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Spend Time On Your Hiring Process

As a small business owner just starting out, the most important thing you must do is find the right person to hire for your business. Your success depends on it. You would be surprised at how little time the average owner spends on finding and getting to know that person. Interviews should last hours, not minutes, and the first interview should not decide whether to hire or not to hire. Not only should that person have a good experience, but he must fit the culture of your company. In fact, the culture fit is most important. If you have an applicant with whom you know you would be able to work closely, who withstood a very long interview process but lacks industry experience, that person might still be the right fit, if you have the ability and resources to provide the training. Always consider potential employees for the long-term. If you interview with the attitude “If he doesn’t work out, I’ll just look for someone else,” then in most cases he’s not going to work out. A bad first-hire for a business start-up can hamper the growth of the company for years; or, it can be the reason for the ultimate failure of the business. For more information on how to conduct successful interviews, check out the free resources section of my website.

According to the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California at Berkeley, the average cost to replace an average employee for all categories of workers is about $4,000. Positions that require higher skills can be as much as 1⅟₂ a year’s salary. Most of the small business owners I know can ill-afford this kind of expense. In addition, there are other “soft” costs involved which include, but not limited to, the additional burden placed on other employees while a position is open. In my many years as a manager, I made my share of bad hires. Some of those bad hires after departing left remnants of the toxic environment they had caused in the department. I learned as I grew older and wiser how important it is to take extra time to determine if a candidate fits into the department’s culture.

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