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10 Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners

As a successful small business owner,you're accustomed to long hours; non-existent holidays and weekends spent working.

When was the last time you went to your dentist? When was the last time you had an uninterrupted night out with your partner?

Whether your goal for 2005 is to find more time for family or personal enrichment --like attending classes and conferences -- you'll want to consider bringing on some help.

The following tips can help you get started whether you want to bring on a team of 10 or an occasional backup!

Don't expect to hire a replica of you! Each person you meet and interview will be a living, breathing human, with their own habits, mannerisms and even ideas! This is fine - -as long as their ideas and habits are not philosophically opposed to yours. My first hire, Jen, was pursuing a graduate degree, had just moved to the area and is nearly 20 years younger than I am! She's detail-oriented and relies on schedules to get things done. I'm a bit more 'seat of my pants' type of operator. She's a perfect fit because she complements my way of working! Over time she's grown into managing portions of my business that I neglected - like maintaining scheduling and billing.

Know exactly what you expect from your new hire. Before you advertise for help, sit down and write a job description. List your goals for the new hire - do you want someone who can fill in on short notice when you need to take a day off, or do you want someone who can work a regular schedule? Do you want someone who can meet with clients, set their own schedules and attend meetings and events on your behalf or do you simply need someone who can pick up your overflow? By spending time working through your thoughts on hired help you are setting yourself up for a great working relationship. If you can clearly articulate the job to all applicants, they will have the opportunity to determine if this is a mutually agreeable fit. Be sure to concentrate on specific job-related descriptions, and not subjective information.

Determine what type of manager you are! It's imperative that you're honest about your workstyle. After all, if you say you want an independent thinker, but really do a lot of 'checking-in' you may end up with an unhappy helper. On the other hand, if you hire someone who needs lots of feedback, you need to be sure that you are cut-out for the 'people part' of the management process.

Set aside time. If you expect to hire someone by the 15th of next month you may be setting yourself up for failure. Just as you can't expect to find a perfect replica of you - you can't always put a deadline on your hiring process. In other words, plan to advertise, interview and train until you find the RIGHT person. (SECRET TIP: If you find the right person - Hire them right away and then find work for them! Never pass up a great hire!)

Ask your insurance carrier about your responsibility for insuring your team members. Whether you hire Independent Consultant's or Employees is a topic for another article, however, you need to make certain that your company is covered.

Determine your time-off policy. Just like you, your team members will need time off - whether to recover from the flu or just to re- charge. How will you handle these absences?

Create a disciplinary and review process. Whether you need to tackle issues of poor performance, or chronic absenteeism -- have a policy in place before you bring on your first team member. Questions to address in this process include: How many emergency absences are acceptable in a given time period? How will you deal with customer complaints and concerns? How will you reward outstanding performance? What format will you use to communicate with your team?

Find a reputable company for conducting background checks. If your company's product or service requires your employees to access clients' homes, children or possessions do not overlook the importance of conducting a background check. You can search on the web, ask your insurance provider, or talk to your local police authorities for recommendations on companies to conduct this check for you. In each instance, you will need the applicant's signature and understanding that you will have a third party conduct a background check as a condition of employment.

Create a Fact Sheet for Applicants that you can provide along with an application to interested candidates. This sheet should cover your basic job description, expectations and hiring process.

Create your training program. Whether a detailed manual or one-on-one training for a specified period of time - make sure you have a written outline. Your training program should include all aspects of the job you expect your new hire to complete. Many misunderstandings and frustrations occur simply because a new hire didn't understand the expectations of the boss.

By following these tips, you are well on your way to a happy and productive working relationship with all your new help!

Small Business Success Coach, Peggie Arvidson-Dailey, is the author of "How to be a Client Attraction Guru" and the creator of the Pet-Care Business Success System?. To learn more about this step-by-step program for making your pet-care business stand out from the crowd, and to sign up for FREE how-to articles and FREE teleclasses, visit http://www.peggiespets.com

In The News:

NASA launched a spacecraft Tuesday night on a mission to smash into an asteroid and test whether it would be possible to knock a space rock off course if one were to threaten Earth. The DART spacecraft, short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The federal government is embarking on a new attempt to explain the unexplainable.
NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, the world's first planetary defense test mission, is scheduled to launch early Wednesday morning.
The historic November 2021 partial lunar eclipse stunned viewers around the world on Thursday night.
A partial lunar eclipse will take place on Thursday night and into early Friday.
A prosthetic-tailed dolphin named Winter that starred in the "Dolphin Tale" movies died Thursday evening at a Florida aquarium despite life-saving efforts to treat a gastrointestinal abnormality, aquarium officials said.
Four astronauts returned to Earth on Monday, riding home with SpaceX to end a 200-day space station mission that began last spring.
If you don’t want to believe tech companies at face value, take your privacy into your own hands
A U.S. survey of astronomers puts the search for extraterrestrial life at the top of their to-do list for the next 10 years.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Hubble Space Telescope is in safe mode yet again.
Climate change may impact the production of corn (maize) and wheat as early as 2030, according to NASA researchers.
Humans introduced a new life form to outer space on Friday as NASA astronauts harvested the first ever chile peppers onboard the International Space Station.
The Northern Lights may be visible just in time for Halloween.
On Thursday, the sun released a significant solar flare toward Earth, peaking at 11:35 a.m. EDT, scientists say.
A good cleaning goes well beyond just the screen. If that’s all you’re focused on, you’re making an expensive mistake that could take years off your TV’s life.
The scale presented contains seven levels that NASA said are "reflective of the winding, complicated staircase of steps that would lead to scientists declaring they’ve found life beyond Earth."
The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance announced Thursday that two female critically endangered California condors had successfully hatched eggs without the help of male condors.
NASA is now targeting February 2022 for the launch of its powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
The U.S. military launched three suborbital rockets this week from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
As cooler temperatures move over the eastern U.S., the West is forecast to see heavy rain and mountain snow, including what's known as a "bomb cyclone" near the Northwest.

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