There’s no denying it: there are a lot of pitfalls when it comes to running a small business.
With so many marketing strategies, operations management techniques, supply chain hacks, and HR rules to be aware of, there’s definitely plenty of room for error.
Hiring, in particular, can be especially tricky. You want to build the best team you can to make sure your business grows and succeeds. Check out our guide to five common hiring mistakes small businesses make so you know what to avoid.
5 Small Business Hiring Mistakes to Avoid
Looking at everything in your business plan, it can quickly feel like you’ll need an army to get everything done. Don’t fall prey to this overestimation of your workload. Remember, in your plan. You should have a clear step by step instructions for following through. Sometimes, just a couple of talented people can be a much bigger asset to your small business than a whole bunch of only partly competent people would be.
Rather than getting overzealous and hiring on five people into every department, focus on slowly growing your business and building out once the talented people you’re starting with have helped you gain some footing and hopefully some more investors.
That said, don’t accidentally end up under-hiring either! You have plenty of work on the table at your small business, and sometimes that means bringing on extra hands to help out. Even if some employees start freelance or part-time, it can be helpful to get extra folks in to help out with day to day operations.
Your business plan should include rough estimates for the hours that each department of your business will spend on different areas, so hiring should be based on how many hours are necessary for each task. Be careful about calculating this, as it’s essential to know how many people you’ll need working at your business early on.
Not Doing a Background Check
You must perform an employee background check for a small business with everyone you bring on. You may think that you get the full sense for someone during an interview or even just by looking them up online, but nothing compares to a thorough, professional background check.
If you’re running a smaller business, the last thing you want on your plate is a crime committed by an employee, or having employees pilfer from work. Protect your assets and your growth strategy by investing only in the best people for your business, and be sure to include a background check as part of your hiring process.
Being Closed-Minded About Talent
One mistake small business owners often make is having too narrow a view of skills and experience. Using a tool like Excel or learning how to write in accordance with company guidelines are easy things that can be determined on the job during the first week or two. Having a solid work ethic, a natural talent for writing and communicating with people, and well-developed critical thinking skills, on the other hand, are not teachable on the job.
For many jobs, some applicants who don’t have college degrees might be just as qualified through experience as some college grads. And plenty of grads with majors like art or English literature might surprise you by being creative, critical thinkers in a way other majors often aren’t. Don’t pass up on great talent because of a narrow view of what counts as a skill!
Not Advertising Positions Enough
One huge mistake many business owners make is failing to advertise the positions they’re hiring for as widely as they should. These days, there are tons of online job and networking boards that you should be aware of. These include LinkedIn, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter, to name a few. As a business owner, you should make accounts with all of these job boards and make sure that a clear, concise, and to-the-point job description is posted to each.
Additionally, your company website should have a careers page where you clearly list positions that you’re currently hiring for. The clearer and more direct all the information is, the more qualified and direct applicants you’ll get!
Find The Right Talent
Hiring is hard, but by avoiding these easy mistakes and remaining diligent about finding real talent, you’ll be sure to fill those open positions in no time.
Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.