Why the Interview Process is Critical for Small Business Success

Business owners are so busy doing that they often overlook how important it is to hire the right candidate. Having a great interview and hiring process is critical to your success and really taking it seriously, is one of your most important processes. Hiring the right people means as a business owner you can finally work on your business instead of in your business. Nonprofit board

My first two companies were temporary staffing companies. They each got to $7 million in revenue and one made the Inc 500 fastest-growing list. You would think we would know how to interview well because of course, we did it for a living. In my first staffing company for the first 3 years of internal hiring, I made a lot of mistakes. Additionally, I worked for Xerox for my first 8 years of my career. Xerox hired very professional and polished college graduates. That is what I was used to, so I looked for those people in my own companies.

However, I learned that recruiters are not really polished, college graduates, like at Xerox. They are street-smart, go-getters who have made their way through life making money cleverly often working around barriers that society puts up. I learned that college graduates don’t love jobs that are really super hard and require a ton of telephone work. College graduates want professional jobs, careers, and larger companies. After my first staffing company, I started another staffing company in a different field and I wanted to build a great team this time around so I read everything I could find about hiring. From these experiences, I have created some of the major tips in order to find great candidates, and also the best candidates and find what you are looking for in an interviewee.

Nine Major Tips for the Hiring Process

  1. Take Screening and Interviewing Candidates Super Seriously: 

    The initial phone screen of a candidate will allow you to get a better sense of who your person is right away. A phone interview is quick, and can give you a feel for their tone and mannerisms over the phone, and how they will interact with potential future customers. This tip can be crucial if your candidate will be doing most of their work over the phone too. You can see how well they are able to carry a conversation over the phone. Depending on your industry, initial phone interviews/person interviews may be more beneficial to some than others. Don’t underestimate the power of a phone call, it can give you a great chance to test their soft skills immediately.

  2. Hire For your Industry:  

    Don’t just hire based on what everyone else says you should hire for. Figure out the real attributes that would make someone successful in YOUR business. We saw that telephone interviews were critical to our success because our employees never meet clients. They were always on the phone. Gather as many qualified candidates as possible, no matter what their background is, this could be through referrals or job postings (LinkedIn, Glassdoor, etc.). Working at Xerox gave me a better idea of the differences in people with street smarts and others with college degrees who tend to be more polished. Again, depending on your industry it is worth noting the different people who will fit it best.

  3. Have a Well Thought Out Job Description With Measurements: 

    This will enable your team and the people you hire know which metrics you use to measure success and what is expected of them. For example, we reviewed the job description in every yearly performance review. Ensuring that your candidate experience is great starts from the beginning. Having a well written and detailed job description will allow your candidates to see what you are looking for and allow them to see if they would be a good match. This is a crucial part of both parties’ experience. Without the proper description, you risk wasting your time as well as your candidate’s time.

  4. Ask All Candidates to Take Online Psychological Testing: 

    To determine more insight into how motivated the individual was and if they matched our company culture. This also allows you to get a deeper insight as a hiring manager or anyone in HR, a better understanding of their personality through a psychological viewpoint. Team members and individuals must be highly self-motivated and driven in a sales environment for example. These tests can be great at comparing the skills of a larger number of individuals that you wouldn’t really be able to compare without these tests.

  5. Come up With a List of Really Well Thought Out Interview Questions: 

    This really allowed us to determine if the candidate would be a good hire. Coming up with the right questions will also allow you to quickly understand if the person you are interviewing is the right fit. Behavioral questions are great for testing your candidate’s situational responses, and allow them to give examples. Job interviews are fairly quick when thinking long term, that’s why asking the right and type of questions is crucial

  6. Have Two Other People Interview the Candidates:

    Talk in great detail about the candidate after they left, and discuss the findings together as a team. Having a strong team of people will make this process ten times more efficient and successful. For example, you may bring up any red flags you initially saw as a team.

  7. Learn Better Techniques for Interviewing:

    We made sure never to make any judgments about people for at least the first 15 minutes of the interview, so we didn’t jump to conclusions. Having a very structured interview can be helpful, but also make sure you are giving your candidates times to feel comfortable and give them a fair shot. You may be so anxious to fill the new job spot, however, make sure you constantly learn new interviewing techniques to enhance your functionality and efficiency as a company.

  8. Tell Every Candidate the Positives, Negatives About Our Industry/Job: 

    We made sure to tell the truth about our company, industry and team so that if they took the job, they knew what to expect and stayed for a long time. Any time you are looking for a new hire, it is crucial, to be honest, straightforward, and truthful about the industry and job. This will pay dividends later and will significantly reduce your turnover rates. Not only will this help turnover, but you will also naturally create a healthier, happier, and better culture and work environment.

  9. Provide Great Training and Follow up for Every Hire:

    We made sure to do this so that they had every tool to be successful. Just because you find a highly qualified candidate, doesn’t mean you are putting in the effort. Taking on a new individual to your team will require work, and won’t happen overnight. Make sure you are receptive to any questions they may have. You want to do everything in your power to ensure they are comfortable, happy, and help set them up for success.

Building Your Team Is the #1 Job of a Business Owner

The team we built in the second staffing company I built was amazing. I loved working with them and we produced incredible results including making the list of Inc 500 fastest growing companies. It made my job as the business owner a lot easier.

I have built other companies since then and each one, I continued that intense effort of making sure I hired the right people. My hiring wasn’t always 100% perfect, nor should you expect that, but I certainly made a lot fewer mistakes than when I started my first company and I really loved the people I worked with.

At the end of the day, making the right hiring decisions is going to allow you to acquire individuals who are the best culture fit and not just based on the candidate’s skills and competency. Having strong human resources takes time to build, and won’t happen overnight. However, if you take the time to do it right the first time, it will end up paying dividends for the rest of your company’s lifetime. Consider providing your team and yourself with human resources training to learn the keys to attract the best talent for your growing company.

If you want to upskill and learn more you can check online courses about this on Findcourses.

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