Talent Wanted: Steps to preparing your small business for new employees
Since 2009’s recession, there’s a wide pool of talent just waiting for the right job to come along. While unemployment continues to hover at the 8.2% mark, the biggest increase in hiring is being seen in the small business sector for both small businesses with fewer than 50 employees and especially within the subsection of small businesses with fewer than 20 employees, where the growth is the largest. For small businesses, even more so than their larger counterparts, making the decision to hire is one of the most game-changing decisions that a business can face. Here’s a look at the best tips and processes your small business can implement in order to make hiring both a fiscally and emotionally sound decision.
First things first, before you hire any short term or part-time employees, you must talk with your current employees. Taking the time to assure your employees that the increase in staff is a good thing and that there’s plenty of work to go around will help to settle any nerves and keep jealousies at bay. Whenever possible, offer promotions and opportunities for new challenges to your loyal long term employees and hire replacements for those open positions, not the other way around.
Once you have addressed your existing employee’s concerns, it’s time to start filling in some of the gaps left behind by the last several years of workforce tightening your business may have been enduring.
Go to the Net (the Internet, that is)
Use the free social media tools available to help you vet potential candidates.
LinkedIn – One of the most popular social media outlet, LinkedIn is a free human resources tool that should be the first stop on your recruitment journey. Here, not only can you post a job, but you can see candidate’s profiles including photos, references and recommendations, and past performance history. This information will provide you with a great first look at the candidate’s personality, experience and overall success at previous positions.
Facebook – It is amazing what people will post to social media when they think no one is looking (or worse yet, when EVERYONE is looking). If the candidate has a Facebook page, it’s fair game for human resources to review. From the mundane, like what the candidate likes for music, to the more important social commentary, an employer can learn if the candidate would be a good fit into the company’s culture (and also if there are any behaviors that may be prohibitive to their employment with your business).
Twitter – Believe it or not, there’s a great deal to be learned in 140 characters or less. Tweets can relay important information about a candidate’s experience in subject matter, news and relevant topics of interest.
Additional social media outlets can include Pinterest, Youtube, StumbleUpon and a blog, all of which can provide additional insight into personal style, habits and even writing ability. While social media is a starting place, it is not nor should it be considered the only stopping place to find and hire knowledgeable candidates.
Plan for the New Employee(s)
Small business growth is exciting and bringing on new energy in the form of new hires is a momentous occassion for many small business owners. It's very common that in all of the hiring excitement that no clearly defined human resources department or even policies for employment exist and that can be a costly mistake.
In fact, it is estimated that filling one position can cost a business nearly $10,731. Within a year, the trend is that one-fourth of all new hires will leave the company for greener pastures. Failure to properly train, mentor or acclimate a new hire can be more than costly to your bottom line, it can also impact the morale of your current employees, too. Preparing your business for expansion includes making accommodations for new staff including well defined duties, supervision, and a process for acclimation into your business' culture.
That being said, bringing on new employees will require a shift in your daily work load and your mind set in order to put aside the necessary time to find the right person. Start by outlining a position description and really bullet point as many of the daily tasks the new position would be required to fulfill. Then ask yourself if there is anyone you know whom you would hire instantly. Someone with whom you’ve worked either professionally, in a nonprofit capacity, or otherwise, that would be a perfect fit for your business. Then ask the same question to friends and colleagues.
Once the position description is written and the job posting has hit the internet, make time (even just 30 minutes a day) to collect the resumes you’ve received and begin the review process. Give yourself a two to three week window for resume collection and then move into the next phase, the initial phone interview. If you’re sharing this task with a trusted colleague, set them on the task of researching the social media components, making the initial calls and provide you with careful notes. Regroup at the end of the week to further vet the candidates and schedule round one of face-to-face interviews.
Develop a training and orientation process.
Employees need to know what is expected of them. They also need to have the tools and resources available in order to meet or exceed your expectations. By establishing a strong orientation and training program, your employees will be able to better learn the ropes, interact with employees knowledgeably, and find success faster than if left to their own devices.
Pair your new hire with an established buddy.
Mentors can provide a much-needed resource for your new hire. They can be a sounding board for questions and concerns as well as a conduit for meeting other employees and finding their way around the company. Asking an existing employee to mentor a newbie also tells your current employee that you trust them to train someone new and show them the ropes.
It may seem like a tremendous amount of work on the front end, but it’s better to hire the right person and help them to become successful than it is to hire several people in a year order to keep just one. To learn more about the impact of hiring full time employees to your small business, talk with a PASBA small business accounting and business consulting professional in your area.
PASBA member accountants bring the collective resources of a nationwide network of Certified Public Accountants, Public Accountants, Enrolled Agents and other practitioners available to answer your tax and financial questions and streamline your business accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll operations. To find a trusted accountant in your area, visit www.SmallBizAccountants.com.
Please be advised that, based on current IRS rules and standards, any advice contained herein is not intended to be used, nor can it be used, for the avoidance of any tax penalty that the IRS may assess related to this matter. Any information contained in this article, whether viewed or subsequently printed, cannot be relied upon as qualified tax and accounting advice. Any information contained in this article does not fall under the guidelines of IRS Circular 230.
Copyright Information 2012 Professional Association of Small Business Accountants