New Talent Considerations and Your Small Business

New Talent Considerations and Your Small Business

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Money and advertising are two of the largest concerns for emerging businesses, but recruiting, hiring, training and managing new employees can be the most difficult area of all. Hire the wrong person and you will go through the unpleasant experience of having to let someone go and the burden of finding that person’s replacement. You cannot count on every new hire working out, but you can reduce turnover by employing the following strategies when looking for new talent.

The Last Resort

Hiring new people should be of the last resort. Never expand your team unless you have enough work to justify that person’s position. Most of the responsibilities of a new team member may be something your current staff can handle.

When deciding for expanding your team, run a cost benefit analysis to determine its practicality. The cost of salary, benefits, training, workplace integration and a break-even point must be identified. Figure that it will take several months to bring a new employee up to speed, a cost that must be factored in to the final analysis.

Word of Mouth

It is true that most new jobs are never posted. Instead, new employees are often referred by current employees. Companies place a great value on personal knowledge of a candidate, people your team members can provide.

The thing about top talent is that these individuals are not always looking for work. Instead, they are individuals recognized by people for excelling at what they do, and would greatly enhance most companies. You may already know these people from your customers as well as your competitors. Examine your network of talent and your future hire just might be in that pool.

The Price is Right

On occasion, you may need to turn to a third-party to find top talent. Recruiters, sometimes known as headhunters, are available to scan the country, indeed the world to find the right candidate for your business. As with any third-party solution, you will pay a fee for that service, equaling several months to a year of the new hire’s salary. That’s a cost many business owners cannot afford.

You have other choices that will cost you considerably less than the third-party provider’s fee. Your college and other local universities have a pool of talent that graduates each year. You can learn about these individuals from the school’s career placement office and may learn about more experienced workers through the alumni office. It is in the best interest of colleges and universities that their graduates find work, therefore expect that you will receive much accommodation as you review that talent.

Another option for bringing in new workers is to employ a “try before you buy” strategy. Under this approach, you seek talent through an employment agency or reach out directly for candidates. The people you consider will be temporary employees or contract workers, individuals you can evaluate before hiring. You will still need to invest in training, but you avoid the downside of hiring someone who is not qualified or right for a position. If the individual works out you can offer him or her a permanent job. You will pay the employment agency a fee, an amount that is typically much lower than what an executive recruiter charges.

The Right Candidate

Selecting the wrong candidate can cost you in time, money and in competitiveness. Choosing the right candidate involves a dedicated vetting process, one where you screen potential applicants and narrow that pool to a manageable number. You will narrow that pool further by finding out who is receptive for an interview and continue the screening process through the first round on interviews.

That initial round of interviews will enable you to weed out people that are not a good fit for the job or for your team. It is essential that those interviews be conducted by a senior Human Resources person who can ask the tough questions and gauge the responses. Those questions can uncover the person’s likes and dislikes about her present position, identify strengths and weaknesses, understand her commitment to overtime and travel, and identify certain abilities beyond what she may currently be doing.

Further screening can be accomplished by checking references. You can also make credit checking a part of the vetting process as credit patterns can accentuate certain attributes about the job candidate such as personal responsibility and money management. Indeed, you would not hire an individual that has been experiencing ongoing money problems to manage your company’s finances.

Top Talent

Acquiring top talent takes work and will also take time. Do it right and you will improve your team and your company’s profitability.

See Also7 Small Business Hiring Strategies

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