Getting a startup off the ground is no small feat. To make a fledgling business thrive, entrepreneurs need a combination of smarts, ingenuity and risk-assessment abilities. There are a number of challenges that every startup has to overcome within its first few years, but as long you have the right people by your side, these hurdles can be conquered with aplomb.
However, filling each position with the ideal candidate can seem daunting to first-time business owners. While it’s true that you’re always taking risks when bringing new employees aboard, adopting certain hiring practices can prove invaluable in minimizing major problems.
Prioritize Qualification Over Charisma.
Some people are naturally charismatic and have a talent for effortlessly winning others over. In addition to serving them well in a variety of social situations, this quality can also prove useful in job interviews. This is why it’s important for business owners to remember that charisma and qualification are two very different things. While it’s entirely possible for an applicant to be both charismatic and uniquely qualified, you should never make the mistake of confusing one for the other. For example, you’d never want to pass up an applicant with an online MBA in favor of an unqualified applicant with a gift for charm.
However, this isn’t to say that you should overlook a prospective hire’s personality entirely. After all, being a clear speaker, making eye contact and providing satisfactory answers to questions are all important qualities for an applicant to display during an interview. Still, making staffing choices based solely on charm can result in unqualified individuals installed in key roles and negatively impacting the quality of your enterprise’s output.
Be Upfront About What Each Position Entails.
When crafting job descriptions, business owners often make the mistake of being vague. Instead of outlining what a position entails day-to-day, they simply provide applicants with a broad overview of the role. Unsurprisingly, this can result in a flood of unqualified candidates submitting applications. In many cases, the people in charge of writing job descriptions believe they’ve been crystal clear, when, in fact, they’ve been the farthest thing from it. As a result, interviewers and interviewees believe they’re on the same page, when this is actually far from the case. This culminates in people being given jobs for which they are either loosely qualified or outright unqualified. The people given these jobs then feel overwhelmed and embarrassed at work, and the people responsible for hiring them are left wondering what went wrong. To avoid situations like this, be as detailed as possible when composing job descriptions, and make sure each interviewee understands exactly what they’ve applied for.
Considers Hands-On Trial Runs.
As previously discussed, being able to talk your way through an interview isn’t always a solid indicator of competence. If you want to see what a seemingly qualified applicant can do before committing to bring them on full-time, consider implementing trial runs. As the name suggests, this entails allowing applicants to work a job for a predetermined period of time (usually several weeks) before deciding whether they’re qualified to hold the position permanently. If you determine that an applicant isn’t quite what you’re looking for, simply pay them for their time and re-open the position.
Promote Contract Employees.
If your business regularly enlists the aid of contract workers, it may be in your best interest to give some of them a shot at joining the team full-time, especially if salaried positions are available in their respective departments. Since these individuals already have a solid understanding of how your business operates, you won’t have to spend a lot of time helping them get acclimated. Additionally, since they’ve worked for you before, you’ll already know their core strengths and qualifications.
Employees are any startup’s most valuable resource. In addition to handling the bulk of the day-to-day operations, your team members determine the overall quality of work and level of workplace efficiency. That being the case, it behooves you to make smart decisions when staffing your new business. Hiring qualified applicants can lead to long-term productivity and profitability, while unwise staffing choices can result in substandard work and unsatisfied clients. Fortunately, bringing on the right people doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Utilizing the hiring practices discussed above will ensure that you’re well-equipped to tackle the hiring process and come out on top.