Hiring smart


Bringing a new employee into your small business may be one of your biggest investments. Aside from the obvious additional costs in salary, benefits and equipment, that new recruit could either drive your business up or bring it down.

To help you hire smart, follow these suggestions when interviewing a job candidate:

– Prepare your questions. “Winging it” and going on a “gut feel” is dangerous during a job interview because you might be charmed by an applicant who really isn’t qualified. Instead, prepare a simple page of detailed questions you want answered based on their resume and the requirements of the job.

– Form an interview panel. One-on-one interviews are difficult because you must base your hiring decision on your personal assessment of the candidate. Bring in one or two other people from your team and assign them some questions to ask the applicant. If you are a company of just one, ask a colleague or even a family member to participate in your interview panel.

– Give a test. One of the best ways to assess a potential employee’s mettle is to test them using a real-life work example. For instance, if the job in question involves generating media publicity for your business, ask the applicant to go home and write a one-page media release. Or, ask them to send you three ideas to grow your business or improve operations.

Given the risks of hiring poorly, it’s always worth preparing for a good interview to ensure you hire only the best person for the job.