The Payroll Blog

News, tips, and advice for small business owners

5 Effective Small Business Hiring Tips

Posted On
Stephanie Davis

As a small business owner, hiring for your small business can sometimes be intimidating, especially if you are getting ready to make your first hire.

An aerial view of two women dressed in professional attire shaking heads across a table with resumes sitting in front of them.

To make the process easier, we have created some tips that you should keep in mind as you move through the hiring process to ensure that you’re attracting and onboarding the right talent for your small business.  

Have a clear job description

The first step to hiring requires having a clear understanding of the role you are hiring for. As an example, if you’ve been operating your business alone, you may be looking for a candidate who can do a variety of tasks. To ensure you’re accurately communicating the position, make it as clear as possible what you are expecting this employee to do daily. Too often business owners list job descriptions without having thought out all of the tasks they expect the role to fulfill. When your description isn’t as clear, you run the risk of interviewing candidates who may not truly fit what you are looking for. For your purposes, it’s important to decide employee classification when creating the job description; meaning will this employee be exempt or non-exempt. The decision will affect you process payroll so make sure you’re aware of the classifications.

Keep an Open Mind

While having a clear job description is important, be open to some flexibility in the hiring process. Similar to dating checklists people make, setting too structured criteria can turn away a great candidate. Chances are, you won’t find a candidate who can hit every checkmark on your job description. Focusing on diversity is important in this step as well. For example, you should consider being open to fresh college grads and those who may be closer to retiring. While this type of flexibility won’t work for every role you are trying to fill, employees of all ages are going to have different skill sets, and experiences, that can shape your small business in a great way.

Passion is just as important as skills and talent

Similar to the point above, it’s important to consider passion when you’re searching for your next candidate. While having a candidate with the skills and expertise you are looking for is crucial in your job hunt, don’t let that detract from the other aspects a candidate can offer your business. Say you operate a small business that caters to a niche audience. If you have a candidate who has the passion for your business and is excited about working for you, that can sometimes be more meaningful than somebody who has all of the skills you’re looking for but doesn’t care as much about the product/service you are selling.

Ask for referrals 

With the help of social media and LinkedIn, asking for referrals for new candidates is easier than ever. Chances are, somebody in your network will know somebody who is looking for a new position, or be able to point you to people looking for new opportunities. Additionally, if you have current employees, asking them to refer new candidates is also a great idea. Implementing an employee referral program can be a great incentive to encourage your current employees to recommend new employees.  

Have a structured interview process

Interviews are overall stressful whether you are hiring or the person being interviewed. Having a streamlined process will make your candidate feel at ease and know what to expect throughout the process. If possible, it can be helpful to have multiple employees interview your candidate. This gives your potential new employee a chance to understand the culture and who they would be working with, but also allows your employees to assess how this new candidate can fit with the team. Including your employees in the interview process also makes them feel valued and can increase employee engagement.

Bottom Line

While hiring can feel like a chore and be overwhelming, focus on the fact that each new hire leads to growth for your small business. Once you’ve made it through the interviewing process and made your decision, make sure you have a plan in place to properly onboard your new employee.


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This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. SurePayroll is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, SurePayroll. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you require legal or accounting advice or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your licensed attorney, accountant or other tax professional to discuss your particular facts, circumstances and business needs.