Many SME business owners today are time poor, so it is easy to miss the critical factors that translate into a good choice or right fit and it takes time to figure out what does that mean for you and your business – who would be a right fit OR to answer the question “what am I really looking for in my employees”?

How do I make sure that newcomers get along with my existing employees and become strong team players and will be of value to my business not a hindrance?

Usually speaking, large organisations have their recruitment processes down to a fine art, with access to large dedicated HR departments and external recruitment consultants helping them find the right people. More importantly though they have established, over time, a unique workplace culture and a profile for any potential new employees to fit into.

Not so much for the small or medium sized business owners who have to find time out of their hectic schedule to find their new employees themselves with the resultant process akin to trial and error and a good result often being ‘more good luck than good management’.

No doubt, the importance of finding the right people to help you grow your business is important for all businesses but the wrong choice is felt much keener and quicker in a small business than in a larger organisation.  Also, the ability to deal with tricky people issues that can arise out of making a bad choice is not always within the skill-set of the small or medium sized business owner.

When recruiting for my businesses, apart from the core technical skills or the ability to acquire them, some of the things that I like to determine go to the candidate’s ability to satisfy customers and help move my business forward are:

  • Does this person enjoy working with people?
  • Does she/he understand what ‘putting the customer first’ truly means to me?
  • Is this person interested in having an influence or maximising his/her own impact on the success of my business?
  • Does this person get inspired by the high level performance of others and does he/she aspire to achieve the same level?
  • Is this person capable of making the right choices when it comes to being a key player in my business?

Each business needs to craft out their own set of criteria and when you do you should consider the level of performance you expect from your employees. This will:

  • Provide your new employee with goals to aim for other than simply turning up each day to do what is required as a minimum to fulfil the job title;
  • Allow the candidate to make a clear decision on whether they want ‘this particular job’ or just ‘any job’; and
  • Set a benchmark against which you can address poor performance or recognise expectations if exceeded.

As an employer, if you can demonstrate that you are interested in helping the employee reaching his or her potential you will attract the right employees and this will have positive payback for both your business needs and the future of your employees within it.

So, in summary, owners of small and medium sized business should develop a recruitment process which is well-thought out, tailored to the business needs, demonstrates your commitment to valuing your employees and has at its core a clear understanding that the people you bring into your business will have a marked impact on its success or lack of success.

If you would like to get some help with your recruiting, give me a call, I am happy to share my tips of the trade and teach you what I know.

  • Engine Room Hub

    Angie Mardon is the founder of Engine Room Hub and a serial entrepreneur. She is a long-time champion for the vital SME community and entrepreneurs who keep our economy vibrant. Though not officially a business coach she regularly shares her know-how and expertise by mentoring business owners and helping them get started in business.