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How To Choose The Best Staff For Your Small Business

How To Choose The Best Staff For Your Small Business

Have you heard of Airbnb? Hoteliers may well have a dartboard with their logo on it, since this relatively young Internet startup has cut into HR, HR Management, HR Strategy, Employee Engagementtheir business by acting as a sort of agent for privately owned apartments across the world. The service allows the apartment owners to rent their empty apartments to holiday makers at a rate much cheaper than most hotels, but still allows the apartment owners and Airbnb to turn a tidy profit. Being a young and trendy company, Airbnb has hiring practices to match. Some positions require you to prepare a video about yourself, which will no doubt be picked apart by the Airbnb team (as though you’re auditioning for American Idol), and some positions require you to attend a team party or function- basically to see if you’re the type of person who would work well (and of course, be liked by) the existing team. You may not have the resources (or the inclination) to go through this type of process when it comes to sourcing a new staff member for your small business, but there are a number of tricks that can be used in order to find the best candidate possible.

Revolutionary Yet Practical!

These types of hiring practices used by Airbnb are reasonably revolutionary when compared with the way that things were done in the past, and yet there’s also a large degree of pragmatism about the process. Doesn’t it make good sense to meet a new employee in a social setting? You could determine their personality type, and whether or not you and your existing team will get along with them. It’s not about making a new best friend- it’s about finding the best match for your company, and embarking on a mutually beneficial working relationship that will hopefully continue for many years. You possibly don’t run the type of company that hosts’ regular social functions, so it’s not as though you could really invite any potential new candidates in an effort to get to know them a bit better, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore their personalities in a little more depth before making a decision.

Think Differently

As the manager, you probably groan when a new position is advertised, since you know you’ll soon need to sift though a pile of resumes that all start to look the same after a while. So why not encourage a little creativity amongst the potential new members of your team? If you operate a bookstore, perhaps your application process could also include a short essay about the applicants’ favorite book (and just why it’s their favorite). When asking an applicant to do something that differs from the norm, you can find out rather a lot about them, which is hugely beneficial during the application process. If you request something like this from applicants, remember to set a maximum length, so you don’t have to spend days reading everything (500 words in a 12 point font is around one A4 page, so perhaps ask for a maximum of 250 words- which is around half a page).

Your Business Is Unique (And Your Staff Should Be Too)

It’s important to hire people in the way that works best for you and your business, but at the same time, you should be open to new ideas. Just because some sort of “fun” hiring method works when it comes to Apple or Airbnb or Microsoft recruitment, it doesn’t mean that it will work for your small advertising agency. Having said that, it’s important to allow applicants to demonstrate just why they’re best candidate for the job- something that’s not always possible during the traditional application process. Just because someone might not dazzle you using the traditional methods, it doesn’t mean that they won’t dazzle you while doing the job. Some actors loathe the audition process and aren’t even very good at it, and yet when they actually land a role, they can be simply amazing. George Clooney failed his audition for the role that eventually went to Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise (1991) and screen legend Fred Astaire was told he had no talent after numerous failed auditions.

You want your business to last, and to prosper (not just survive). A huge part of this is the people you choose, which is why the recruitment process can be like a series of blind dates. Your business just needs to find someone it wants to spend the rest of its life with…

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Kate Simmons is a blogger and writer on recruitment-related topics. She is currently experimenting with how effective phone answering services are in pre-screening applicants. You can reach Kate via Twitter.

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