The perspective of your small firm when it comes to hiring is vastly different from that of medium and large companies. One person represents a large percentage of your total staff – not only in terms of work responsibilities of the position but for employment costs including overhead and benefits. This means that a new hire is a significant investment in your firm and an event not to be taken lightly.
Start with your vision for the role to be filled – what functions of your business will this person be handling? What kind of experience and background will the right candidate need to have? Will you be able to provide training for this new addition and how do you plan to bring the person up to speed? What else might a good candidate bring – perhaps a book of business, creativity in an area where you and your firm are currently lacking, sales ability, leadership, more?
Obviously you will want to know that the potential new hire has a clean record, holds the credentials they claim to have, and is free from any restrictions imposed by prior employment. You may also want to be sure that any agreement the new hire signs includes protection for your firm, including a non-compete, clear provisions for compensation and what is expected of the person at your firm. Remember that your firm will likely have to provide a variety of tools for the new hire, including a computer, smartphone, office, benefits, and more.
I have been on both sides of this hiring equation and have learned that we do not always clearly see what is wanted and offered by the other side. There is often a disconnect in what we think is important to the candidate we are interviewing or the company we applied to for a position. Even if we are by nature optimists and hopeful about people and how they may fit in, it is easier to say no to a candidate or a company, particularly when we have not taken the time to understand them and explain ourselves.
As you can see, when looking at hiring (or taking a job), it takes a lot to reach out and take that chance – from either side. The stakes are high – and we want to know, will the candidate be capable, loyal and trustworthy? The future of your business may depend, at least in part, on this person. And from the other end, will the prospective employer be fair, clear and provide both training and opportunity to perform?