Making the wrong hire today can deliver a crushing blow to your organization. Hiring the wrong employees can not only mean a lot of wasted time and resources but can drag down your business by losing critical time advantages, missing valuable opportunities, dragging out your cash flow cycle and even pulling down the productivity of your other employees. This still just scratches the surface or the perils of poor hiring.
So what qualities should you be looking for in truly great employees for your small business?
You wear many hats as a small business owner. Smart entrepreneurs know that leveraging their time effectively and propelling their business to its full potential requires relying on the expertise of others too, instead of trying to be the master of everything. So hire the best IT expert, marketing pro and manager you can and don’t be intimidated by hiring older or more experienced employees, they can often bring the most value.
2. Fast & Willing to Learn
If your budget won’t afford the top talent then the next best move is hiring those who are quick to learn new skills and functions and who are eager to do it. This will also give you fluid employees who can help maintain flexibility in your organization so that you can keep your edge and save time and money in the future, even when pivoting or getting into new niches.
3. Passion for the Business
More important than experience or skill is passion and motivation. With enough of it candidates can far exceed what others with more expertise are achieving. Look for those who live and breathe your industry and who put being a part of something great ahead of a paycheck. They will often stay with you longer, work for less and really care about doing great work.
4. Dependable & Reliable
The whole point of hiring help is for them to take the load off of you. The last thing you need is to have to spend more time chasing up staff and reprimanding them for not completing tasks on time, otherwise you may have well done it yourself in the first place. Not everyone has to be an Einstein. You are the visionary. What you need are great soldiers to carry out the steps to make your vision a reality.
While you certainly must strive to arm your team members with sufficient tools to complete the tasks you delegate them it isn’t always possible the first time around until systems are created for everything. This is when initiative becomes essential. An employee who can go and find the answers and trouble shoot problems themselves can be a far more valuable one. These are the key team players who will constantly strive ways to make things better, without even being asked. Watch out for those who are really ambitious and give them room to grow with you versus letting them be tempted to leave and take your customers.
Loyalty may not be easy to find but once you do reward it loyal employees will have your back when things look grim. They will put in the overtime when it’s needed and they will keep morale up amongst the ranks as you grow.
When screening potential hires look for those who are confident in their abilities and the value they can bring to your enterprise. Not those offering themselves at fire-sale prices. You don’t want to burn resources hiring and training individuals who just need any old job today and who will leave as soon as they find something better. And, of course it never hurts to negotiate a little.