If your business will be large enough to require outside help, an important responsibility will be personnel selection and training of one or more employees. You may start out with family members or business partners to help you. But if the business grows – as you hope it will – the time will come when you must select and train personnel.
Careful choice of personnel is essential. To select the right employees determine beforehand what you want each one to do.
Then look for applicants to fill these particular needs. In a small business you will need flexible employees who can shift from task to task as required. Include this in the description of the jobs you wish to fill. At the same time, look ahead and plan your hiring to assure an organization of individuals capable of performing every essential function. In a retail store, a salesperson may also do stock keeping or bookkeeping at the outset, but as the business grows you will need sales people, stock keepers and bookkeepers.
Once the job descriptions are written, line up applicants from whom to make a selection. Do not be swayed by customers who may suggest relatives. If the applicant does not succeed, you may lose a customer as well as an employee.
Some sources of possible new employees are:
1. Recommendations by friends, business acquaintances.
2. Employment agencies.
3. Placement bureaus of high schools, business schools, and colleges.
4. Trade and industrial associations.
5. Help-wanted ads in local newspapers.
6. local internet job sites
Your next task is to screen want ad responses and/or application forms sent by employment agencies. Some applicants will be eliminated sight unseen. For each of the others, the application form or letter will serve as a basis for the interview that should be conducted in private. Put the applicant at ease by describing your business in general and the job in particular. Once you have done this, encourage the applicant to talk. Selecting the right person is extremely important. Ask your questions carefully to find out everything about the applicant that is pertinent to the job.
References are a must, and should be checked before making a final decision. Check through a personal visit or a phone call directly to the applicant’s immediate former supervisor, if possible. Verify that the information given you is correct. Consider, with judgment, any negative comments you hear and what is not said.
Checking references can bring to light significant information that may save you money and future inconvenience.