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Hire The Best Talent and Avoid a $50,000 Mistake

As your small business grows, you'll need more employees to cater to your expanding consumer base. Putting the job opportunity out there and receiving responses from interested candidates is the easy part. However, sorting through a sea of resumes to find the most qualified applicants for the position can be challenging, especially when you have so many other responsibilities as a small business owner.

A 2012 poll by CareerBuilder showed that 7 out of 10 businesses will experience the consequences of a bad hire, which can cost up to $50,000. To prevent a situation like this, use these four effective hiring strategies to save your company time and money, and ensure you're selecting the best talent to join your team. 

1. Consider your company culture. 
Assessing skill sets should be the first step in the hiring process, but not the only one. Every business has a specific culture that its employees have to be able to thrive in before it can be successful. Having a good grasp on what your company culture entails and the attitudes and personalities that pair well with it will help you narrow down your candidates. Phone interviews are a good first step to determine the core values and personalities of each potential hire before a face-to-face interview.

Millennials also want to make sure the business they're applying to has a desirable company culture. Share a realistic preview of what a day in the life of a team member at your company is like. You can list out your business' values and describe your culture, but there's nothing like reading actual experiences from current employees or seeing what it's like first-hand during a tour following an interview.

2. Start an employee referral program. 
Establishing an employee referral program not only eliminates a lot of work on your end, but it's also one of the most effective ways to find qualified candidates. Your current staff knows the ins and outs of the company culture and the required skills involved in being successful at your company, so they're likely to share an open position with people they know will fit in. This also shows your staff that you trust them, which is good for morale.

3. Get creative with where you're recruiting. 
Consider where you would find promising potential hires, both online and physically. If you're looking for someone with a niche passion, for example, search for online forums where these people may hang out. Sending current team members to conferences or job fairs may also help attract the specific type of candidates you're looking for.

"It gives you a chance to express the vision behind the company in a non-interview setting and to meet one-on-one casually," Ethan Song, cofounder and CEO of men's clothing retailer Frank & Oak, told Mashable. "We've started sending our team members to various conferences because it gives the company a voice and a face, and that's much more attractive for employees."

4. Focus on your must-haves. 
There's probably a long list of skills you want your future employees to have. However, to make the hiring process run smoother and quicker, it's beneficial to narrow down this list to your must-have qualities and abilities. If a resume doesn't include each of these skills, move on to another – now is the time to be extremely picky.

If the number of applications you're receiving is too heavy a workload for you and your hiring managers to handle, consider investing in an applicant tracking system to sort through all of the received resumes for you. You can search through the applications by keyword and certain phrases that you want to see on a resume for the best results.

photo credit: Thanksgiving Service Day - City Year Boston 2015 via photopin (license)

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