Author: Kevin Leahy
Some people just don’t like managing or supervising people. Others seem to have a knack for it and enjoy it immensely. Can the art of managing people be learned or is it something we are born with? Like most skills, it can be learned. Most small businesses start out with the founder personally doing just about everything. If the business is successful at some point it becomes necessary to build a team and this, for a lot of people who have started a business, often becomes a real challenge.
Hiring best practices
As an employer, you want to hire and retain employees most qualified for the positions within your company. To do this, you need to define who you are looking for and what’s expected of them once they are on board.
Policy standards are a must. Begin with a personnel manual that explains your policy for hours, overtime, fringe benefits, sick leave, annual leave, training, dress code, personnel reviews, grievances, termination and retirement. Every employee should have his or her own copy of this manual. In addition, consider giving every job applicant a copy for review.
Each position within the company, including your own, should have a job description that outlines responsibilities and duties and includes a list of the position’s objectives with specific and measurable goals. Each description should include reporting relationships. The job description provides you and the employee a clear road map for the expectations of the position, from the standpoint of both workload and expertise required to accomplish the job.
Job application forms for your company should be simple and focus on relevant employment history, including names of supervisors and references you can contact. Provide space for the applicant to summarize career accomplishments.
At the interview stage, you want to learn as much as possible about the person’s job skills, work ethic and personality. Ask specific questions that require more than a yes or no answer. The more dialogue, the more you learn about the applicant. More information will help you to make an informed decision.
Always check references. Competent and friendly employees make a positive statement about your business to customers. An applicant who interviews well and has a sterling resume may not be the ideal fit for the job. References will validate your impressions, and expand on areas not covered in the interview. This is also a way to learn more about potential weaknesses as well. What a reference says or does not say gives you clues as to the character and skill of your candidates. Take all of this information into account before you form your final opinion of a given candidate.