Hiring can seem like a daunting set of tasks for many entrepreneurs. It’s a time-consuming process and can become complicated to manage without the right experience. As the Human Resources Manager here at VEDC, and a consultant for other companies for over 20 years, I know exactly how this feels. But I’m here to help!
I’ve often seen small businesses needing to hire an employee immediately in order to fill a newly vacant position. When thinking about hiring a new employee, entrepreneurs must put on their Objective Hat. Even though owners are passionate about their business and they may find someone who exudes passion about it as well, a good manager will need to consider each candidate’s knowledge, skills, and abilities, and determine how all that data relates to their business.
Before interviewing, here are a few steps owners can take to streamline the conversation:
1. Create a job description
Sit down for a few minutes and think about all the job duties you want to belong to this new position, and write them down. Is it easy to understand? Then you’ve just created a clear job description outlining the knowledge and skills necessary for the position as well as tasks associated with it. Take this with you when you conduct a hiring interview to help compare the candidate with the job.
2. Develop a short questionnaire
Develop a questionnaire with three or four scenario questions about the business. “How would you deal with an unruly customer?” may be an example, or “What would you do if we missed our morning shipment?” In essence, consider common scenarios an employee may encounter and ask the interviewee how they might handle the situation. These are important for understanding the candidate’s ability to think quickly and logically during the hiring process.
3. Be careful what you ask
Some questions are too personal for interviews, and others can actually be illegal. Avoid questions related to race, sexual orientation, religion, age, medical condition, marital status, or disabilities, as these queries could get your business in trouble.
4. Be friendly
If you think it’s hard asking the questions, imagine how nerve-wracking it must be in their seat! Job interviews make people nervous and uncomfortable. You can help them feel at ease by offering them water or coffee when they arrive. Have a friendly chat, and start the conversation with a light topic before you delve into the more pressing questions. The interviewee will feel more relaxed, and you’ll get better answers and a clearer understanding of their real personality.
Practice makes perfect, and you’ll only get better the more you interview. Good luck!
About the Author
Jamie Jackson is the Manager of Human Resources for VEDC, and owner of JXN Consulting, a non-profit management firm in Los Angeles. She has more than 20 years of experience in hiring, management, grant development, fundraising, and human resources. She is passionate about helping non-profit organizations fulfill their purpose and serve their chosen communities. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.