Hiring Effective Employees

Hiring can be a very tedious and stressful job if not done correctly. Hiring effective employees is extremely pertinent to a businesses’ success. Fortunately there are many measures that can be taken to assure that a company is taking precautions in hiring the best fit for their company and position.

Advertising Employment Opportunities

Before hiring employees, you must identify what your company needs. It is a good idea for any business owner to determine how many employees are needed, how much training is involved, and what kind of duties need to be done. Identifying employment needs as a small business owner will allow you to begin advertising for the positions you need and get the desired employees for your company.

The first task in advertising employment opportunities is to write up the job description. The description should contain essential information about parts of the job and should include answers to the following questions:

  • What are the duties of the position?
  • What type of training is necessary?
  • What kind of education is needed?
  • What personality skills are needed?

Once these questions are thoroughly added in the job description, you are ready to begin advertising the position.

There are many options that small business owners can explore when it comes to advertising employment opportunities. The first place most employers try to advertise is in newspapers. Newspapers are relatively cheap and tend to subscribe to your market as a local business owner. The second place that many employers go to is the internet. Sites such as monster.com, careerbuilder.com, and hotjobs.yahoo.com are all large search engines that reach millions of people. The internet is a great place to get your message out with relative ease at moderate costs. Another place many small business owners like to recruit employees is at career fairs. Career fairs are a great place to talk to many prospective employees and other, more experienced, employers to gain insight on hiring techniques. Sometimes the task of hiring can be overwhelming if you are not very experienced, in this case pursuing professional services might be a good idea.

Some of the outsourcing options include corporate headhunters, temporary agencies, and regular employment agencies. Corporate headhunters’ main purpose is to go out and pursue prospective employees instead of waiting for employees to come to you. Empowering headhunters is a great way to accumulate employees; however, it can be very costly. Another option is to contact temporary agencies, often called temp agencies. A temp agency is a good way to fill lesser positions within a company. Another benefit is that the agency pays the employee and as an employer you avoid          paying employee taxes or benefits. A third option is to go to a regular hiring agency, which does the screening process for more specialized jobs. In all options, you save a lot of time and sacrifice some money.


Career Fair Recruitment

Being apart of a college career fair is the most successful way for a business to hire intelligent individuals.  Career Fairs offer companies an abundance of qualified individuals, the chance to put a name with a face, and the means to hire efficiently. Career Fairs offer smaller businesses a way to get their name out, and large companies a way to hire on a larger scale.


Preparation for a career fair is just as important as the actual process. Career Centers today offer companies many tools for preparing for the job fair. It is foremost important that a company decide the type of candidate they are looking for. It is important to decide standards for grades, experience, and other qualifications. By setting standards, schools can eliminate unfit candidates in a pre-selection process. Going through the school also assures honesty in responses from students. It is easy to verify responses through the school.

Quantity vs. Quality

It is very easy for a company to get caught up in recruiting and want to cover a large array of campuses. This is actually a very inefficient method of recruiting. It is best for a company to decide which campuses are logical and meet the needs of the company and focus on them. There isn’t a specific number to go by, but a business needs to be able to denote time to shine at specific campuses. Factors to consider when picking campuses are location, quality of programs, and past success.


Once a company has set up which schools it will attend, it is important to work on the quality of its recruiting program. Picking successful and enthusiastic employees to head the career fair ensures that it will be run competitively. It is important to consider giving out business cards and free marketing items. Word of mouth from students and teachers about the company and past experiences is extremely powerful and should not be overlooked. Over time, a businesses’ recruitment process can become extremely successful if it just takes the time to work on its strength and effectiveness.



One of the many ways to help guide a business to hire effective employees is through an internship. Internships are similar to apprenticeships, in that an intern holds a temporary position with an emphasis being on-the-job training. Interns are generally college students. With most internships, upon completion and a favorable review, job opportunities will be made available to the intern if they are graduating within the next year. Internships are excellent ways for the employees and employers to determine if they are a fit for each other at a very low cost. This experience helps avoid abundant spending to train an employee who will later be fired or quit.

The Internship Process

Generally, internships are available to students who have completed their junior year of school, although some companies make them available to all college students regardless of classification. As stated previously, one way to recruit interns is through the career fair at your local university. Student will stop by your booth if they are interested in your company, you will take their resume, and inform them that they may receive a phone call for a later interview. This first experience gives companies a way to filter out candidates. Next, you, the employer, usually review the resumes and your experiences with different students and select a rather large group of individuals (depending on your size and needs) to attend an interview. This is referred to as pre-screening.

You may also offer an informational in the local town which you are recruiting. This serves two purposes. One is that this informational gives your company an opportunity to describe your company and the various job descriptions which you may offer. This meeting, is usually conducted in business casual, and is the main time for you to introduce your company and answer any questions. Ideally, the informational will allow you to spend more time evaluating the actual interviewer when the interview takes place, rather than explaining yourself when you are on a set schedule. The second purpose for which the informational serves is to offer any students who were not pre-selected one last time to try to sell themselves into getting an interview. This is a great opportunity for the candidate to let their true personality be known. This is the final chance for the candidate to get an interview and continue on with the process.

