Finding the Right Person for Your Small Business

By Marc Bishop, Sharon Crooks

Part of HR for Small Business For Dummies Cheat Sheet, UK Edition

Unless you’ve got the perfectly qualified neighbour’s son hovering around waiting for you to offer him a job inyour small business, you’ll need to get the word out that you’re recruiting. Follow these tips for finding the right person who will fit the needs of your business:

  • Use your own network – ask friends, family, suppliers and neighbours if they know anyone who’s looking. Don’t forget to give them the job description and person specification to avoid embarrassment when you have to turn down a friend of a friend who doesn’t fit the bill.

  • Advertise. Depending on the job and your budget, you can use the job centre, on line job boards, local shops or national newspapers.

  • Make a short list of the candidates who look best on paper. Put the others out of their misery quickly by letting them know they’ve been unsuccessful.

  • Decide how you’re going to select the right candidate. Use the selection tool that works best for your business – you can use telephone or face to face interviews and ask candidates to make a presentation, fix an engine fault or serve a cappuccino.

  • Put in another step if you’re not sure after the first round. If you need a second opinion, ask someone who knows you and your business really well to talk to your preferred candidate and check them out.

  • Don’t forget that the selection process is a two way street, so you’ve got to make the job attractive for the candidate:

    • If money is tight and you can’t afford to pay as much as the candidate is asking for, find out what makes the person tick and offer something else, like a flexible starting time or an early finish on Fridays.

    • If the candidate is ambitious, talk up your growth plans, and if they want security, give them reassurance that the business is solid.

Now you’re ready to make a job offer.