Hire Away

So you've decided to hire...Now what?

Your employees are critical to your success, but… Where do you look? How much will you pay employees? What interview questions do you ask? These resources will help you with the first steps toward hiring great people.

Finding a good employee

Finding help is easy when you know where to look.

It can be as simple as hanging a "Help Wanted" sign in your store window, asking your friends (or even customers) whether they want a job, or finding someone online.

Popular sites like craigslist.org list lots of job seekers, and charge under $100 to post a job listing (which is usually the cheapest game in town).

Get a jumpstart on your employee search with the Job Listing Template and Sample Job Application in the Resources section. Check out the great advice from other business owners like yourself on the Hiring Forum at Intuit Community.

Determining how much to pay an employee

Before you pay an employee, there are a few things you need to consider.

For example, many states have minimum wage requirements which are higher than the federally mandated amount. Consult State Employer Websites for more details.

Need more personalized advice? Check out the Association of Small Business Centers (SBDCs) for customized, local help. The SBDCs, funded in part by the Small Business Administration, provide free one-on-one counseling and low-cost training classes on a range of topics, including hiring and managing employees. They have years of experience working with small businesses and over 1000 centers nationwide.

Find your Local SBDC here

Writing effective job postings

You can easily find the help you need with a well-written job posting.

Before you write the posting, think about what you want the person to do, how much of their time you'll need, and what skills are required to do the job. A good job posting is specific and informative.

Be sure to include the basics like the job title, company name, location, whether it's a full-time or part-time position, and job responsibilities and requirements. It's also a good idea to provide a brief description of your company (what you do, type of work environment, etc.). Try to detail what the person will actually do and what specific role he or she will play within the company. Provide information about what you are looking for in a candidate. If your job opening requires specific skills, education, certification, or experience, make sure to clearly state them. You also may want to consider including information about the pay. The more detailed your job posting, the more likely you are to make the right hire quickly.

Finally, tell the candidate how to apply for the job. Should they send an email or a fax, call you, come by your place of business, or go to a website? Don't forget to include your contact information and check for misspellings. Take a look at the Sample Job Application in the Resources section to get an idea of what to include.

Interviewing and screening job applicants

Choosing the right person for the job.

First things first. In order to pick the best person for the job, before the interview you need to have a clear idea of what you are looking for. Use your job description to help you identify the skills and the type of person you want.

With this information, you'll be able to ask the right questions to determine if the person is right for the job.

Get all of the information you need from the interview. Begin with general questions and then ask more specific situational questions. These behavioral questions will give you an idea of how the person will act on the job.

Certain questions are off limits when you are interviewing (e.g., religion, marital status, or other personal information). As a general rule, only ask questions that are relevant to understanding if the candidate can do the job.

During the interview you should also take notes and not rely on your memory to remember everything. Also, don't ignore your gut feelings. How did you feel about the person? What was their body language like?

And finally, at the end of the interview, dont leave candidates hanging. Explain next steps and let them know when they can expect to hear from you.

Visit the Hiring Forum at Intuit Community to discuss interviewing tips with other business owners like yourself.

Pre-employment Background Checks to Reduce Risk

Over 80% of all companies conduct some kind of background check, usually including checks for criminal records, references and past employment and education verification.

You know you should…but you're too busy to research the practical and legal details of background checking. But now you're growing. Maybe you've heard a rumor that a current employee isn't as clean as you hoped. Or your insurance company is penalizing you for drivers with poor driving records.

Background checks are easier, faster, and less expensive than you think. Small businesses generally find the inspiration for beginning background checks for one of the following reasons:

  • The need to meet a customer's requirements
  • Recovering from a bad experience with a current employee, or a similar situation experienced by a peer
  • The desire to reduce risk, liability and associated costs

If you're ready to help protect all you've worked for, learn more here.

So easy, you can confidently focus on running your business