How to Hire the Best Employees for Your Small Business


Most small businesses start out as a one-person or family affair. Branching out to include strangers in the close-knit group can be both exhilarating and frightening. Whether hiring a remote blogger or an in-store clerk, be sure you consider these suggestion when hiring for your small business:

Look Beyond a Resume

Credentials are nice, and sometimes necessary for a particular position, but the best employees are not always the ones that look best on paper. Consider the culture of your small business and how the candidates in front of you match up. Can you see yourself working closely, and without issue, with this person? What will your other employees think of him or her? Of course you cannot discriminate based on age, parental status, or sexual preference. But getting a general idea of how this person’s working personality will mesh with the rest of your group is more important than where he or she used to work or go to college.

Do a Background Check

It may seem sterile and cold to ask for a job candidate’s permission to run a background check, and that may be at odds with your warm small business style, but you can save yourself a major headache by doing it anyway. Go beyond the basics and conduct an international background check too. The right candidate won’t have anything to hide.

Ask Around

There are some things a background check simply doesn’t cover. Make sure you also talk to people that know your candidate personally. Ask to speak to previous employers and other professional connections. When you talk to these references, ask questions that are specific to the role you want the new hire to play in your small business. It could be possible that a certain candidate is a great person and worker, but lacks a specific skill set you require. Asking others about these items will give you a better idea of why or why not a candidate is right for the job you are offering.

Ask for Input

You do not want to hire an applicant that simply takes orders and receives a paycheck. The best employees are the ones who come to you, filled with ideas, and are willing to contribute to the success of the overall company. You want to hire someone who is innovative and looks beyond his or her job duties to find company solutions. Ask in your interviews for specific ideas on streamlining a process, or marketing a product, or improving the flow of your business operations. The best candidate will be the one who is not afraid to share ideas for improvement.

Be Willing to Compromise

A budget is a budget, of course, but if the perfect candidate asks for a few concessions based on pay, schedule or benefits, consider making them. Your employees are your biggest small business asset. When possible, consider budging on your bottom line or schedule limitations for the sake of a better staff.

What is on your small business hiring checklist?

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About the Author

Megan Totka

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for As a small business expert, Megan specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips and reliable resources, as well as providing small business advice.

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