all of the points to hit on when talking to a potential candidate about the company and what it offers.
5. Don’t Let the Hiring Process Drag On
People in the 21st century have very short attention spans. This is why speeding up the hiring process is something you should focus on. Making a candidate wait weeks or even months for an answer on whether or not they are hired can backfire in spectacular fashion. Often times, letting the hiring process drag on can lead to you losing the chance to hire great employees.
One of the best ways to make hiring easier and faster is by working with a third-party staffing agency. Usually, these agencies will have a large pool of talent at their disposal. With their help, you can find and hire a new employee in a matter of days. The faster you can hire and train a new employee, the easier you will find it to improve productivity levels and increase your bottom line.
6. Conducting an Effective Interview
Sitting down and getting to know some of the best candidates who have applied for a job opening is crucial. The main thing you need to do before conducting a pre-hire interview is to prepare. Getting a list of questions together for each candidate before conducting the interview is crucial. Failing to prepare may make getting the most out of your time with a potential employee very difficult.
Reading over the person’s application ahead of time can help you develop customized questions for them. If there are parts of their work history you want to touch on or get clarification about, the interview is the perfect platform for this. Taking notes about the answers provided by the candidate can help you later on as you begin to narrow down the pool of talent at your disposal.
Take Your Time
Hiring new employees can be a bit overwhelming, which is why reaching out for help is a good idea. Taking your time and weighing all of your options is the only way to ensure the best possible employees are hired.