Hire Smart (or How Not to Spend Your Holiday Weekend Reading 175 Resumes)

by Jennifer Goforth Gregory on April 1, 2013
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When most small-business owners decide that it’s time to hire an employee or two, their work is typically piled up and their to-do list is often a mile long.

The Intuit Small Business Blog recently talked with Leslie Barber (pictured) — former owner of prenatal nutrition company NutraBella and current group marketing manager of employee management solutions at Intuit — about smart ways to hire people.

ISBB: What surprised you the most about hiring as a small-business owner?

Barber: I was surprised at how challenging it is to find and hire the right employees. I tried placing an ad on Craigslist and was overwhelmed by the number of resumes that I received. I spent my entire Thanksgiving weekend reading 175 resumes!

I also had no idea how time consuming the hiring process is for a small-business owner. You still have to run your business, and you have no one to help you until you hire someone. It is just really hard to figure out what exactly you need in an employee and how to find that person. As a small-business owner, you “don’t know what you don’t know” and have very little time to research new ways.

What was your biggest hiring challenge?

When my business partner and I decided after two years together that we needed to add a third person to the company, we found it very hard to find the right fit, because three people is just a hard number. We went through multiple candidates who didn’t fit our needs for a variety of reasons and ultimately decided to hire two new people to help with the dynamics. We found that going from two people to four was much easier than from two to three.

How did you solve the problem of finding qualified applicants?

You know, I never really figured out a better way to hire people for my small business. I tried many different approaches, but I never seemed to find a solution that worked for me.

What have you learned about hiring since joining Intuit?

When I joined Intuit last fall, I learned that there are services to help small businesses with all aspects of hiring. I also really wish that when I was running my business I’d been able to attend an event like the upcoming Hire Smart conference.

Hiring is such a huge and exciting milestone in the life of a small business. But there is a lot of emotion that goes with hiring, such as elation, fear, anxiety, and joy. The conference will help small businesses simplify the process and hopefully take some anxiety out of hiring.

I am really jazzed for all of the small-business owners who will be attending the conference. To have the opportunity to not only learn how to hire people, but also how to protect yourself and your business is just plain awesome.

The Hire Smart Small Business Event will be hosted by Intuit and LinkedIn on Sat., April 27 at Intuit’s Mountain View, Calif. campus as well as streamed live online. Admission is free. Click here to register.

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