Stay Updated! COVID-19 pandemic business resources hub »

Tips on Effective Hiring

Job Description
It is important to keep your job description as clear and concise as possible. Laundry lists of what you want in a candidate are not appealing to applicants. Potential candidates need to know the job requirements before applying so include specific responsibilities that potential candidates will be accountable for. Mentioning incentives and rewards entices candidates and lightens the mood of the job description.

Honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to business. Deceiving potential employees with job descriptions that are not accurate will hurt you in the end. Lying about the workplace environment, requirements, or responsibilities will lead to dissatisfaction upon hiring. Keep your job description honest to avoid problems after hiring an applicant.

Finding Candidates
Advertising your job opening is a challenge. You need appeal to qualified candidates and bring in as many applicants as possible. A free way to advertise your job opening is to post “Help Wanted” signs by your register and in the window. Publish ads for your job opening in the Classified section of your local newspaper or online at job sites, such as Craigslist and Monster. America's Best Companies provides a discount with CareerBuilder, the nation's leading online job site, on letter templates, search agents, and candidate screeners. Once you have a decent number of responses, it is time to eliminate the unqualified applicants.

Review resumes carefully. Education experience is important. Honors and awards in education should be noted as it suggests a productive community member and a good student. Previous jobs or internships indicates that your candidate is responsible and has experience in the workforce. Look for job/internship descriptions which match what your employment opportunity entails. Any honors, awards, or special recognition will give you an idea of what your candidate has achieved in the past. Once you have reviewed resumes and narrowed down your applicants, bring in the top candidates for an interview.

In the interview, ask detailed questions regarding the candidates' work ethic, time management, accomplishments, strengths, and weaknesses. Be sure to ask enough questions to get a sense of the candidate's work and personal skills. Questions regarding the candidate's sex, race, religion, gender, marital/family status, and more are prohibited by law. For a complete list of illegal interview subjects, visit the Department of the Interior Interview Subjects. Look for exactly what you want as a future employee to represent your business. If needed, conduct multiple rounds of interviews to narrow the number of applicants towards your desired candidate.

Simple tests provide employers a glimpse into candidates' off-duty life that you will not find on any resume. Background checks give employers an idea of a whether a certain candidate might be a safe bet or not. The report will give you any documented criminal activity, show patterns of residence, and other useful information. The ideal candidate will have a clean background and, at worst, a very minor police record. Drug tests provide employers with a way to monitor personal lives of candidates. After an interview, you could ask your applicant to take a drug test. If you do, be sure that this is a company-liable policy. Tests can be done with a urine or hair sample. Be sure that drug tests are unexpected to get accurate results.

One of the biggest challenges and expenses of hiring a new employee is time you devote to making your decision. Some candidates you interview may be average and not exactly what you had hoped for. So what should you do – wait around for the perfect candidate or settle for the best that you have seen so far? Although it may be tempting to hold out for the perfect employee, the best bet is to hire the best that you have seen thus far. In reality, time is the most important factor in hiring a new employee. There is no guarantee that the perfect employee for your business has seen your ad and submitted their resume. Many candidates who are seeking a job have submitted their resume to multiple businesses. Waiting too long to make a decision could turn off your candidate and another business will steal your top pick.


When hiring a candidate, be sure to inform all of your employees about your decision to bring another member aboard. Be prepared for your addition to your workforce. Have a company handbook ready for the new employee on the first day, including rules, tax forms, and other important information.

Following these simple steps will help to land you a new qualified employee for your small business. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to post them below.

Night Mode