For local business owners, hiring is a very personal and often daunting thought. Your business is everything to you, so trusting someone else with the keys is a big stinking deal. Each new employee also has a significant potential for impacting your company’s culture and work atmosphere, as they represent a large percentage of your workforce.
Pros and Cons – Hiring Advice for a Business Like Yours
- You get to skip the red tape. Unlike large corporations that have massive Human Resources teams and stacks of policies and procedures to slow down the hiring process, you make your own rules. Don’t get us wrong – you still need to hire fairly, according to the law.*
- It can give you a breather if you need one. Hiring an employee (especially if this is your first time doing so) will do wonders for your time management. If you can find someone qualified, they can take some of the everyday workload off your plate, allowing you to focus on the big picture – running your business.
- You can offer flexibility the big guys can’t. With a potentially smaller operation, you can typically be more flexible and understanding of your employees’ needs. There’s a little less bureaucracy around work schedules, who gets those coveted overtime shifts, etc.
- It’s not cheap. It actually costs a lot to hire a new employee. U.S. Berkeley estimates an average expense of $4,000, beyond salary and wages for a new team member. More professional or managerial employees can cost closer to $7,000. (This takes into account recruiting, training and any added insurance costs.)
- You’ve got to consider benefits and other perks. Do you want to provide them, and can you afford to? What kinds? Again, this gets awfully costly (though it can do great things for your employee retention if you can make it happen).
- More money, more problems. Hiring an employee involves paying part of the employee’s Social Security contributions and withholding federal, state and local taxes.
Okay, so you’ve decided you need the help. Hire away!
Six Pieces of Hiring Advice to Keep in Mind
1. Be picky.
You don’t have to turn your nose up at every candidate who walks through your door. Instead, ensure unqualified candidates don’t even make it into your pile of resumes. You can do this by being overly clear about what you want when you compose a job description. Don’t just include day-to-day tasks, incorporate required skills that support the daily work. Is being bilingual more than a nice-to-have? Say so!
2. Post the job where potential successful candidates hang out.
Aside from popular job posting sites like indeed.com and ziprecruiter.com, get creative. Go where your potential staff is, whether that’s LinkedIn, Facebook or in-person events such as trade shows and networking events.
3. Make working for you sound easy.
No, no, the job itself doesn’t have to be easy. But the experience of working for you should sound like a dream come true. Consider offering flexible work hours to meet your new hire’s family schedule, as long as they can get the work done of course. Communicate the culture of your workplace clearly, including what’s most important to your business, how you interact with customers and the image you want your business to portray locally.
4. It’s a two-way street.
Sure, candidates should arrive at interviews putting their best foot forward. But that goes for you, too. The highest quality talent is interviewing you too, as they likely have more than one opportunity on the table. That means show up on time, be polite and professional and be overly attentive during the interview – no cell phones, no distractions.
5. Keep your ears open.
Maybe you’ve already filled the role, and you like your new employee just fine. Don’t stop the hiring process there. Keep your ears open and eyes peeled for more talent, as turnover can come when you least expect it.
6. Don’t stop there.
Once you’ve got a new hire on board, offer training on even the things that seem intuitive. By onboarding your new team member with in-depth training and continued support, you’ll establish trust. Keep lines of communication open, and touch base regularly.
*One Final Note: CYA (Cover Your…Backside)
Before you heed our hiring advice and hire anyone, you need a solid understanding of state and federal labor laws. Here are some big hitters, though this is definitely not an all-inclusive list. Find one of those from the U.S. Department of Labor. State labor laws also vary. Check yours before making any hiring inquiries or offers.
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
- The Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) basic requirements are:
- Payment of the minimum wage
- Overtime pay for time worked over 40 hours in a workweek
- Restrictions on the employment of children
- The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADA Amendments Act” or “Act”) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
Already have a couple of stellar employees? That should mean you’ve gotten some time back to run your business. Lessen the load even more by taking a look at Thryv, our all-in-one business management software. You can even give your employees access to the system, giving you access to that vacation you’ve been wanting to plan for years. Let’s get started.