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The Green Sheet Online Edition

February 10, 2014 • Issue 14:02:01

Hiring employees � Part 1

By Vicki M. Daughdrill
Small Business Resources LLC

Business is booming. Your dream of making a mark in the payments sphere is coming true. But you are working 14-hour days and struggling to meet the needs of your merchant customers. Your family is suffering. You need help. Perhaps it is time to hire a new employee.

Whether this is your first employee or your 1,000th, finding and hiring good, qualified people is always a challenge. Hiring capable employees is crucial to the success of a business, and most savvy business owners know the hiring process doesn't begin with the interview and end with the job offer. Hiring accomplished employees ensures that your company has the talent it needs to accomplish your mission and vision and attain long-term profitability.

Jim Collins' book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap � and Others Don't stresses the importance of finding the right employee for the right position. He uses the apt analogy of a bus to represent a business. He said that while it is important to fill each position on the bus, it is more important to have the right person in the right seat on the bus.

Finding the right person for the job involves planning and considering the job prior to recruitment, interviewing and hiring, followed by an orientation that enables new employees to start strong with the company. Every penny counts in your business, and you cannot afford to make hiring mistakes.

Here are three steps to help determine the nature of the position you want to fill, the characteristics of the employee you seek and how to recruit prospects to interview.

1. Decision making

Determine whether you need to hire a new or replacement employee. Ask yourself:

  • Is this position newly created, or is it a replacement position for an employee who left or was promoted into another role?
  • Other than the demands on your time, why do you think you need a new employee? Is there sufficient business to hire a new employee? Are you branching out into a new direction, adding an additional territory or introducing a new product?
  • Can you streamline your processes, eliminate duplicate activities and reorganize your existing employees to accomplish the necessary tasks without adding additional employees?
  • Do you need full-time, part-time or temporary assistance? Can you outsource some of the tasks or contract with individuals or businesses to provide the assistance you need? Is a freelancer available to assist with specific projects?

2. Evaluation

Once you determine that you need a new employee, and you decide on the type of employee you want, here are decisions and actions required before the recruitment phase:

  • Describe the activities the employee will conduct. What exactly will the employee do?
  • Decide whether you can promote into this position from within and hire a replacement for the advancing employee. If an existing employee has the skill sets and the desire to take on additional responsibilities, it is always preferable to promote from within. This provides stability within your workforce, retains institutional memory and provides a career path for employees.
  • Define the unique qualifications, skill sets, industry knowledge, and education and experience the employee needs. Is it critical to hire someone with payments industry experience? Would you prefer to hire an inexperienced person you can train to meet your standards, style and goals rather than a seasoned professional?
  • Are there specific personality traits your employee needs? Are there negative characteristics to avoid? Depending on the position you are filling, specific qualities may be required of the employee. What are these? Can you define them in tangible terms?
  • Establish where to house the employee � at the office or at a remote location. Managing an employee at the office is easier than managing from a distance. But a skillful manager can keep a remote employee happy, focused and achieving goals. It just requires a different skill set by the owner or manager.
  • Create the job description, outcomes or goals, and expected hours. Each prospective employee will want specifics about the position and requirements. If you define these prior to the recruitment phase, you can easily eliminate candidates who do not meet your minimum criteria.
  • Set the salary range.
  • Write a dynamic, motivating position posting that will draw attention and attract a large number of prospects.

3. Recruitment

Recruiting techniques change frequently. In past years, the local daily newspaper was always the first choice for posting jobs. Today, the newspaper isn't even on a job seeker's radar. Here are several contemporary ways to recruit qualified potential candidates:

  • The best way to look for new employees is to ask your existing employees. This will complete the first level of screening for you, as most employees will not recommend someone who is not a good worker, has unsatisfactory personal habits or unsavory character. They do not want a poor new hire to reflect negatively on their relationship with you.
  • If you don't have employees, poll your friends, family, vendors, your support team such as your accountant and attorney, or members of your professional organization, your local chamber of commerce, career college, or academic college or university.
  • Utilize social media to the fullest. Use your Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn network and every other avenue of social media that you can.
  • According to the Internet, the Top 10 job hunting sites are: Indeed.com, Career Builder, CollegeRecruiter.com, Monster.com, Simply Hired, LinkUp, US.jobs, Jobing.com, Net-Temps.com, and JobCentral.com. All of these may not be suitable for the position you want to fill, but at least one may be an effective tool for your use.

Robert Half said, "Time spent on hiring is time well spent." Nothing is more costly to your business than hiring the wrong employee. Take time to plan, evaluate carefully and recruit skillfully to select the best employee for your business. In Part 2 of this series, I will discuss screening applicants, conducting the interview and the selection process. end of article

Vicki M. Daughdrill is the Managing Member of Small Business Resources LLC, a management consulting company. E-mail her at vickid@netdoor.com or call her at 601-310-3594.

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