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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

How Small Businesses Can Hire Better

Written By: Carol Roth | Comments Off on How Small Businesses Can Hire Better

Woman-suit-by-elevatorWhether you are a start-up looking for the right team to take you to your next milestone or an established business looking for employees to help with your growth, hiring the right talent for your business can be a daunting and complex process.

That’s where we come inI recently moderated a Google Hangout presented by Bank of America*, which included SMB Content Lead for LinkedIn, Stephanie Bevegni, Small Business Expert and USA Today Columnist Steve Strauss, and Bank of America Small Business Executive Jon Dowst. We generated key tips and strategies to help find employees who are the right fit for your business.

You can watch the full event here, but some of the key takeaways included:

Know what you are looking for. Small business owners who don’t know where to start should begin with a clear job description and criteria of what they want in an employee. Being really specific helps you to attract the right candidates and know when you have found the perfect person.

Use your network. According to LinkedIn research, the top three sources that business owners use to hire quality talent are: 1) employee referrals 2) online job boards and 3) social networks. That means your best potential employees are likely to be found through people that you already knowand employ.

Additionally, employee referrals are generally the cheapest and fastest way to hire. Not to mention that the people who are hired via referral tend to perform better and stay around longer.

Look at values vs. just skills. Screening for culture fit is absolutely essential for a small business. 89 percent of hiring failures are due to poor culture fit. Research also shows that employees who are a good culture fit had greater job satisfaction, superior job performance, and were more likely to stay with the company.

Remember that unless you have a highly technical need, you can often teach people a new skill, but it’s nearly impossible to teach someone to care. People with a great attitude and work ethic, and who believe in your company’s mission, can be invaluable to your business.

Screen for soft skills. If you are looking at skills, don’t forget about those soft skills. While they are harder to screen for, one tip is to ask behavioral questions during an interview. For example, to critique the candidate’s adaptability, the most popular question to ask is, “Tell me about a time when you were asked to do something that you had never done before. How did you react? What did you learn?” This question will allow you to see how the candidate thinks about taking on new tasks or how they learn, how they react and the steps they take to conquer something unfamiliar.

You can get more details on these tips and some additional tactics to help you navigate the hiring process by watching the 20-minute video of the event. Invest just a few minutes to get huge returns for your businessand make hiring much less stressful.

*Disclosure: this company has a client relationship with or its affiliated entities

Article written by
Carol Roth is a former investment banker, entrepreneur and author of the new book, The War on Small Business and the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth