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Hiring in a small business

One of the ongoing challenges for small business owners is hiring the right people for the job.Experienced small business owners advise that anyone should be careful to hire the best candidate for the job-not merely the most talented job seeker. This can be a difficult process for the small business owner who may be new to hiring or feels pressured to fill positions so that the real work of the company can get under way.But by using some smart and creative hiring strategies small business owners can get the employees they really need.

  • Hire top performers.Often small business owners feel that they cannot attract the top performers.This is a mistake.Many top performers are willing to work for a small company for other reasons than just compensation.Keep in mind that if you are trying to achieve excellent levels of performance in your organization, it is going to be a lot easier if you hire terrific people in the first place. In addition the caliber of people who work for your company will arguably have more impact on the success of your company than any other factor. The easiest way to create a terrific work force is to just hire terrific people in the first place.
  • Ask the right questions. With references from previous employers becoming harder and harder to obtain, you will need to probe any fired or laid off situation as carefully as possible. It is important to try not only to get to the root causes of the issue, but also to gauge the candidate's attitude towards the event. This can give you valuable insight into the character of your potential employee.
  • Keep your hiring legal.You may think common sense is a good enough rule of thumb for keeping hiring legal, but you should think again! All hiring managers should have a basic understanding of the legalities of hiring. It is also important to understand that some of the legal issues are probably not as straightforward as you may think. This applies not just to those who are making a final hiring decision, but to every single person who is interviewing a job candidate. Remember that every hiring situation has its own unique legal concerns and employment law changes quickly with new court decisions. When in doubt be sure to consult with an expert employment attorney before you get into trouble. In the United States federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against any job candidate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical handicap, or age. In some states or localities additional characteristics (such as sexual orientation) may also be prohibited from entering into the hiring equation. Although the actual law can seem straightforward, court interpretations have more narrowly defined what constitutes discriminatory hiring practices. As a generalrule of thumb, job interview questions should focus specifically on the applicant's ability to successfully perform the duties inherent to the position being applied for.
  • Understand the cost of nepotism.In many small businesses when additional employees are needed current employees are used as references.While larger corporations often have bylaws preventing those with family or marriage relationships from working together many small businesses are exempt from this.As the owner of a small business it is important to understand that by hiring someone's sister, friend or wife you are exposing yourself to potential problems should either of the employees become unsuitable for the jobs they were hired for.Often employers find themselves with two jobs to fill, low morale and a high retraining cost when family members of current employees are used to fill positions.While this situation can be beneficial small business owners are urged to consider each situation carefully before filling employee positions with closely related family members.
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