Simplified for Small Businesses: The Hiring Process Checklist

When you’re a small business owner, one of your most important decisions is how to approach hiring a new employee. You want to hire someone who will be efficient and engaged in completing their responsibilities — but you also want someone who will be easy to work with. How do you choose the right person?

Read on to learn about a hiring process checklist that will help you make the right decision!

Make Sure Your Job Description is Thorough and Accurate

Writing a job description is a key starting point when you’re looking to hire an employee. When you’re writing one, you need to be clear and thorough — and you don’t want to mislead. If you have a human resources coordinator, work with them to determine how to craft the best description and where you should post it for the best visibility.

With your job description, you’ll also want to use a compelling headline to attract the best candidates. Be sure to research the common keywords used to advertise for similar positions so you can catch a jobseeker when they’re scrolling through listings online. A good job description also helps any coworkers involved in the interview process understand the goals of the hiring process.

Looking at Resumes Always is Part of a Hiring Process Checklist

While you may ask an applicant to submit both a resume and cover letter, the resume is the more concise document that will tell you about an applicant’s skillsets quickly. Before you begin reading resumes, be sure that you are aware of what you’re looking for. Know what kinds of educational credentials are necessary for the job, and take notes on any particular job, internship, or volunteer experiences that stand out to you.

Is the applicant’s resume professional and free of obvious grammatical or formatting mistakes? Are there any mysterious gaps in employment? Understand your priorities in a candidate, and make cuts based on criteria and a hiring policy that you’ve set up in advance.

Prepare for the Interview

It’s not just the job applicant who needs to prepare for an interview — it’s also the person conducting the interview. You’ll make a poor impression on a job candidate if you don’t have your questions lined up and answers ready. And if you find an ideal candidate during an interview, you need to court them as much as they’re courting you.

Another area where it’s critical to be clear is your proposal for the salary and benefits. You need to be able to give an applicant a clear picture of income potential so they can decide if the position meets their needs. If you look into payroll outsourcing for your organization, you can assure a new employee that they will be paid on time every pay period!

Take Notes and Assign Responsibilities

It’s a good idea to enter the hiring process with a few people at your side to help make an informed decision. Two perspectives are better than one, and you could go a step further and involve a committee of people to interview the candidate.

Delegate responsibilities when there’s more than one person involved in the interview process. You’ll save time and ensure that the process is more organized and fair. Take notes at all phases of the process, and assign someone to type them up and distribute them to all people involved.

Conduct a Background Check of Your Prospective Employee

In a perfect world, every job applicant would be honest about their credentials and history. But far too often, that is not the case. In fact, 78% of people lie during the application process or would consider doing so.

The best way to push back against this tendency is by conducting a background check. This can include testing for illegal substances or checking arrest records. It also can include calling references or even doing a social security check.

The extent to which you dive into an employee’s background is up to you, but it’s a good practice to confirm that the candidate you interviewed was honest about what they bring to the table. Be sure to ask references what the candidate was like to work with, as well as what their weaknesses and strengths are.

Introduce Your Employee to Everyone at the Workplace

If your goal is to retain a good employee, it’s critical that they feel welcome in the workplace. Make a point of taking them on a tour so that they can meet people in the organization. You want your new team member to feel like they’re part of a team — and know the people they’ll be working with.

And don’t delay in completing this step. Abandoning a new employee in the first few days or weeks won’t help them perform their job well. And it may mean that they’ll start looking at job postings again.

Set up their desk area or locker for them, and talk with your IT team to make certain that your new employee has access to your organization’s email, a laptop, and any other materials they will need to hit the ground running. And if there’s an orientation process, talk with your employee so they know what it covers and when they’ll need to attend.

Hire the Best Person for the Job

When it comes to adding a new employee to your workplace, it’s worth taking the time to create and complete a hiring process checklist. There are a lot of details to balance, and often some tough decisions to make. Position yourself so that you’re prepared, confident, and able to find the right candidate.

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