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When businesses begin to grow it usually requires hiring employees;  which is a good indicator that the business is doing well. However, for many small businesses finding, hiring and retaining employees can be a difficult task.  In addition to being time consuming, hiring employees can be a costly task depending on the frequency.  Research shows small business owners and managers are more likely to find the right individual for the position just by completing a few housekeeping items prior to conducting a search for candidates.

Define Your Values and Vision:
Regardless of your reason to hire, it is always a great idea to evaluate your company’s culture, values and vision. “It will be your lightning rod for attracting employees that stick around and your personal yardstick for measuring up job applicants,” according to Ben Baldwin, (2014).
Having a great culture within the company starts with a clearly described vision and set of 0company values. The vision helps define the “why we are here?” and the values express “how we work together” to accomplish our tasks. Having a great culture attracts the right individuals to your company because they genuinely want to be a part of your company.

Baldwin also recommends that prior to interviewing candidates, you company should  “consider what values, actions, or traits you would require from yourself and other employees to hold those values true, and then incorporate questions in the interview process that will help uncover those traits about a particular candidate. Every new hire should feel like you’re raising your overall level of excellence –that you feel a “lift” to your organization,” (2014).
Write a Complete and Descriptive Job Announcement
Before you can hire the right employee you have to generate interest and attract the right type of individual. Candidates applying for the position should not only be qualified but also have an interest in the position and company. “These written summaries ensure your applicants and employees understand their roles and what they need to do to be held accountable,” explains Annie Mueller, (2011). Job descriptions, in addition to summarizing the position roles and responsibilities, provide an outline for performance expectations, job evaluations, job training and career advancement (U.S. Small Business Administration, Unknown). Job descriptions, when written clearly and concisely, can prevent misunderstandings ensuring that only serious applicants will apply.

Make it easy to apply
Before conducting a candidate search it is recommend that you review and evaluate the application process. Creating a simple and streamlined application completion and submission process is critical to attracting talented applicants. If the process to complete and submit an application is not simple and smooth, talent will look elsewhere to apply.
Suggestions for a smooth application process include posting your job opening on the Internet. There are multiple websites that will post job openings for you, as well as posting the position on your company website. When looking to attract talented and qualified individuals, another recommended practice is to accept resumes even when you are not currently hiring or there isn’t a position available. Creating and establishing a list of individuals who are interested in your company generates a pool of candidates to review when a position becomes available, (Reh, Unknown).

Hiring the right candidate can seem overwhelming, however, if you understand your organization, the position, and where to advertise you can begin to identify the right type of applicants for the position.

References:
Baldwin, B. (2014, March 11). How to retain employees in your small business.
Retrieved from http://succeedasyourownboss.com/retain-employees-small-business/
Reh, F. J. (Unknown). Managing the talent pool. Retrieved from http://management.about.com/cs/people/a/MngTalent092397.htm
Mueller, A. (2011, July 15). The cost of hiring a new employee. Retrieved from
http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0711/the-cost-of-hiring-a-new-employee.aspx
U.S. Small Business Administration. (Unknown). Hire & retain employees. Retrieved from
https://www.sba.gov/content/writing-effective-job-descriptions

This article was prepared for Enterprising Rural FamiliesTM newsletter, an instrument of the Enterprising Rural Families: Making It Work program of University of Wyoming Extension. For further information concerning the Enterprising Rural Families program or online course, please contact information@eRuralFamilies.org or go to http://eRuralFamilies.org/.information.