No business, no matter the size, has access to unlimited time and resources. For smaller companies in particular, the idea of building a team that is competent, skillful, and hardworking is easier to conceptualize than actualize. Finding key personnel for the critical positions within the business is vital to making that dream a reality. However, because of the sheer number of job seekers hoping to take on some roles, finding the people who are the best fit for the task can be a challenging undertaking.
Finding the right employees, even on a more limited budget, isn’t impossible. Establishing what criteria is vital when hiring certain positions can help a business narrow down who it wants to bring onboard, and for what purpose. To help small business owners with their hiring woes, seven members of the Forbes Business Council, below, discuss their preferred approaches for finding skilled personnel to fill their team’s most important roles. Here is what they advise:
1. Hire Specialists Who Can Be Held Accountable
If your company is at early stages with limited bandwidth and resources, it is important to hire (or contract) specialists who can own certain pieces of work. Be very careful while making hiring decisions and consider one’s values, work ethics, etc. to determine if someone is a potential long-term fit—this is usually very difficult to actually implement. My mantra is “hire smart, hire fast, fire faster.” – Nishant Aggarwal, BlueWander
2. Have Clarity On Company Values And Culture
Start with having a clear understanding of what your values are as a company and the type of culture you want to build. When you have clarity on that early on, it attracts players that connect with your actual values and culture. Then look at the company’s stage—what are the needs now and approximately 18 months from now? Try to hire someone who can do the current job but also has the potential to do the future job. – Christine Tao, Sounding Board, Inc
3. Don’t Market For Lowest Common Denominator
Most hiring ads are dry and to the point: “Applicant must have X, a minimum of Y.” Instead, market for a rock star, i.e. “We are looking for an outstanding individual to join our growing team. As a self-starter with industry knowledge, you will quickly come to understand our products, the culture and begin making a positive contribution immediately.” This will more likely attract the staff you want. – Jason Seed, Converge Retail (June20, Inc.)
4. Look For Character, Value And Attitude Fit
Character, values and attitude are ultimately the most important qualities to consider when adding new team members. Extremely important values are teamwork and communication. Ensure the interview team evaluates the candidate’s skills, but not at the expense of considering those other important attributes that will determine if they can be the boost that the team is looking for. – Bryan Neider, Gatepath
5. Speed Up Your Hiring Process
Move quickly. The market out there is competitive. We have some of the best talent simply because we followed through and moved fast. From our initial screening call, we try to have a decision within one week of talking to that candidate. We try to be respectful of our time and that of each candidate. – Shobin Uralil, Lively, Inc.
6. Stop Doing What You’ve Always Done
Stop looking in the usual places and using the same job descriptions—that keeps you focused on the same types of candidates. Today’s forward-thinking HR professionals recognize that the only way to win the war for talent is to break old patterns. For example, they’re determined to stop degree inflation, because they know degrees aren’t a true proxy for valuable skills or knowledge. – Jenny Dearborn, Actionable Analytics Group
7. Look For Human Qualities You Can’t Teach
Before I was a marketer, I was an IT guy, which can be a pretty geeky field. So, naturally, I appreciate when potential hires are geeky or very passionate about the job they’re applying for. I’ve even hired absolute beginners before, and they make for incredible team members because they don’t have the bad habits that some seasoned candidates have. Look for the human qualities you can’t teach! – Jeff J Hunter, BrandedMedia.io