Do’s & Don’t for Small Business Hiring



Small business hiring isn’t always easy. It can be tough to prioritize hiring. Below are some do’s and don’ts to help any small business owner optimize their time and find the right hire with the least amount of effort.

  1. Get clear about what your non-negotiables are BEFORE you place an ad ( or talk to your first candidate).  Its always easier to get what you want if you know WHAT you want.

Start by thinking about the ideal candidate. What personality traits would they have to have to be a success working for your business?  What do they need to do or not do to be a great fit working for their direct supervisor?  The more clear you are about exactly who you are looking for the more precisely you can ask for what you want.

  1. Have a clearly defined job description ready along with an outline of hours, pay, benefits, and perks to working with and for you and your company.

The days are gone when the workforce felt lucky to have a job and the business owner was in control. The younger workforce wants to feel valued, appreciated, well-compensated, and like they are a part of something great.  Know, not only what YOU need, but what’s in it for them ( the new hire). Remember that any job is a two way street. Create a win/win situation and you’ll be surprised how well things will work for everyone involved, including your clients and your business as a whole (happy employees boost profits).

  1. Be brutally honest and transparent in your help wanted ad

There is no action more valuable than telling the truth, the whole truth (even the sticky or not so glamorous parts) and nothing but the truth in your help wanted ad. Don’t candy coat anything!  Pay your potential hires the respect of letting them make an educated decision as to whether you,  your leadership, and your business is a good fit for them. BEFORE you offer them the job or they say yes. This will always save you time in the long run from losing an employee or hiring wrongly because it wasn’t a good fit right from the beginning.

  1. Share the compensation offered in your help wanted ad

Want to thin the heard and eliminate wasted time during the interview process?  Then say, right in the ad how much you can offer as pay/compensation for the job.  Let the chips fall where they may. Better to have only people who are congruent with the pay apply for the job rather than waste a lot of time talking to great candidates who want or need to make more money.

  1. Thin the heard with a group interview at the onset of your interview process

Why share the exact same information with 20 people in one one one interviews when you can save valuable time and narrow the field to people who might actually want the job all in one effort?  Invite“possibles” to a group interview (either in person or virtually) so they canlearn more about the position and the hiring process.

Take 10 minutes to share –

What we do – Who we do it with – What makes us unique/the best

The next 10 minutes share – What the job is, how many positions available, when the job starts, hours, equip mentor skills needed, benefits offered, quotas, training offered, employee or contractor, etc. be brutally honest about what is available.

And then –

Thank everyone for coming and letthem know that you’d like them to think about what they heard and be veryhonest with themselves as they consider if this opportunity is a good fit forthem. Tell them that that you’ll be scheduling 5 minute one on one interviews and ask the people who would still like to be considered for the job to let you know by the end of the day (or the end on an in-person group interview) so you can move things to the next step.

  1. Use the drop a pencil trick

If you are looking for a true team player, someone who will help others then this tip will help you weed out the others right away.

Note: you will need to be in the same physical space sitting close to one another without any barriers between you.

In the middle of your interview drop your pen or pencil. If the person you are interviewing picks it up for you or bends to get it first you know that this is someone who is kind, generous, and will generally help others on the team and help others your business interacts with.


Jennifer Martin is a Business Coach, and the Founder of Zest Business Consulting and the upcoming book, Loving Your Business to Wealth. She helps Small Business Owners, Leaders, and Managers understand how to build a thriving profitable businesses and meaningful personal lives while spreading more love in the world. 

Zest Business Consulting

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