Small Business - Finding Your Very First Employee

There’s an ocean of talent out there for those looking to hire the first employee.  However, oceans can be dangerous, often fatal, places.  For small businesses looking to hire their first employee this particular ocean is one that should be navigated carefully.  The recession has led to many talented people becoming unexpectedly available in the employment market.  Finding the right employee is essential for any firm, but particularly for small firms where a new employee can equate to a fifty per cent expansion of the workforce.  There are a whole range of issues that you’ll need to negotiate before taking on staff; including ensuring you have the right systems and equipment in place – office equipment and payroll software to name just two.

However, finding the right person is not so straightforward.  Understanding the personality types that a role requires can help.  In most businesses there are a range of key skills that are required for success, deciding the type of skills required for the role will help to select the right person.  Most people will combine these skills in different proportions, as will many roles.  Before starting the search, consider the skills you need and the personality types that suit them.

Technical Roles and Skills

These will include any role that requires specific skills which can range from office skills to practical skills, such as plastering.  Those with good aptitudes for technical roles will be able to talk in detail about the specifics of the job.  They tend to be good at following instructions and processes in great detail. Experience in similar roles is obviously useful, but experience in any technical process or role is good as this type of person is usually excellent at learning new processes and following guidelines.

Management roles

The qualities needed for management include the ability to organise other people, or systems.  Management types generally look at processes from an effectiveness angle and enjoy modernising and upgrading systems or processes to make them more efficient.  Often they lack specific technical skills to make the changes themselves but are able to identify and manage what needs to be achieved.  Experience in management is not always necessary and a good question to ask is how they would have improved processes in a previous role; those with technical aptitudes will not normally be able to answer this question in detail, while those with management skills and aptitudes will give detailed examples.

The Sales Team

Sales people are normally classed as entrepreneurial types; they are characterised by a tendency to make decisions very quickly, not always relying on facts.  Those from sales backgrounds can fulfil a number of roles in a company but their key skill is the ability to get things done and they will normally work well under pressure.  They can also be great motivators within a team and balanced with those with good technical abilities can help a company to succeed.  At interview they will normally be quick to provide answers to questions and display a high level of enthusiasm.

Creative Creatures

Creative thinkers can play a key role in business development.  Not always strong on management skills or the practical skills within a company, they will however be a driving force for innovation, change and growing business.  Creative roles include systems development and marketing or communications.  Marketing teams need both entrepreneurial sales types and creative who complement each other by creating opportunities and acting on them effectively.  Creative types will often listen carefully and take time to answer at interview and will usually answer questions from a ‘different’ angle.  At interview, creative personality types also tend to ask more questions than other personality types.  

Managing Candidates

Different roles will require a different set of abilities; if you are hiring new staff to take on a significant part of your workload, practical technical skill sets will be required.  For administrative tasks this type of skill set will also be ideal.  For business development those who can combine creative thinking with entrepreneurial skills are ideal, while management roles require individuals who demonstrate abilities to gain an overview. With an understanding of the needs of the roles that you are looking to fill you can manage your interviews and your candidates to the best effect, finding exactly the right personality for the role.

Author Bio:
Simon blogs about small business covering everything from simply accounting software to how small businesses can take advantage of social media.  When he’s not online Simon is a keen swimmer and cyclist and likes nothing more than getting out on his bike in the sun.
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