Small Business Hiring Tips

When I first started at Catalyst, my boss told me that there were two types of people in the workforce; overhead and talent. The talent are the money makers while those who are considered overhead are ones who ensure that the talent has what they need to keep working and earning. In any client services industry, it is imperative that the talent you put in front of your clientele are the right fit for the job. As such, talent procurement is one of the most important aspects of my job. Here are my key tips for hiring in the small business world:

Reduce Hiring Bias

Have multiple people interview prospective hires, multiple times, so that no one person, or one poor example, will let you lose a possible prime candidate. A single hiring manager can have an off day, or get the wrong idea on a hire, and you could lose out on someone who may in fact be a perfect for the job.

Know When you Should Hire for Potential, Not Skills

There will be times when you need, need, need to fill a position ASAP. Having a new employee readily available with the correct skills is key, but these shouldn’t be your only hires. Make sure that as part of your hiring process you don’t just look at current skills, but how well the individual can grow and learn at work, developing new skills along the way. Identifying potential in possible employees can lead you towards finding a real gem, hidden in the waves of applicants.

Make Sure They Fit the Culture

Making sure your employees are happy is how you retain talent. Hiring individuals who wouldn’t be a good fit into your corporate environment can be determinantal to your work environment.

Be Careful Not to Over-Complicate Job Postings

While it’s tempting to implement, having too many required qualifications can severely limit the applicant pool, and may completely dismiss some rare, but useful talent. Try listing just the ‘must-have’ qualifications, and if you don’t get any good bites, narrow it down from there by adding more.

Avoid Hiring All at Once

Business growth is a dangerous positive, overgrowth or hiring too many employees at once can have serious effects on payroll and could drain cash flows quickly. Staggering hires can help you in training and onboarding practices as well as helps to train your on- boarder for future hires.

Plan for Reduced Effectiveness

As great as it would be, new hires rarely know what they need to do in a new position. So you need to plan for every new hire to take time away from both you and your new employee’s work. Every company is different and there is a learning curve that is to be expected with all new hires, but it’s important to remember that the learning curve will affect you considerably as well. The point to bring on new hires isn’t when you need them or during your busy period, but about 3-6 months beforehand, so they can acclimate, be properly trained and gain their confidence before you really need them to perform.

Impress your New Hires

Despite how many may perceive it, as a hiring manager you need to make your workplace attractive to new prospects.  Remember that they’re interviewing you as well and ideally you want every candidate walking out of the interview wanting the job. Showing them the positives and internal benefits of your workplace can help them make the decision to join your workforce.

As we start a new year, with hopefully business growth and new hires on the way, keep these simple tips in mind for your hiring practices in 2019.


Hiring is a treat!