How to Build Your Small Business With Team PlayersIn my last article, I briefly touched upon the reciprocity of experience between staff and customers. If one is off, the other will certainly be affected. Let’s address the employee experience since without employees it’s tough to run a business.

One of the most important decisions small business owners make is the selection and retention of employees. Let’s get one rule straight, especially in a small business, every employee is a key employee. The rule applies to larger companies as well, however, in larger companies it can be more difficult to spot where an employee may be struggling, hence, harder to speak to the solution and bring productivity up to par.

The selection process of employees varies almost as much as managing them does. Any applicant worth their salt will arrive with qualifications at least close to or over your educational, skill, reference and work history requirements. After all, that info should have already been pre-screened before the meet and greet.

Fast forward to the real hiring part. Although it always nice to hire people based on mutual commonalities, personality, similar tastes, good vibes etc., in my opinion, none of this is pertinent to the job at hand. Remember, as much as you like a candidate who fulfills the requirements, and as much as that applicant may be thrilled to work with your company, that is only the beginning of the hiring thought process. Would you even consider anyone who you didn’t like or that expressed concern over working at your company? Of course not.

How to Build Your Small Business With Team PlayersThere are some key questions to ask yourself when it comes down to deciding if this person will be the best fit. Here are a few to consider: Are you hiring up? Whether you are hiring a general clerk, receptionist, sales person, designer, technical, management employee or the like, always hire up. That does not have to equate to thousands of dollars in salaries outside of your budget, it does equate to someone who is more excited to do the job then you are to hire for it.

It also equates to someone who will bring in a perspective that is different than your own, and often times bringing in more skills than your own. That can be difficult for some business owners to take in, especially if they sat on the floor stuffing envelopes at the start of their business and built it from the ground up. Be that as it may, there are many people who still have more experience than you in many aspects of your business, and those are the people you want.

Is the candidate low, medium or high drive? You will usually know this from the interview. An individual’s unique drive plays a lot into how much they need to be managed or not-more about this later. What kinds of questions are the applicants asking you? Are questions centered around your business? Are applicants offering ideas off the bat, or are the initial comments around salary and benefits?

I believe a good employee is one who sees their job as part of their lifestyle and not just a paycheck.  Select applicants who prefer to contribute to the growth of a position as opposed to maintaining it.