I’m getting busy and I think I need help, but how do I find help? How can I be sure I’m not making a big mistake? How do I hire the right person? Can I afford to find help? Can I afford not to find help? How much can I afford to lose on a bad hire?
Starting and running a business can be intimidating. There is much to do, and many decisions to make. One of the most important decisions a business owner will face is whether and how to hire employees. And for small businesses, there is little room for error as budgets are tight and owners require the best from their few employees. I have listed a few of the questions I have agonized over, and believe me, these are only a small sampling.
I recently used technology to screen potential employees, and found someone wonderful. This article is for all who want to hire employees, but aren’t aware of how to use technology to help them find their perfect employees.
1. Use Technology to Attract Quality People
Similar to the concept of attracting perfect customers, attracting quality people from the outset reduces screening time. So, identify your need and then use technology to find a great employee source.
For example, I needed a designer with a fresh perspective. So, I placed an advertisement in a local university career website. After a week, I received 20 resumes from qualified and motivated design students.
With little effort, technology helped me to attract great candidates while also providing the information I needed to narrow the group to seven candidates who I felt were good matches for my company.
The key is to determine where you can find the most qualified candidates from one or two sources. Then, submit detailed ads to narrow the applicant pool.
This step is crucial, but is often overlooked. When I asked advice from other business owners, I was told to place ads on online job sites. But there are many sites and I did not know where to start. In this sense, technology can be a double-edged sword. There are so many sites that employers are paralyzed. Instead, I thought about the best place to attract candidates for my business, and then focused my resources there.
2. Use Technology to Screen Your Candidates
Tip One: The Internet sees all.
I searched the names of the seven candidates on the major social sharing websites like Facebook and My Space. Five of the seven candidates had profiles. Three of the five had what I considered to be objectionable content on their profiles; so I excluded them, leaving four.
As an aside, I searched these websites because almost all college students belong to one of these sites. You will need to tailor your searches to your candidates. You will be amazed what a simple Google search will reveal.
Again, some may object to these searches. But I rely on employees to exercise good judgment, and to understand that they represent Miss Details Design. Employees must appreciate that what they post online is public content, and that the objectionable content could affect my or my client’s reputation.
Tip Two: E-mail!
Resumes contain references and businesses with e-mail addresses. Use them. You will be pleasantly surprised as to how much people will tell you.
For example, I e-mailed the contacts for the remaining four candidates. I learned first that people were generally very enthusiastic in discussing the candidates. I received some insightful information that I probably would not have learned otherwise. Second, the responses would have taken hours to gather over the phone. Instead, I read them when I had time. I can only guess how many hours this saved me.
I cannot recommend e-mail enough. I was able to exclude one of the candidates based on the lack of positive feedback from references. And I learned that the other three were highly regarded.
3. Use Technology to Detect Timeliness
Launchers are busy, so our time is precious. I need to know that my employees will respond when I need them to.
For example, I used the pre-interview period to learn how quickly my candidates would respond to communications. I called them and told them to e-mail or call me within 48 hours if they were interested in the position. I use mobile technology for to receive e-mails, files, and voicemails, and I need my employees to do the same. Two responded within a few hours and the other in about four days. Experience has taught me that if candidates are slow to respond before getting the job, they will be even slower to respond once they get the job. So, I had two candidates left.
After the interviews, I chose a wonderful employee.
4. Trust Yourself
Business involves making decisions based on incomplete or imperfect information. While technology can inform the process, it can not guarantee that we will hire the perfect employee. We must also trust our instincts.
For example, technology helped me to narrow my search to two outstanding candidates. But once the interviews started, I just let my instincts select the person I felt would best add to my company. Do not forget that you know your business best and that technology is only a tool to help you make more informed employee decisions. In the end, business is still all about people.
So, trust yourself to make the right choice!
This article was listed in Ladies Who Launch top 5 articles.