Running a small business is great; it has its perks which are beyond monetary (i.e. learning and experiencing the business world from its purest state), but what happens when a small business gets busy enough and the entrepreneur needs to hire employees? How do they do so successfully?
For many, this is a lot harder than it sounds as most don’t know where to begin and how to be successful at recruiting. As the CEO of an executive search firm and the employer of multiple people – some who have worked, some others who have not, I have some advice for you:
– Recruit employees only when absolutely necessary. Too many times, young entrepreneurs recruit employees when they are not overly stretched and spend a ton of money in salaries and employment related insurance costs not to mention taxes when they could have done the job themselves.
Prior to hiring, you must be stretched absolutely thin to the point of exhaustion. I was one who made this mistake and who hired prematurely at times. The outcome was having very expensive employees who also had little to do on a daily basis.
I found myself spending the majority of my day figuring out what they should do instead of focusing on the core business.
– Write a Clear Job Description Outlining the Following: What you would like the employee to be doing on a daily basis, what you would like to pay the employee in exchange for their services, the short-term goals for the employee as well as laying out the long-term goals for the employee.
– Figure Out a Pitch. Think about why the employees should work at your firm. You’re inevitably going to see hurdles that include employees not wanting to work for a start-up as start-ups can leave them unemployed in 6 months and you must give enough compelling reasons as to why they should take the chance on you instead of going the safe route.
What makes me great at recruiting is a true belief in my clients and their ability to provide a great experience for those who work there. This passion comes through when speaking to the job seekers.
– Figure Out the Questions You Want to Ask. Never just “wing” an interview. While the interviewer should always come prepared, you should as well. Find out about the potential employees both as people and as workers.
The one thing that is essential to ask is why they are leaving their current job and, once you bring up the subject, dig and dig deeper. At this point, you’ve done your speaking; let them tell their story and LISTEN!!
– Make Sure You Like Them. You’re going to be working in very close quarters with these individuals and you have to like them as people or the employee / employer relationship can never truly blossom.
There is liking the individual on paper then there is the belief that your personality and his / her personality will click and form a positive, productive and lucrative relationship.
One Last Thought
Know that recruiting is an uphill battle. It is just a fact that companies like Google and Microsoft are going to get the best employees and you’re going to have to work with the people who are willing to work with you.
Don’t get discouraged and always interview multiple times before you pull the trigger. There is a difference between settling on an employee and holding out until you can find someone whom you trust and can really mold to be a leader of your company.
Finally, never give out equity in your firm; you will most likely come to regret it. Think profit-sharing if you wish to give performance based incentives.
About the Author
Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement, an executive search firm specializing in recruiting sales and marketing employees. Ken has been mentioned by such sources as MSN, AOL, Chicago Tribune, CBS MoneyWatch and many more. Follow Sundheim on Twitter.
Entrepreneurship as a Successful Career
Writing a Job Description That Attracts