Uncertain economy or not, many small business owners regularly look for ways to reduce their costs; such is the nature of running a company. To save money, some might try to find a better deal on their utilities and operating expenses, tighten the strings on spending accounts or even choose to consolidate positions.
While all those actions are totally understandable—and in many instances they make sense—they’re more or less conventional approaches to reducing business expenses. So here’s an unconventional one: By hiring the right employees the first time around and encouraging them to grow with your company, you’re bound to reduce your expenses over time.
That’s because it costs a lot to hire an employee. Beyond salary, there are insurance and tax implications, not the mention the time it takes to find the right candidate. So when you hire, look for a match that makes sense for both parties over the long haul.
Here are five tips to consider that’ll help you do that:
- Appeal to fantastic employees. To attract the best talent, you’ve got to offer competitive salaries and benefits packages—it’s as simple as that. According to the Small Business Association, there were 9 million small businesses in America in 2010. So, the kind of people you want to hire? There are countless other employers trying to attract their attention, too. As such, when it comes to making offers, be sure to be competitive. Otherwise, you risk turning away top talent.
- Thoroughly explain the position. There’s no sense in convincing would-be employees they’ll do x, y and z when in reality the role encompasses something different altogether. The more accurately you describe the job, the more likely you’ll be able to identify the correct candidate—the one who will stick around.
- Move quickly. You might be tempted to take your sweet time with the hiring process, thoroughly vetting all candidates before deciding which fit the best. That’s good and all, but be warned that good candidates aren’t on the market for that long. Since that’s the case, you’ve got to move swiftly once you begin the interview process. Skilled workers are commodities; if you stall, they very well might find an employer who moves faster.
- Test prospective candidates. The traditional hiring process includes a combination of phone calls, in-person interviews and reference checks. But at the end of the day, all that matters is whether candidates can do their jobs—right? So instead of going through the motions of a long, drawn-out interview process, consider giving would-be employees tests instead. Make a writer write, make a programmer program and make a designer design. What better way is there to know what you could expect on a day-to-day basis?
- Have a conversation. Finding the right fit matters. If the best graphic artist in the world doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the team, it might be worth reconsidering whether that person is the best suited for the gig. So prior to extending an offer, make sure prospective hires meet the team members they’ll be working with regularly—whether that’s physically or digitally. Don’t underestimate the importance of cultural fits.
Studies show that engaged employees—i.e., the right candidates hired for the right jobs—are more likely to stick around because they’re happier. And happier employees are likely to be more productive. By considering the above tips and taking a conscientious approach to hiring, you’re bound to increase employee retention. Chances are your business will be healthier.
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