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  • Small Business Briefcase

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    Step 1: Recruit Right
    • Your staff wants people who work as hard as they do, and everyone likes to work with people they like.
    • If they don’t make the cut, or you have to let them go, you might lose two employees.
    • Friends, vendors and business colleagues will understand your standards and may know of a good candidate.
    Consider these Recruiting Sites and Resources:
    • LinkedIn Recruiter– This service is great for entry level all the way up to experienced professional hires. Costs $50-plus depending on the length of your posting, but it targets and presents the job to specific qualified candidates.
    • Facebook Jobs – Using this social media add-on works well if you’re offering part-time and clerical positions. It’s free but contains no targeting or filters. You must have a company Facebook page and be prepared to receive resumes via messenger.
    • Indeed – This site is a terrific fit for finding part-time and full-time technician and clerical hires. It’s free for your first posting. This service reaches a large number of potential candidates but does not qualify them in any way before sending you a candidate resume.
    • Montgomery Job Corp – Check out this service to help your community and help a disadvantaged 16-24 year old who is receiving training and mentoring through the program.
    • Chamber of Commerce website – Using this source is a member benefit, and the site is a good source of serious local candidates.
    • Professional Associations’ websites – This allows you to reach fellow business colleagues and leverage your existing network, which is smart since they probably have a good understanding of your business needs and philosophy.
    Step 2: How to Hire
    As local business owner Bob Parker says, “Fire fast, hire slow.” It’s no guarantee, but the more thorough the vetting process in the beginning, the better your chances are of hiring a rock star. The word “proficient” means different things to different applicants. The key to find out who knows what and at what level and to determine if someone is a true fit is to test and measure. Consider these tips to ensure your new hire meets your standards.
    • MEASURE INTEREST: Require a three-process interview such as a phone interview, in-office interview and separate in-office interviews with your team.
    • MEASURE CULTURE COMPATIBILITY: Your team should ask questions like, “Give an example of how you handled a difficult co-worker.” Or, “Describe the perfect team member you would want to work with.”
    • MEASURE RESUME ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Ask process questions about their job that give real insight into proficiency.
    • TEST SKILLS: Most HR recruiting firms vet a candidate with background checks and skills testing. A small business can design its own series of tests. Some simple ideas are to have them: Write a collections letter; Alphabetize contracts or invoices; Problem-solve a software glitch; Test Excel proficiency by asking them to create charts using some of your office data.
    • CHECK BACKGROUND: While there are several online services for checking criminal records, most small businesses need to be focused and intentional on checking references.  If a reference understands the position and has hesitation about the candidate, make note. If a person is currently working, make the offer contingent on positive referrals.
    • TEST PERSONALITY: There are several low-cost programs that will test the candidate’s affinity for the position and the organizational culture. This is especially helpful for sales positions. Several of these tests include the Myers-Briggs, DISC profile and a fairly new method called the Enneagram (RHETI). 
    Getting great hires takes time. If you need help and want to outsource this, talk to one of the staffing agency Chamber members.
    4 Job Posting Pro Tips
    Save time by limiting the number of resumes to review. An enticing job posting is not enough if a candidate needs a certain schedule for childcare or a minimum salary to leave their current job. A detailed job posting will save you and your team time and money.
    • BE DETAILED AND SPECIFIC, especially about areas that are a minimum requirement to apply.
    • BE UPFRONT. If you’re not offering healthcare, this will be a no-go for many.
    • GIVE A $$ RANGE.  Titles don’t always convey salary accurately.
    • GIVE THE PERKS.  Mention all the positives. Things like a flexible work schedule have real value to many.
    “Look for non-traditional hires, like someone who’s had a job for a while in one field and is looking, for many possible reasons, to make a career change. We’ve had a lot of success with
    folks outside of the restaurant industry. Also, hire for attitude over aptitude. Good attitude wins every time. And it’s the owner/president/GM’s most important job to make sure the company hires and then trains great people. A good culture can be ruined by a few bad hires.” 
    – Bob Parker, owner of Dreamland BBQ in Montgomery
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