Choosing the right person to do the job can be a challenge. It all comes down to your interview process. Once you have reviewed the resumes, its’ time to get in touch with your prospects. You should interview at least 5 people for every available position. A great candidate will have a strong match between their skill set and your position requirements. For example, if you are looking for a salesperson and your candidate does not have an engaging personality, they may not be the best candidate for that position.
The interview is one of the most important stages in hiring your first employee. As this is the first time that you’re having an interactive conversation with a potential worker there are a few tactics that may be helpful to you in the process. There are five things to keep in mind when conducting an interview:
- Be a good listener
- Know how to redirect a conversation to the areas you consider important
- Take notes during the interview
- Go with your gut instinct (if something doesn’t feel right, it’s not right)
- The candidate is also interviewing you, so be ready to answer questions too.
Interviewing potential employees is a 7-step process:
The Selection Process
Phase 1: The Google Test: You should put every candidate’s name and city in a search engine to see what your candidates do online on their own time to determine if you even want to have them working for you. Judgment and discretion is important.
Phase 2. The Phone Screen: Before inviting a potential candidate to your office schedule a 30 minute phone interview. You want to see if the interviewee is worth face time. You also want to see if have chemistry with the prospect and to make sure that what you are reading on paper matches up with who you are speaking with on the phone. .
Phase 3. The Face-to-Face Interview: If the candidate passes the google test and phone screen, it’s time to meet in person. This is your chance to evaluate the prospect’s appearance, communication style and preparedness. You want them to arrive with questions for you too. It’s also your opportunity to discuss the qualifications for the job in-depth.
Phase 4. The Reference Check: This is a step many busy entrepreneurs miss, but you need to know what the person was like at their old job. Ask the relationship of the reference to the candidate. You need to make sure the best friend or brother isn’t the reference.
Phase 5. The Follow-Up: No matter how confident you are in a candidate, don’t make the job offer without conducting a follow-up. You should run a background check, credit check and if necessary a drug screening. You might not want to hire a delivery driver with a drug problem or a secretary with an un disclosed criminal record. Be safe and do not invite trouble in the door.
Phase 6. The Job Offer: Now that you’re ready to bring in your first employee you want to make a verbal offer by phone and then make the offer in writing. Be sure to outline the compensation plan and when they will become eligible for any benefits. I recommend not making employees eligible for benefits until after 90 days of employment. Once the candidate signs the offer letter, it’s official you have your first employee.
Phase 7. The Onboarding Process: Your must create an official orientation process for your new employee. No one can teach your business better than you. It’s your responsibility to get your first employee up to speed. Develop a new employee handbook and a daily check list of action items for your new worker. Be sure to delegate things you need to get off your plate too.
Do you have a process that you use to hire new employees?
For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.
Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is one of America’s leading small business experts. As a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, and small business coach, she develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. As CEO of MFE Consulting LLC, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. Forbes Magazine recently named her the #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog www.succeedasyourownboss.com Melinda is also the author of the national bestseller Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works. (Adams Media 2010)