How to Attract and Hire the Right Employees

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What do your employees say about your small business when you're not in the room? When they're mingling at a party, and they tell others what they do for a living, are they enthusiastic? Do they represent your small business well? Hopefully, your answer to these questions is yes. But if it isn't, there is one surefire way to turn things around: attract and hire the right employees.

Unless you're an expert in human resources, you might not realize that there are many benefits to employing the right people:

  • Happy employees build your reputation in the community
  • Employees who "fit" nurture relationships with customers and clients
  • The right employees stay with your small business for the long-term
  • The best employees for your small business help you make more money

Attract Top Candidates with a Great Job Ad

Before you start writing an ad for a job site or classifieds section, commit to describing the position as accurately and strongly as possible. Fudging the truth a little to make the job sound more attractive than it really is can backfire. It doesn't mean you can't highlight the good stuff; just don't lose your grip on reality.

In general, your ad should tell a prospective employee what to expect on the job, both for the short-term and the long-term. It should also inform candidates what they will be able to achieve, what skills they will need and what skills they will have the opportunity to develop, and it should discuss compensation and benefits -- at least in general terms.

You might be inclined to shy away from discussing compensation in the job ad, but including a salary range can help you vet employees before you ever receive the first resume. Listing the position's benefits can also help you attract employees looking for a long-term position.

The Interview

Use the employee's resume and the one-on-one interview to learn more about a candidate's goals and aspirations. When checking past employment, look for employees that don't have a history of jumping from job to job. Also, ask prospectives to tell you where they see themselves in the next five years. Both of these things will help you determine if an applicant is likely to stick with you.

During the interview, you should also ask open questions that get the job applicant to reveal their personality to you. Find out whether the things that interest and motivate her are things you can challenge her with once the basic job functions have been mastered.

The Work Environment

Providing a clean, safe and appealing workspace is an important factor in getting the right employees to work for you. You don't necessarily need to have the trendiest interior designer remodel your d├ęcor, but a few plants, a pleasing color palette, and some natural light will go a long way in making your small business an inviting place to work.

The Company Culture

If you want to bring the best and brightest employees into work for you and you want to keep those employees for the long-haul, an encouraging company culture is essential. Flexibility and a commitment to education and professional development are two things that can make your small business an extremely attractive place to work.

Also, a small business that encourages open communication between owners, managers, and staff is the kind of small business that appeals to today's employees. So talk to your employees when you hit a snag, and ask them for their input and problem-solving expertise. Learn to trust your employees more, and resist the urge to micromanage every aspect of operations.

Always remember that the things that attract the best and brightest employees are the things that keep those same employees coming back to work for you year after year.