When growing a small business, the single most important component is people. Get your staffing wrong and you can cause serious and lasting damage to your company. Get it right, however, and your business will soar to new heights. But recruitment is notoriously challenging and can be very stressful, and especially if you haven’t done much of it before.
After all, you started your company because you love what you do, and it’s unlikely that you specialise in recruitment! We’ve all got a perception that attracting the right candidates is hard when we’re a start-up – when we’re unable to offer the same salaries and generous employee benefits packages as blue-chip corporations. Actually, the factor which makes hiring into a small business hardest is actually that with less clearly defined roles due to a flatter hierarchy, the skill set needed to be successful is very different. As small businesses, we ask more of the people who work for us, and expect our staff to cover a lot of bases, just as we do ourselves. That makes finding the right person a little trickier, but it’s not impossible.
The Importance of Culture
A particular job role may demand critical skills, qualifications and things related to that vacancy. But above that, you also need to layer in skills like problem solving, creativity and soft skills like communication and negotiation. Finding the right person comes down to finding a fit with the type of culture you’re aiming to create and being able to marry that with job skills. Whether you need an area manager or data entry services, if they don’t have the kind of flexibility in their attitude you need, they probably won’t thrive in the small business environment where there’s more of a need for everyone to pitch in. The Importance of trust becomes much more of a factor in an environment where everyone works very closely. In addition to that, personal chemistry is also more important as you spend a lot of time working together.
Doing Your Homework
There’s nothing more frustrating that struggling through the interview process, meeting multiple candidates, only to find that no one is the right fit. That’s why it’s extremely important to do your homework before meeting potential new recruits. Get the job specification absolutely clear in your own mind, re- read the job description several times, go through all the submitted CVs again and then make sure you follow up in the interviews on any queries you have. Consider developing a couple of specific questions for each candidate based on their experience rather than just sticking to standard ones the whole way through. What you’re really aiming for is getting to see the personality of the person in front of you – it can be difficult in an artificial situation like an interview but it’s well worth doing. If you really feel unsure, using a professional recruitment firm can be a good step. It’s a little more upfront cost, but it can save you a lot more expense later on and save you time by pre-screening candidates for you.