When your small business starts to grow, your company will need to expand its workforce. Whether it is your first time hiring new employees or if it is an ongoing process at your startup, there are certain mistakes that startups and small business owners make in particular, when it comes to hiring practices. Here are the three most common hiring mistakes and why you, a small business owner, should avoid them:
Hiring someone you know:
This is the most common mistake that startups make when hiring. While knowing someone on a personal level can give you a sense of comfort- you will not be able to accurately gauge their talents, skills and abilities until you actually work with them. Further if you hire a friend or relative as an employee, you may find it difficult to assert your authority, clearly define their responsibilities as well as ensure that you can evaluate their job performance in an unbiased manner. It may also create tension with those already in your employ. Another related mistake that people make while hiring a person they know, is to make them a partner if they feel that they cannot offer them a proper salary. Remember working with a friend or former colleague might not be worth giving up 50% of your company in exchange for their work. Only take on a partner if you are sure you can double your business as a result of the partnership.
Unclear Job Description:
One of things you might love about a startup environment is that it does not have the rigid structure of the corporate world. While your business and its employees might work in a fast paced ecosystem with several tasks and departments overlapping, for a new hire you will need to clearly define a job role. Writing a clear job description will not only help you find the right candidate but also allow you to clarify what is the position you are trying to fill, what skills the ideal candidate should possess and how they will fit into the larger framework of your organization. An important criteria to keep in mind while formulating the job description is to ensure you only add the skills and experience required and do not go overboard adding every requisite you can think of for that job role.
Rash hiring decisions:
If you are faced with a situation that requires an immediate hire- whether an employee quit unexpectedly or you have acquired new business, do not rush the hiring process. Hiring the first candidate you meet out of desperation or a dislike of the hiring process will definitely land your organization in trouble in the long run. Ensure that you properly vet any potential candidate with pre-screening tests, a face to face interview and an additional interview with another employee at your business. If the candidate requires certain essential, demonstrable skills for the job, be sure to test these out before you meet them as well as at your office to ensure that they have submitted original work that they can do independently. Remember that early hires will play an important role in the progress and success of your business so you cannot afford to be reckless or not give them the time and effort that they require. Keep these mistakes in mind and remember to check yourself during the hiring process. If you feel that you are not close to finding the right candidate, be sure to take a break from the process and evaluate your hiring practices. Read about How to Write a Great Hiring Ad in our earlier post.