Interviewing 101: For Business Owners
You are a small business owner. You have challenged yourself and risen to the occasion. You have set professional goals and achieved them. As a result, you need to expand your team because your business is expanding.
You have to hire new employees to maximize your performance personally and professionally.
How do you hire a new employee?
The reality is that hiring a new employee is one of the most stressful experiences for the business owner and the possible candidates. It is more stressful for the business owner and hiring committee than the candidate. You have more things to consider and get in order before you decide to formally hire someone.
What can you do?
- Know your company’s pitch
The same way you are determining if the candidate is a “good fit” for your company, so is the candidate. Know your company’s pitch. Be clear about your company’s missions, values, and company culture. Share real examples of your company’s actions to meet their mission. Explain what your company does to ensure employee expectations are met. Be transparent about the challenges a candidate may face in the intended position. People love working with companies that show plans of growth and achievement, so don’t be shy about sharing all the positives that are coming for the company.
- Stress-free Safe Zone
As the business owner, do what you can to eliminate stress. You may miss out on the best candidate because of undue levels of stress. Share the types of questions that will be asked in the interview. Schedule the interview at a time that works best for the candidate. You don’t want a candidate that is stressing because they have to worry about making the interview time amid their other life obligations. Explain the formality of the interview by explaining the expected dress code. Also, share if others will be involved in the interview process. Take the interview out of the interview room by giving a tour of your work space. You can also help remove stress by conducting a short informal phone interview. This allows the candidate to feel like they have an alliance to reach out to, if needed prior to the interview.
- Use effective questioning practices
We have all seen or experienced interviews where the candidate is asked questions like, “what is your greatest weakness?” Truly, what does this answer provide to you as the business owner. If the candidate is smart, these types of questions will never be answered fully or in full truth. Ask questions that are behavioral or situational. Behavioral questions will give you a glimpse into how the candidate will behave in certain situations like teamwork. Situational questions will allow you to see how the candidate may respond in certain situations helping you to see, in theory, their problem-skills in action. Only ask questions that will inform you in some way about the candidate.
- Culture of Change
First, you want to embrace candidates that may have cultural differences. They will provide your company with a wider view on issues. But, do not let candidates of varying backgrounds hinder you from choosing them. Understand that your company will also impact the candidate and they will evolve just like your company. If you see a cultural difference, then it may be wise to ask if the candidate has an issue dealing with a specific task in the position they are applying for. Look for signs that any candidate has the potential to grow with the company.
- Hiring Team
No company runs alone. Involve team members that matter in the hiring process for the specific position. So, the hiring team has to be selected prior to the interview. Only involve the lead team members that may deal directly with the candidate. A hiring team also allows the team to take ownership of the success of the future candidate. The hiring team will feel more vested in ensuring the candidate succeeds upon hire because they were a part of the process and they saw shining points in the candidate that could help the company.
In the hiring process, there are many moving parts that the business owner must have in place to ensure the process is successful. By no means should this process be approached with a laissez-faire approach. Your company is only as strong as its team members. Create an effective team to ensure your company will continue to grow and expand.
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