Hiring a New Employee

September 15, 2012 in , , ,

The fact that you need to hire new employees can be a positive indicator. It usually means that your business is growing, and you need more personnel to adequately provide service to your customers.

But hiring new employees can seem overwhelming. Not only do you need to ensure that you’re adhering to all applicable regulatory guidelines, but also you need to choose individuals who are qualified for the job and will hopefully be a good fit within your organization. Before you get started on your search, take a few preliminary steps:

  • Write a good job description or update your existing one to clearly identify the position’s required knowledge, essential skills, and primary functions indicating those that would be considered essential.
  • Prepare interview questions using the job description as a guideline for objectively comparing potential new hires.
  • Review any applicable employment laws.
  • Make sure you are using an employment application that is compliant with applicable laws.

Finding Good Candidates
There are plenty of inexpensive and even free ways to source competent candidates. One of your best bets may be networking. Ask for referrals from your friends, colleagues, and advisors, such as your accountant or attorney. If one of your advisors or colleagues recommends a candidate, some of your employee screening work may already be done.

Ask current employees to recommend candidates. They most likely have a good understanding of the skills and knowledge required for the job and are unlikely to jeopardize their own reputation by recommending a poor candidate.

Consider local or industry-specific online job boards. Smaller, focused sites can be helpful by limiting the pool to individuals in your industry or area. Local newspapers and trade publications may also be useful sources for finding candidates, depending on your needs.

New tax incentive programs encourage employers to hire veterans. Check out the Internal Revenue Service, Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and National Resource Directory websites for more information.

Interviewing Candidates
Consider having more than one person from your organization interview candidates. Choose individuals who have different styles and perspectives, and who represent various levels of the organization. You could be surprised to find out how your colleagues view a candidate.

Ask interview questions based on the job description. If you have trouble coming up with questions, try the Internet for resources. The interview is an opportunity to learn more about the candidate than what is printed on the resume. You can observe communication style, and may be able to evaluate how interested the candidate is in the position and whether he or she might be a good fit for your business.

Background Checks
Keep in mind that an employer can be held liable if an employee causes harm to a third party or other employees, and it is proven that the employer failed to exercise reasonable care when hiring the individual, such as proper screening of applicants.

Where permitted by state law, include on your employment application a question asking if the applicant has ever been convicted of a felony. Conduct relevant, job-related pre-employment and post-offer background checks in compliance with state and federal laws.

Making a Decision
When the interviews are complete, compare notes with the other interview participants. Be flexible when making your decision. Chances are you won’t find a single candidate who completely fulfills every requirement for the position.

There’s no magic formula for choosing the “right” person, or any guarantee that he she will be a good fit for your company. If you use all of your available tools and resources, you will likely make a decision that works for your business.

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