Jug Babic

Jug Babic has been blogging about business and the intersection of tech and business for a while now. He is currently working with VivifyIdeas as a marketer.

Jug Babic has written 3 articles for SB Informer.
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Overcoming the Challenges of Small Business Hiring

Find out how small businesses can hire better.

Jug Babic

June 12, 2018

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While an outside observer might think that small businesses have a much easier task of managing or expanding their personnel than huge, international corporations, this is by no means the case.


Even though business with fewer employees don't have to keep juggling large numbers and endless spreadsheets of names, they do face some unique challenges.


For instance, they have to balance between the budget limitations and the necessity for a new employee; have a much more limited pool of potential hires to choose from; aren’t always able to promise the stability that larger enterprises can, etc.


This is why small business owners and managers have to find all the time and resources they need to ensure their hiring processes are streamlined, aimed at the right candidates, and constantly being re-evaluated and improved. Answering the following questions will allow you to do just that.


Do I Need to Hire People?


Hiring a new employee is not cheap and can start eating away at your budget long before you have to give them their first paycheck. That’s why you need to be sure that every hire you are considering is absolutely essential and unavoidable.


This will depend on what you need the employee for and how would you have to go about compensating for their absence. For instance, if you need a once off task taken care of, like the setup of an office network, you don’t need to hire a permanent IT guy. You can just outsource the task to a contractor, and be done with them.


Sometimes, as you’ll usually be hiring agencies to do the work, you’ll have a number of experienced experts working on the task, which means that it will be performed much more efficiently than it could have been if completed by one person you have on your payroll.


However, if that network is complex enough to demand constant maintenance, or if you have other IT requirements, constantly renting the services of one or more agencies is by no means preferable to hiring one employee who would be taking care of everything. This also allows for much better synchronization between various tasks, and minimizes mistakes occurring because of the lack of communication between various contractors.


Likewise, some of the tasks forcing you to consider hiring a new team member can be delegated to your current employees, if their schedules and skill sets allow it.


Where do I Find Them?


Once you’ve decided which position it is that needs to be filled, it’s time to start having a look at the candidates, but how do you let them know you’re interested? There are a number of places to look for people who might be a valuable addition to your business:


  1. Your Rolodex - or one of its modern equivalents, but you know what we’re trying to say. Regardless of what it is you are doing, chances are you already know a lot of people with similar interests and skills; you have been able to observe them and evaluate their work ethics, level of proficiency in their profession, their character, etc. Even if none of your direct acquaintances meet your expectations, you can inquire with them if they know of anyone who would, and expect to get a fairly honest recommendation.


  1. Your current employees - just like you, they are likely to know other people in the industry, and since they are usually concerned about their reputation with their colleagues, they are highly unlikely to recommend someone whose capabilities they have any kind of doubt in. Offering rewards for successful referrals is one of the fastest ways to incentivize your employees to recommend new hires.


  1. Social networks - sure, LinkedIn is specialized for this kind of thing, but other social networks can provide you with useful information as well. You can track a potential employee’s Facebook to learn what their views are on certain industry practices, and see if this aligns with your opinions. You can take a look at their Twitter to see if they are connected with influencers in the field of their interest, and how passionate they are about the position you might want to offer them, etc.


How do I Ensure They are a Good Fit?


This scrutiny from a distance described in the previous section is great to narrow down your choices, but the final estimate should be done in person. While the final interview needs to be handled by someone with a firm grasp on company values, policies and plans for the future, it also needs to be carried out by someone who is an expert in the field that the new hire is coming from.


We’ll elaborate. Let’s say you’ve heard about how effective agile development methods can be, and want to give the whole thing a go by hiring a Scrum Master. While you could try to prepare yourself by reading up on the entire discipline and looking up agile interview questions to ensure you know how to approach the candidate, it would be much better if you already had someone who had a better understanding of the subject.


That person could either conduct the interview on their own, or at least join you in talking to the candidates, and help you discriminate between the ones who actually have potential and those who don’t.  


That’s It?


Not exactly, but these are the main concerns when hiring new employees. Aside from deciding if you absolutely need a new hire, finding them, and ensuring they will be a valuable contribution to your team; you need to constantly keep your feelers out. This means always staying on the lookout for people who might one day be a welcome addition to your personnel.


If you approach this meticulously, after a while names will be automatically popping into your mind when you think of a position in your team that needs to be filled.


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