Many small businesses struggle with our unsavory economy on a daily basis.  Budget problems arise, and they can be complex.  A lot of business owners are finding banks can’t be there for them, and are seeking alternative lending and lines of credit so that they can grow, or at least stay afloat.

There are many problems that face small business in this day and age.  Between inability to maintain a consistent customer base, or inability to set their business apart from their many competitors, businesses are just having a much harder being special.  That’s why I believe having an exceptional hiring process is one of the best ways to set your business apart.  Having great employees emulates throughout your business.  Your customers take you more seriously.  Your employees see their peers working at a certain level and strive to be better.  You can express your ideas much easier and there can be a flow of creativity amongst the lower levels of your company.

Wondering how you can be sure you are hiring the cream of the crop? Here are 5 hiring tips that will help you immensely during your hiring process:


Organize Your Recruiting Process

Before you begin hiring, you must outline the entire process from start to finish without any hiccups or lapses in time.  You are probably thinking, “duh”, but hiring tends to be a very inconsistent process, especially for small businesses.  You must make a plan, and stick to it.

Listen and test your candidates during the interview.  Ask them questions that will allow them to not only talk freely about themselves but will also force them to show that they are knowledgeable about the job they are applying for.

You must listen.  Do not talk too much.  The only way to learn about the person who is applying to the position is to allow them to speak.  You want to get to know more than just their qualifications, you want to know the personality and whether it fits within your organization.  So listen.

Always Be Thinking About Hiring

You should start to consider everyone you meet as a potential employee of your company.  Just keep it in your head whenever you meet a person you would like to work with in the future and store it away in that database in your brain.

Give every applicant a fair shot, and even if they don’t meet the requirements you’ve set out for them for this specific position tell them there may be an opening in the future that better suits their talents.  You can never know when you will need a person with that specific kind of personality or skill set for another job.

Being respectful and doing good gestures such as that will always be a positive for you.  You never know, maybe a friend that is much more qualified could be looking for a job and the person you left a good impression with might just recommend them to your company.

Use Non-Conventional Recruiting Methods Like Craigslist

Craigslist is a website with classified advertisements for basically everything.  Jobs, housing, services, gigs, sales.  You name it, and it can be found on Craigslist.

Finding great employees on Craigslist all comes down to how you filter them out.  Look for the persistent ones, the ones who are professional, and the ones who ask questions.  You want to make this candidate work for it.  You don’t want to receive just 25+ generic email/cover letter spams from somebody who barely read the positions job description.  Require them to write things in the subject line, or to answer specific questions.

If they follow your directions, seem professional and knowledgeable, bring them in for an interview!

Don’t Hire Full Time to Start With

It’s almost standard practice at this point to hire somebody on a temporary basis to make sure that the match is a good fit before fully committing to one another.  It only makes sense.  You wouldn’t buy a house without first walking through it, inspecting it, and reading up on its history.

Otherwise, you can assign potential employees a task or project to complete, and then decide whether or not to hire them based on their performance.

As an employer you have every right to confirm the things that this potential employee had promised you via his resume and interview.  So, before committing, you need to make sure that this candidates skills and personality suits your current structure and business needs.

Make Sure Your Current Employees Are Involved

Involve your current team.  These are the people that are going to be working with the new hires on a daily basis.

Nobody knows your company and its needs better than your own team.  That’s why you should encourage them to recruit exceptional people that they may know or meet.  You can even create incentives for the employee who brings in the best candidate.

You’ve got to make sure your current employees are pleased and happy at where they are right now first, though.  Don’t neglect them, give them fair compensation, and allow them room and potential for growth.  Show them that you respect them.  It goes a long way, trust me.


So in conclusion, many businesses try and hire fast and take short-cuts in their hiring processes.  This is a critical error.  You need to surround yourself and fellow employees with successful and professional individuals who know what they are doing.  Do it the right way.  It will pay off in the long term.  You don’t want a high turnover rate, just get it right the first time.  The way you do that? Go re-read that list above.


Working With Sprout

Sprout is an online marketplace where businesses come to compare and save on small business loans. You go to and simply fill out a profile or call us at 800-865-6057. Based on that information you provided, Sprout suggests the best matches depending on the amount and purpose of the business loan you are seeking. Last year, Sprout and it’s staff was responsible for over $100 million in loan approvals.

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