1. Search for the best candidate. Of course, this is easier said than done, but some basic principles should serve you well. Emphasize experience, intellect and the ability to work in a team environment. Someone who has the exact skill level you need and has done the same job, or worked in a comparable position, has a decided edge.
2. Go outside the usual pool. Do not limit your search to candidates who respond to postings. Establishing a robust social media presence can lead to new hires. Also, develop relationships with college placement officers, recruiters and executive search firms. Mingle with others in the industry to help build a candidate pool before you actually need it.
3. Look in-house. One common mistake small business owners often make is ignoring the talent that is already at the company. Is someone in your organization deserving of a chance to prove what they can do? Not only does this boost employee morale, you may benefit from having an employee who already knows the ropes.
4. Hone your reputation. There is something to be said for being widely-known as a good employer. For instance, you might benefit from employment practices such as high retention, extra rewards, participation in various activities and flexibility in balancing life and work. You will not have to find employees—they will find you.
5. Utilize current employees. You can involve employees in the hiring process in several ways. For instance, you might seek recommendations from them, have them assist with reviews of qualifications and contribute to interview sessions. And, if you are known as a good employer (see #4), the job candidates will get the message.
6. Offer an attractive package. The old saying, “you get what you pay for” often holds true. Thus, the prospective compensation should include a competitive salary plus valuable fringe benefits. At the very least, candidates will likely desire adequate health insurance coverage, retirement plan options and paid leaves, even when the employer is not legally required to provide them.
7. Recruit through your website. Your website is your company’s calling card in many respects. Not only does it update visitors on new developments, it may be used for recruiting employees who share similar values and/or interests. Create an employment section describing any available positions. Include information about the kind of people you want to be working for your company.
8. Do your homework. Make sure you carefully check references of candidates who are in serious contention. If you uncover problems, it could avoid a potential catastrophe later on. In the same vein, if you are on the verge of hiring someone, do background checks to the extent it is allowed by law.
Finally, do not be pressured into making a decision before you are ready. Take the time to “get it right.”