Team Talk: The Smart Financials of Investing in Your People

(A Four-Part Series)

Part I: Attracting and Hiring the Right Talent

For the entrepreneur, salaries may be your biggest expense, and there is a lot at stake. Ideally, your team members will be “brand ambassadors” – representing your company well, doing their jobs effectively and efficiently, and staying with you for the long term.

For any small business owner who has been super-focused on getting an idea off the ground, this may leave you scratching your head. How do you decide who to hire? How do you find the people you need? How much should you pay?

Here are some “people pointers” toward building your fiscally fit organization:

  1. To save time and effort, make sure you have a clear profile of the talent you are looking for. Think about the skills and experience level you need to achieve your day-to-day and long-term goals in order to create a very specific job description. Scour online recruiting websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed to find similar businesses and positions for ideas.
  2. Consider the soft skills too! A great fit for your open position is not just about functional abilities. Make sure to evaluate a candidate’s other strengths during the hiring process. Do you need a friendly, customer-facing extrovert? Are you looking for someone who is comfortable coaching you when you need advice? Do you need someone who is “by the book” or more creative?
  3. To maximize effective teamwork and staff loyalty, pay for good people. This may be hard to swallow when your business is just starting to take root and money is tight, but it is critically important. The right talent, paid the right amount, will deliver the right results. Again, use online sources when possible to determine the market rate in your area for the experience you’re looking for. Also, remember that a total compensation package may include a share in your business’s success, great insurance or training options, or a flexible work schedule. Be creative in your approach! Pssst….Just a reminder — don’t forget to pay yourself a reasonable wage too!
  4. Network, network, network to find and vet your candidates. Great people are out there looking for their next great opportunity. Use the people you know to find them. Circulate your job description online, among people in your industry and within your social circles. Think about larger companies that may have recently downsized or relocated for a pool of talent. It even pays to speak with some of your best customers for candidate referrals. Once you start interviewing, make sure you solicit diverse opinions of a potential new hire. If your organization is large enough, ask at least two other trusted team members who know your culture and your business to conduct an interview. If you’re just hiring your first employees, talk to a close business associate or mentor to run through your pros and cons. Finally, make sure to check references. The best employee relationships start with an honest understanding of a candidate’s skills, experience, any development needs, and long-term goals.

Investing time (and yes money) in bringing in good people will help you reap the financial benefits of satisfied and productive employees in the long run.

Upcoming Team Talk topics:

  • Part II: When is the Right Time to Hire?
  • Part III: Investing in Your Employees to Grow Your Business and Enhance Loyalty (i.e., training, new benefits, open feedback, and career paths)
  • Part III: Minimizing the Cost of Employee Turnover (documenting job processes, building strong teams to pick up the slack, learning from attrition)

1 Comments

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