Guide to Hiring

A key part of keeping any business running smoothly or expanding operations is knowing how to hire the right employees. While particulars may change based on your specific industry and certifications that may be needed, this guide provides an overview of important hiring steps to take and how to go about them.

If you are thinking that 2021 has been an extremely difficult year to hire employees or retain your existing employees, you are not alone. This year has taken it's toll on recruiting and it is important to follow best practices to ensure you aren't falling behind competition in recruiting.

Before we get started with the overall guide and advice, below is a collection of tips and best practices from other pros in the industry!

1) Where have you had the most luck recruiting employees / team members (e.g., friend referrals, ads on Facebook, etc.)?

Answer: Driving through the neighborhood or job sites, bystanders will be watching us work and often ask if we are hiring. Facebook and Instagram are also helpful tools.

2) What advice do you have for retaining employees?

Answer: if you pay your people right, and you pay your workers before you get paid, jobs will go successfully. Also, when you teach somebody stuff that they never knew before they always stick around to learn more.

3) What advice can you offer for deciding what to pay your employees?

Answer: Typically in my industry we pay by the job. However, just recently I've adopted a new strategy because you can start off with a certain amount of employees to fill the truck and then not have the same amount of employees to empty the truck so I pay people a certain amount to fill up the truck and then whoever's around to empty the truck I pay them another amount. So for example if I got three guys to do a job typically let's say two other guys are experienced and the one guy is new I would pay the experience guys 30 to 40 dollars to fill the truck the new guy would only get 20 to $30 to fill the truck. Then depending on who's at the dump site to get rid of the trash I would use the same formula.

Get clear on what you’re looking for

A key component of hiring the right person for the job is knowing what qualities or skills your ideal candidate must have. This will help you save time on interviews with candidates that would not meet your employee requirements. Questions to ask yourself include:

  • Are you offering a part time or full time job and how many hours per week will this person be expected to work?
  • How much can you afford to pay?
  • What specific skill sets are you looking for?
  • If you require previous experience, how many years/months of experience?
  • Are you willing to train people who may not have background experience in your industry but are hardworking?
  • Are there specific regulations where your business operates that require your employees to have particular certifications? (example: seven states require a contractor license to climb, cut down and trim trees)
  • If there are specific certifications required, are you as the employer willing to pay for them?
  • Will your offer of employment be conditional on passing a drug test?
  • Are you able to provide medical insurance or other employee benefits?

By asking yourself these questions you can work most effectively to source your future employees and will be able to provide enough information for prospects to go off of in any job postings.

Another important part of the hiring process is understanding how you will navigate the office functions of bringing on a new employee. Will you be hiring them as an employee or independent contractor, for example? Will you be handling your own payroll and benefits functions or will you be outsourcing these to another company?

Trusted referrals

One of the best ways to ensure that you hire quality employees is by utilizing your existing trusted network of contacts. Ask your friends and family if they know of anyone who might meet your job specifications and who they can vouch for in terms of personal character. While this does not eliminate the need for a thorough background check of your prospective employee, it might be your quickest way to securing a viable pool of potential leads. This also gives you the advantage of potentially more interest on your prospective employees' end, as they may feel more confident applying to your business knowing that they have a personal connection in common.

Sample Email:

Hi [insert name],

I am reaching out because I am looking to hire a worker for the position of [insert position] and am wondering if you know anyone who might be a good fit. The qualifications for the job include: [insert qualifications such as previous lawn mowing experience etc.]. My company can offer [insert any benefits such as health insurance, vacation days, etc.]. Please let me know if you think of anyone I should consider, and if you could pass along the word about this job opening that Ould be greatly appreciated.

All the best,

[insert your name]

Sample Text Message:

Hey [insert name]!

I am looking to hire a worker for the position of [insert position title] at my company and I am reaching out to see if you know any potential candidates for the job. I would greatly appreciate it if you could also pass along the word to anyone who might be interested. Thank you for your help!

Get the Word Out

Using word of mouth referrals is a great place to start, but you may run into a dead end if you don't supplement this effort with more public postings about your job opening. A great place to start is with posting flyers in places that are frequently visited by people in your industry or just people in general. A coffee shop or a hardware store might provide enough traffic to give your flyer exposure. Be sure that your flyer is simple and easy to read, and includes basic information about the job opening and a way to contact you.

Another way that you can get the word out about your job opening is by posting about it on all of your social media channels. You can use Canva or other similar platforms to create simple and appealing graphics that detail the job overview and how to apply. Remember to post your job advertisement across all of your social media channels as you may have different groups of followers on each.

