Why Did I Hire That Person in the First Place?

What comes to mind as some of the biggest challenges you face when running a small business?

For those business owners who don’t mention hiring the right folks, imagine the shock and dismay when it turns out they hired someone they would have rather passed over in hindsight.

While hiring workers can be tricky, especially given the limits to which an employer can go in researching one’s background, experience level and social media tendencies, it behooves employers to do their best in knowing who they just hired.

In the event you are planning on doing some hiring in the coming weeks and months, keep these items in mind:

* Qualifications - While this little nugget sounds like a no-brainer, do you truly spend the time necessary checking into your applicant’s experience level? As many employers unfortunately discover, they have not done a sound enough job checking the qualifications of all their hires. As a result, they get some people in their office who were not fit for the job in the first place. When that happens, it can lead to a dismissal, meaning they have to spend additional money and time hiring and training someone. Do your homework the first time around to avoid a revolving door in your office;

* Character - Even though you may have the most qualified individual under your roof, their character may be mediocre at best, therefore leading to potential problems down the road. When you are hiring an individual, their character traits should be high on your list of importance. Look to see how they come prepared to interview, how they interact with you and any other employees they may meet during the interview process, and if they have anything negative to say about former employers;

* Social footprints - Before the Internet, an employer never had to worry about social media and the potential harm it could do to a company. That being said, 2013 is a totally different scenario, as an employee’s social footprints could have negative consequences for your business. Whether or not you have a social media policy at work for your employees doesn’t matter if one or more of them share and tweet through their own social pages. If they post something negative about you, a co-worker or a customer, it can have negative implications for your company. This is why more employers are looking at applicant Facebook, Twitter, Google+ pages and more these days, searching for any early warning signs that the individual could harm their company. If something catches your eye, question the applicant about it, determining whether or not this will be an issue should you bring them on your payroll;

* Goals - Finally, how many times have you or one of your staff asked an applicant where they see themselves three, five, 10 years from now? In retrospect, it is one of the most asked questions an applicant comes across. Given the times show more and more employees moving from job to job, don’t automatically discount an applicant if they won’t or can’t answer that question. It is unrealistic in today’s economy to expect someone to commit to you for more than a few years at best. If you hire a good candidate who likes what your business is doing, treat them well, and give them reason to stay, there is a very good likelihood they will.

So, are you happy with the people you have hired to date?

If not, how will you change things moving forward in 2013?

About the author

Dave Thomas covers a wide array of website subjects, among which include technology, small business, and social media.

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