Small businesses all over the world create millions of jobs for talented people in various spheres. According to the Small Business Administration, small companies create 1.5 million jobs annually and account for 64 percent of new jobs in the U.S. However, the prospect of bringing new employees to the fold is often an exciting and challenging task at the same time.

If you are an owner of a small business, you get frustrated because your hiring decision may affect your business productivity and overall success. Consider these 8 steps for small business hiring to feel all arms, reduce tension, and make the right choice.

1. Get your business ready for the first hire

State laws, regulations, and requirements are matters of top priority for you. A legal framework ensures the proper functioning of your business and the excellent work of your new employees.

You may need professional legal advice or networking with the owners of other small businesses to learn the legal basics of hiring. Learn your business tax requirements, plan benefits, choose the appropriate contract, and work on beneficial provisions for you and your employee. Adhering to labor laws means protecting your employees` rights and your business.

2. Set up the recruiting team

In case there is only you in your business at this time, the choice of the responsible person is evident. However, if you have already started with a small team, it would be nice to have someone else on your side. It is always easier to decide when you have someone to share your worries and thoughts with. Besides, seeing a potential employee from someone else’s perspective is a good option. Make someone responsible for minor organizational details to have time for more important matters that might require your attention.

If you are working in a rather specific field, it is worth  professional help. Hiring a recruiter may seem quite expensive. However, at the stage of your first hires, you can learn from this professional. Thus, you are paying not only for recruiting services but for practical knowledge.

3. Equip a small business hiring toolkit

It may take you some time to figure out the hiring approach and a toolkit to hire your small business’s best talents. However, several tools may serve you an excellent basis on this journey:

  • Online job boards. These are the websites where employers place their advertisements to attract job seekers — this is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to find candidates.
  • Social media. Besides the advertisements that may be placed, social media websites are a powerful recruitment tool. You can go on a real virtual hunt on social media like LinkedIn.
  • Your website. Having enough traffic, your website may be an efficient recruitment tool. A career section on a home page is always a good option for your developing businesses.

4. Create a job description

In case you are not a well-known brand, you make the first steps you need to attract the best possible talent for your job opportunity. First of all, you need to draft a job description that will reflect all your needs, requirements, and preferences. Besides, the job description should stand out from the thousands of others to attract your future perfect employee.

Thus, your job description should:

  1. showcase the uniqueness of your company;
  2. precisely describe your dream hire, particularly expertise, capacity, skills, and qualifications;
  3. outline core responsibilities;
  4. outshine bonus points;
  5. clarify the application process.

5. Filter applicants

The most time-consuming part of any recruitment process is filtering. Having received numerous applications in response to your job description, you need to choose the most fitting applicants and decide whom to interview.

Some apparent mistakes like failure to attach a CV, cover letter, or insufficient years of expertise serve fast filtering triggers. However, after that, you’ll face the most time-consuming part — determining whether the candidate’s skill set corresponds to your requirements list. One of the possible solutions is the creation of a structured application form. Such forms ask questions according to your pattern. Thus, it will be much easier to compare your candidates’ answers to the same question.  Keep this in mind and think of the filtering procedure well in advance.

6. Interview

Conducting an excellent job interview is a complicated task. However, there is no great science behind it. Everything you should remember is to interview for three core elements: skills, personality, and culture.

Asking the right interview question is about evaluating the answer, not its classification as right or wrong. The interview is your opportunity to confirm the candidate’s qualification and competency and determine whether your job matches the candidate’s expectations.

Listen to the answers carefully. Detailed answers disclose motivated, goal-oriented candidates while inadequate explanations, and lack of clarity are ominous signs even if you ask simple things. In case you are making your first steps in business, remember, the critical point in interviewing is to understand whether the candidate’s values align with yours.

7. Make a decision

According to Indeed, 56% of small businesses think finding great talent is their biggest challenge. However, making the right choice and completing the hiring process is much more challenging.

Usually, those who make decisions fast and are first to make job offers get the best employees. In case you have several front-runners, do not waste the time of hesitation. Take the risk, and make an offer they can’t refuse.

A “can’t refuse” offer is not always about a high salary rate. It is more about the benefits, opportunities, and personal touch.

8. Close the deal

To get fully prepared, you should think of the step you need to take after the candidates agreed on your terms, and the negotiation process is finalized. Several documents facilitate closing the deal process and setting the start to the working process:

  1. Contract;
  2. Checklist of the onboarding task or an onboarding plan;
  3. Project files, working templates, and standardized documents;
  4. List of working tools and access to them;
  5. Guide on process and workflow.

Remember, onboarding is a high time to make an employee excited about your company’s mission and goals. The more employees share your company values, the more devoted and loyal they will appear to be.

Congratulations, you’ve done a great job of hiring the best talent for your small business. At the same time, the essential tasks are ahead. Managing and retaining these talents is even more complicated.

There are numerous approaches and methodologies to make the employees even more engaged and motivated. Keep in mind that you will never get tired of searching for new talent and hiring when your business is developing and growing, but you will be fed up with hiring shortly if you can’t retain your employees, and they will keep leaving you off.

Erika Rykun, Content Manager at Erika is a career and productivity copywriter who believes in the power of networking. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and playing with her cat Cola.

Small business hiring stock photo by fizkes/Shutterstock