Hiring people is a very big deal, which is why it is very important to take time when hiring and managing employees. Many companies do not have a permanent human resources department, so in lieu of HR a staffing firm can help. In reality, business owners do not even need HR departments 100% of the time, so depending on how the company works it’s sometimes a viable option to outsource the job as needed.
This is especially true for startups, when hiring the first few employees becomes a tedious process that can make or break the business and could possibly cause issues for the owner or owners. This is also especially true for inexperienced business owners who still have little or no idea on hiring practices.
Here are a few hiring mistakes to avoid, with solutions you may want to consider.
1. Not being involved in hiring people
Not all companies have the luxury of having an HR department or even just one dedicated HR person, but it is still very important to be involved in the hiring process. Even if you get a staffing firm to get employees for you, you really need to be immersed even in the slightest level before making hiring decisions.
You simply cannot allow anyone else to make the decision for you. A staffing firm such as ours can filter the applications and sort them out, but it should always be up to you to decide which people are best fits for the open positions in your company.
The solution? Interview each potential hire by yourself. By seeking the help of a staffing firm, you get down to business immediately and get only the best of the best – grant an interview to the most qualified who make the cut. It is always best to make the judgment call yourself, to see if their skills and personality fit the position and company culture. It is much better for the long run, rather than testing out various people and letting them go once you realize they’re not the best fit.
2. Hiring too soon
Time is of the essence, but there is also such a thing as hiring too soon. This is especially true for startups and smaller companies who are still “young” and in the process of building their business. The reason behind this is because at the birth of a company, there’s usually more money going out than in. This is the reason it is important to get people who bring value to the company – people who offer their skills in correct proportion to the value they are bringing into your business.
What to do? Always evaluate when it is appropriate to hire – until your profits balance out things (meaning it’s more than just breaking even). Once you are actually able to afford paying for additional employees, that’s the perfect time to get new people. You may be asking, how in the world can that happen? Outsource! It’s very affordable to hire temporary staff that are still able to do great at their jobs despite the short-term nature of a position. Once profits skyrocket, you can either choose to retain them and absorb them as permanent employees, or you can be in the lookout for people to fill in the positions on a more permanent basis.
3. Not being immersed enough and making assumptions about various employee aspects
Sometimes, it’s difficult not to make managerial assumptions. It’s easy for people to forget what it’s like to not be in a managerial position, so employee duties and expectations are often overlooked. Unless you are very exposed in what your staff do, you probably do not know their daily situation and routines, and it would be quite unfit to shift people around because you probably think they “might” be able to do other job positions in lieu of hiring new people.
As a solution, make sure to set very clear but realistic expectations from the very beginning. Let your employees, temporary or otherwise, know what to expect and how to be around the workplace.
A few tips to remember:
1. Hire someone not just because of their skills – make sure their interest is there as well. It’s not enough to be just proficient, as they have to be able to be relevantly interested in what they do.
2. Set professional expectations early on. It’s easy to blame employees for uncalled for behavior without realizing you as their boss should also set expectations (skill and behavior) clearly from the start.
3. Lead by example. Set standards by leading your group through example. If you as a boss exude a negative attitude or you are unwilling to work hard, just how much will that compel your employees to not do the same?
The bottom line here is that companies and management should see that people involved are as important as the business itself. For an establishment to be successful and for it to grow, it all starts with the right foundation – hiring the right people who will not only do the job well but will also stick around.
Even without an HR department, this can all be done and done well. If you’re on the lookout for employees but do not know where to start, reach out to us. If your business does not have an HR department, we’d be glad to help you out whether temporarily or for the long run.