Unlike established companies, there’s no room for mistakes when running a small business. Although growing one’s business is everyone’s goal, poor hiring decisions can have a negative impact on your workflow or taint your growing reputation. Here are some hiring mistakes made by small business owners that you should avoid:
- Hiring out of desperation.
According to Heidi Lynne, an International Global Human Resources Consultant, hiring out of desperation is a common mistake. Oftentimes, this causes talent acquisition teams to hire for skills but overlook character. They forget that skills can be improved through training but cultural fit often can’t. There’s also the desperate need for workload to be handled that people who seem like they can probably do the job are often viewed as “good enough for now.” This inevitably leads to more work and resources down the line when tasks have to be redone or workloads taken back after the employee leaves.
- Posting a vague job description.
It’s easy when you’re a small team in a startup environment to expect a new employee to wear a lot of hats. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have one core job description. Not providing a clear description of an employee’s position allows for expectations to be easily misunderstood and lanes of work to feel blurry with other employees. This leads to tension among your team and a fundamental lack of support for your new hire.
- Bypassing the hiring process.
It’s crucial that companies not skip the important hiring steps when evaluating candidates. It’s tedious, but a series of interviews, background checks and reference calls are necessary to to truly get a sense of the candidate’s compatibility and work ethic.
While it may make sense for a small business to hire as few employees as possible, understaffing can lead to burnout and low job satisfaction for current employees. Additionally, as burnout rises, production rates fall, leading to client loss or poor customer reviews. Hiring enough employees may increase your immediate overhead costs, but will save you time and money in the long run.
- Hiring a new version of yourself.
One common mistake small business founders make is hiring someone who to seems be a mini version of themselves. Hiring with that mindset inevitably sets unrealistic expectations for your new employee that they won’t be able to deliver on. Always look for candidates that bring fresh perspectives — they’ll be the ones to help you identify out-of-the-box solutions to your company’s problems.
Hiring is a decision to be taken seriously. Avoiding the above mistakes will give you a leg up the next time you dip your toes in the talent pool.
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