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Wyoming Business Tips for Nov. 12-18

November 3, 2017

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Crystal Mueller, guest columnist

“I am ready to hire my first employee. What do I need to think about in terms of hiring the best candidate for my business?” John, Casper

According to Fast Company (2015), 56 percent of small-business owners reported hiring challenges as a concern. Poor hiring can cost an organization revenue and growth.

Hiring does not have to be as difficult as you might assume. Following a defined process will set your organization up for success. The first step is to review or create the job description for the position to be filled. In a changing world, work evolves as the organization grows. As an employer, ensuring that each position adds to the financial health of the business is critical to the company’s success.

Once the position is well-defined, a consistent process for hiring must be developed. A manager must protect the organization by having a working knowledge of employment laws. Liability issues are minimized when employment laws are built into the hiring process. The job description should include the position, who the person reports to and essential job functions.

The next step is for management to decide on the length of time the position will be advertised, the interview team, interview questions, and what information candidates will be given before and after the interview.

Your interview team of supervisors and co-workers should first compare applicants’ experience and skills to the job description. Choose your pool of candidates and set time aside to conduct interviews. It may be tempting to deviate questions based on candidates’ responses to questions; however, a successful interview process requires the same people using the same interview questions. Take notes during interviews and evaluate candidates as soon as possible. Beware of bias, which results in bad hiring.

You have finally found the perfect fit for your organization. Notify the successful candidate and extend an offer. Thank the other candidates only after the chosen candidate has accepted. If the candidate declines, you will need an alternate, and no one likes to feel like second best. All the materials -- even the notes taken by interviewers -- associated with the hiring process, should be retained for a specific length of time determined by leadership. Just like the interview process, the material should be treated as confidential.

The process continues even after the selection is made. Training is crucial whether the employee is new or a current employee moving to a different position in the organization. Good orientation, with a structured training program and ongoing evaluation, is important. A defined period of three to six months should be used to provide feedback to the employee. Continuous feedback is important to successful hiring.

About Crystal Mueller

Mueller has more than 20 years of experience in the human resources field and has led human resources teams at Wyoming Medical Center and Natrona County School District. In addition to her extensive on-the-job experience, she has taught classes at Casper College and the University of Mary, and also presented for Lorman Educational Services. She currently consults with small businesses and shares her knowledge with Nepris and AlphaSights.    

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at www.wyomingsbdc.org/blog1/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.


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