By Dr. Richard Weinberger
A key to small business success is finding and hiring “perfect” employees—people who exemplify the ideals of your business and become long-term, loyal workers. Paying attention to these 10 key factors will help you identify and hire top-notch employees:
1. Good fit—Your best employees need to have skills that are a good fit for their jobs. You can determine if a candidate possesses the right skills through open-ended questions, written questionnaires, problem-solving exercises, take-home assignments and other challenges that test a person’s ability to perform a specific job. If an employee is unable to do the job they were hired to do, it will reflect poorly on everyone involved in the hiring process and, most important, your business will be negatively affected. Hiring top performers will help lay the foundation for long-term business success.
2. Integrity and work ethic—Hire honest people who have high integrity. Years of building a business’s good reputation can be destroyed overnight due to a dishonest or unethical employee, especially in the age of online reviews. Additionally, employees should have a strong work ethic that can influence and enhance the work ethic of others. Integrity and a strong work ethic complement each other in the workplace.
3. Motivation—Employees should be motivated beyond just receiving a paycheck to do the best job they can. They should have drive, an interest in the position and the company, and be willing to perform above and beyond their job description. There are a variety of methods you can use to motivate employees, but each employee must also have a certain amount of inherent motivation.
4. Talent—It is important to identify and recruit talented employees who possess a natural ability to think through complex and evolving situations while on the job. They are often the ones who come up with innovative ways to improve job performance. Learn to rely on talented employees to help move your business forward. Few successful businesses are “one-man” operations.
5. High performance—Good employees should be high performers for the tasks assigned. They push themselves and others to work at peak performance and, in turn, deliver high-quality products and services to customers. High performers also can be an inspiration to other employees to reach higher personal and business goals.
6. Initiative—Since it it can be difficult for a small business to micromanage each employee, you should strive to hire employees who can think and work independently. Employees who require constant supervision, guidance and monitoring impede production and efficiency.
7. Follow the rules—Good employees follow the rules of acceptable behavior with managers, coworkers, and customers. Employees who do not follow the rules can “poison” other employees into imitating the same bad behavior. Businesses should not tolerate employees who consistently show up late, do low-quality work or treat customers poorly.
8. Fits the culture—It’s important to find employees who fit the culture and vision that your business has created. During a job interview, ask a candidate pertinent questions that will give you a true picture of their personality. A bad fit today will cause problems tomorrow; a good fit today will help propel your small business into the future.
9. Works well with others—Your small business should have a well-functioning team of employees. Dissatisfied and unhappy workers lower everyone’s morale and performance. During the interview process, try to determine if a potential new employee will get along with others, be a team player and pitch in when needed—even if the task is not in their job description.
10. Advocate for the business—Employees should be goodwill ambassadors for your company. The enthusiasm of excited employees will rub off on both other employees and customers. Passionate employees enjoy their jobs and spread their passion to others.
Your Perfect Employee
Top performers will help lay the foundation for long-term business success. Hire the best by avoiding recruiting pitfalls.
And once you find the right employee for your business, be sure not to lose them! Read The Secret to Retaining Your Best Employees.
Read all of Dr. Richard Weinberger’s articles on AllBusiness.com.
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