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How To Hire Rock Star Employees


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By Brian Sutter, Director of Marketing, Wasp Barcode Technologies

The definition of a rock star is a celebrity in any field or profession who is highly admired. While most people think of a musician when they hear that word, small business owners should be able to think about their employees as rock stars too. Hiring someone who will be “highly admired” in the workplace is the ultimate goal when filling any type of position.

In a 2015 small business survey, 42% of small business owners identified hiring new talent as their biggest challenge. Employees are a big investment for any business. The team of people hired will become brand ambassadors. Co-workers will team together to create a workplace culture and depending on who those specific individuals are, that culture could be positive or negative. This is why hiring the right people is so important and also why it is such a big challenge.

Rock Star Recruitment.

The first step for anyone ready to hire an employee is to get organized. Figure out what skills and qualifications will be required. It will also be important to know what schedule the employee will work as well as benefits that will be offered. Put all of these elements together and write a detailed job description. Clearing up any “grey area” ahead of time is crucial to finding the right fit.

Press Pass.

Interviews are what market a rock star in a positive or negative light. Even a short interview can tell a lot about a person. Pay close attention to all answers and even the tone of their voice. Are they enthusiastic and confidant? Do they answer experience related questions in an intelligent and knowledgeable manner? The Small Business Playbook says: “By just asking a few questions and listening to them speak, you can get an idea if this is a person you can possibly see working for you.”

Sound Check.

Once the interview process is complete and the pile of candidates has been narrowed down, it’s time to do some research. The sound check is a very unglamorous job but if this step is skipped the rest of the set-up was a waste. Find out what references and former supervisors think about your potential candidate? Did they leave their previous jobs on good terms? Were they on time and did they get along with co-workers? Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions.

Backstage Pass.

After many interviews and reference calls the search is over and the future rock star has been invited backstage with the band, so to speak. They weren’t selected to join the team just by accident. Now that the new hire is officially on board the work isn’t really over. It’s important to start out with a well thought out and detailed training program with clear expectations. This immediately sets them up for success. Make sure co-workers are supportive and help them settle into company culture. Watch their attendance and job performance and meet with them to discuss their performance.

By doing your due diligence and not skipping a step, the newest member of the team has been selected, interviewed, recommended by references, hired, trained and then trusted to be part of the team. This is important; the cost of turnover for a small business with less than 64 employees is around $8,000. While it is not always this easy to hire an amazing, rock star, employee, it is never a waste to put time into one of the company’s largest investments.



Brain Sutter serves as Wasp Barcode Technologies’ director of marketing, where he sets the strategic direction and oversees the tactical execution of the company’s marketing programs.

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