Be sure to continue to use professional terminology in your posts and monitor the contact method you have provided. For example, if you list emailing in their resume as a part of the application, check your email regularly and get back to promising applicants as fast as possible.

You can also turn to online platforms like craigslist, or Indeed PostJobFree to post your job opening. Below we have compiled a list of recruiting platforms that you can use, both paid and free.

Recruiting Platforms

Free

  • Craigslist - classified ads site where you can post your job listing
  • Indeed Free - post a job for free, or buy an ad to increase job visibility
  • Jobcase - For hiring hourly workers
  • PostJobFree - self explanatory...post job listings for free.
  • SimplyHired - allows you to post job for free and review resumes, but you pay a fee when you move forward with an applicant.
  • Facebook - You can post a job listing as a status update on your page or create a post in relevant Facebook groups.
  • Linkedin - you can post one job for free at a time and appear in search results of potential candidates

Paid

  • Snagajob - this site focuses on hourly work and shift jobs. posts start at $89 per month
  • Nexxt - One of the original job posting sites. Monthly pricing for one job post starts at $199
  • JobsRadar - General job posting board starting at $200 per month per post.
  • Find jobs near you - general job posting board with a 7 day free trial. They charge $149 for a 45 day featured job posting.

Screening your prospects

Screening your job applicants is a critical step to ensure you get people who are serious about long term employment (if that is what you are looking for), and can be trusted to complete their work honestly. When interviewing job applicants, try to ask both technical questions to assess the applicant's experience as well as behavioral questions to assess their fit with your company culture.  This means asking what they would do in a particular situation that may arise at your company and how they would respond to a workplace argument. You will also want to ask them why they left their last job to screen for potential red flags such as repeat tardiness, difficult personality, etc. In order to cover everything that is important to you, we suggest writing down a list of these questions that you can keep handy during the interview and that you can jot down notes on.

Recommended Questions

These are a few of our top picks for interview questions to ask potential employees.

  • Why do you want to work at this company?
  • can you tell me a bit about any previous experiences you have in the [insert your business sector]?
  • Why are you leaving your current/previous job?
  • What skills can you contribute to this company?
  • What is your greatest professional achievement?
  • How would you describe your role on a team?
  • What are you looking for in this role?

Skill Assessment

In addition to asking them questions, if you decide that they have a good shot at fulfilling the role you have open, you may want to ask them to demonstrate their skills. For example, if you have a cleaning business you will likely want to see how well your applicant understands cleaning kitchens and if they are willing to pay attention to the smaller details. While practices vary, one way to do this is to invite serious applicants to do an hour to a few hours of work that would be typical of the job they are applying for and watching how they complete the job. You can explain that while they will be paid for this time, they are not yet hired until you can be sure that they meet the requirements you specify.

Background Checks & References

Another important part of screening candidates for potential red flags includes conducting a background check. It is important to have a set procedure in place for conducting background checks which includes which checks will be done and how they will be used in employment decisions. There are various legal considerations with running a background check such as Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) compliance. In any case, you must first let your employee know you would like to run a background check and receive written permission. For additional legal compliance specifications, you may want to seek legal counsel.

To ensure that you are hiring a reliable and trustworthy employee, you will also want to check with at least two previous references for each prospect that can vouch for their character and work ethic in a professional setting. These references are usually former employers and colleagues. Though it is an extra step, if your potential employee gives you the contact information of a former boss, you might want to independently search up their former company and the individual who is serving as a reference just to ensure that you are in fact talking to that person.

Perks and Opportunities for advancement

A great way to attract quality employees who are willing to dedicate themselves to your company is to provide opportunities for additional training or advancement. This can take many forms such as free certifications or opportunities for a raise based on particular benchmarks.

It’s only natural that employees would put in their best effort when they believe that they have the potential to grow along with your company and realize some of the benefits of the hard work. No one wants to feel like they are stuck in a dead-end job. Even if your company can’t offer financial incentives such as bonuses, you may be able to entice potential employees with flexible hours, learning opportunities, etc.

Prep for onboarding

A final important step of hiring quality employees is ensuring that you are ready to quickly and efficiently bring them onto your team once they have been approved for hire. This includes having the correct tax forms and contracts handy and ready to go. You may also want to consider creating an employee handbook that contains your company’s values, rules, and job expectations. This will provide a useful source of information for your employees to refer to if they have a question about how to interact with a client, for example.

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