Two of the greatest challenges for any business are hiring the right people and keeping them. Employees, and, more importantly, their contributions, are a business' most important asset. So how do you go about finding, selecting, and retaining the best people?
Decide What You Want – Before beginning your hiring efforts, know what you want. One way to list the skills, experience, and other attributes you are looking for is in categories of:
- Must-have: skills you do not have the time, money, or desire to teach but which are absolutely necessary to do the job.
- Should-have: sets of skills in which the candidate should have some degree of knowledge or skill.
- Nice-to-have: what you'd love to have but can live without.
Search in the Right Places – Basically, the harder it is for you to find the skills you need, the wider the net you must cast. You may choose from local media, the state's employment center, and using the Internet. View any employment ad as a marketing tool for your company, making it as appealing as possible. Put a headline on your ad that describes the absolutely best benefit you can offer. Be sure to add your must-have list of skills, experience, and education. To get qualified people without having to weed through a pile of applications, be specific about what you say and very selective about where you place the ad.
Don't underestimate the value of networking. You may choose to ask your best employees if they know someone who would fit into your organization and might be interested in joining or use your network in the community to find employees.
Conduct a Thorough Interview – Give the applicant a complete and accurate picture of your business. In today's tight job market, you have to sell both yourself and your company. Through your questions, cover the job's must-haves, should-haves, and nice-to-haves and be sure to obtain a clear picture of where the candidate is in relation to these attributes. Remember, good questions lead to good answers-the more you learn about each applicant's experience and skills, the better prepared you are to make your decision. If you find yourself talking as much or more than the candidate, stop – you only learn about the candidate when you are listening. Don't be afraid to press a candidate for more information – it is then that you may learn important information.
Hire the Right Person – Some tips for choosing who to hire are:
- Go with your gut
- Accomplishments are what really matter
- Attitude counts
- Be objective
Three critical elements in hiring the right people for the job are: skills match, company fit, and job match. Be objective in determining which candidates have the best overall fit.
In terms of wages, try to be a leader in your market – think about the cost of paying a little more versus the cost of turnover (roughly 25% of salary and benefits).
Hang on to Good Employees – Retention of employees is as important as the initial hire. An individual's suitability to a particular job is the single most important factor in job performance and retention. Be sure to provide people jobs that fit with their personality and then take the time for a proper orientation. Listen to them and continue to provide training and skills development opportunities. Set clear expectations, show concern for employees, and treat them fairly.
You must withhold federal and state income taxes, contribute to unemployment and workers compensation systems, and match Social Security contributions. You may also wish to inquire about key employee life or disability insurance.
The U.S. Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversees workplace safety. All employers are required to provide a safe and healthy workplace and are subject to no-notice safety and health inspections by OSHA. Employers with more than 10 employees are required to maintain a record of injuries on the OSHA 200 form, which must be available for inspection for a period of five years.
When you are considering hiring someone be sure to address these conditions:
Can you afford an employee?
Will you really save time?
With an extra employee, would you have more time to market your services and expand your business?
Would an extra employee allow you to give your customers more efficient service or quicker delivery, with the result that higher quality would lead to more customers?
There's a tension between how much the employee's salary and benefits will drain your business' budget and how much extra money the employee's presence will bring in.
Use interviews along with background checks and references in order to help determine whether or not the applicant is suitable for your position. This way, you will have an idea of the applicant's personality as well as qualifications.
The federal posters that should be on display for your business vary widely depending on the type of business that you are in. The U.S. Department of Labor has an interactive Poster Advisor tool that will walk you through the steps to determine the posters that you will need specifically for your particular business. In addition to knowing what federal labor posters you should have on hand, you should also visit the state labor office to determine the labor posters that are required in Oklahoma.
Sole proprietorships and partnerships that report a profit are required to pay self-employment tax in lieu of Social Security and Medicare contributions. Self-employed persons may be required to make quarterly deposits of estimated deposits based on profits. For specific information, consult with an accounting professional.
Sole proprietorships and partnerships that report a profit are required to pay self-employment tax in lieu of Social Security and Medicare contributions. Self-employed persons may be required to make quarterly deposits of estimated taxes based on profits. For specific information, consult with an accounting professional.
To be deductible, an expense must be “ordinary and necessary” in conducting your business. The IRS provides more information on small business and taxes.
The business life cycle refers to the various stages of development of a small business. Each stage has its own unique characteristics and the focus of business activities will reflect the current point within the life cycle