The actual interview is something that needs to be structured and formal, but at the same time displays an environment which is comfortable and accepting. Generally, an interviewer will ask an interviewee open-ended questions revolved around traits, leadership experiences, skills, body of knowledge, and many other important areas. One example of this is: Describe a situation when you took action when it was not required, and what was the result? These types of questions let candidates reflect on past experiences and give examples of their real-life actions. This is the best way, other than through actual observation, to identify the qualities of candidates. Interviews usually take anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour, and upon completion you may ask the candidate to take some sort of personality or aptitude test. One minor point is that as the employer, you should not mention the exact pay rate. In most cases, students are more focused on pay levels rather than the company itself, which create future molding problems with the company.

This process will continue on as long as you, the employer wish. Universities often offer testing centers where students may be required to take more elaborate test to determine

their true skills, knowledge, and personality. You ultimately select your candidates, put an offer on the table, and give the students a couple of weeks to decide. Companies often push students to decide within three to five business day, although this is very uncomfortable for the students. Students will need to go over financial, logistics, and discuss matters with their family whom may live hundreds of miles away. Therefore, we recommend being a little more lenient with regards to the deadline. In the offer, a job description will be outlined, pay will be stated, hours worked will be expressed, and expectations will be reiterated. Contracts may be binding or unbinding, depending on employment-at-will policies in the state where you are located.

Another way to select candidates for interviews is to use the university career center web-site. This requires companies to pay certain fees to use their resources which students also use. This system will often allow students to electronically send resumes, research job opportunities in which they are qualified for based on your requirements, and also allow you, the employer to pre-select candidates by simply viewing their posted resumes. Most companies prefer to use online services. The career center will often set-up interview times, locations, and inform all parties with necessary information. Career centers act as gigantic HR centers, where students are familiar with the process and communication is easily accessible. Career centers are a company’s best friend when dealing with campus recruiting.


Pre-employment Screening

Once an employer has selected employees that they are interested in hiring, it is crucial that an employer screens these candidates in order to ensure honest and ethical employees.  There are three basic ways to do this—investigation, background checks, and drug tests.


There are several things that an employer should do at this step of the screening process.  Initially, it is a good idea to confirm everything the candidate has said so far has been the truth.  To do this, it is necessary to confirm all the facts on the resume.  For example, verify the education the candidate received, and also the GPA by contacting the schools he or she attended.  Also, speak with any previous employers.  With today’s laws, the previous employers will likely only verify dates of employment.

After this, ask the candidate to write down five or more personal references and a couple professional references.  The personal references will likely be biased because he or she is only going to give you numbers to people that will speak highly of them, but it is still a good idea to do this just to ensure good character.  For the professional references, this can be previous supervisors or co-workers.

Another good place to look for past information on the candidate is online.  Sites like “Myspace” and “Facebook” have extremely important information and can really be a good indicator as to the professionalism of the potential employee.  Furthermore, searching the candidates name in a search engine such as Google or Yahoo will typically yield information about an applicant; such as pictures, videos, past events participated in, and groups and organizations they are members of.

Finally, it is important to talk to the candidate in a more casual setting—perhaps a lunch.  Be careful as to the questions that are asked, but try and learn about their family life, if they are married, have kids, hobbies, etc.  In addition, a more casual setting will tend to show the more realistic personality of the applicant.

Background Check

If the investigation produced satisfactory results, then it is particularly important to run a third party background check on the candidate.  It is recommended to this after the investigation because background checks are not free, and there is no reason to spend money on a candidate that does not pass the free investigation part of the screening.

For a small business owner, the easiest and most inexpensive way to run a background check is to use an online site such as Intelius or Sentrylink.  Both of these sites cost around $20.00 and are very easy to use.  The most important things that can be learned from a background check are:

-credit history                                     -criminal records

-driving records                                   -past employment

-education                                           -references

-professional licenses                          -workers’ comp

-medical history

There are many laws related to background checks, so it is important to visit the Federal Trade Commission website (www.ftc.gov) and be familiar with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in order to avoid any illegal actions.  The basic guidelines are:

-Get written permission from the individual for the background check

-Get written permission on a separate document

-Get special permission if medical information is requested

-Give notice of the individual’s right to ask about the nature and scope of the report if the report will include interviews with others

-Give notice and a copy of the report before and adverse employment decision is made

-Give notice of rights and procedures to dispute inaccurate or incomplete information

Drug Testing

Unfortunately, pre-employment drug testing is very controversial but an important step in the screening.  It can prevent costly turnover, absenteeism, tardiness, on-the-job accidents, health benefit costs, employee theft, violence, lowered productivity, and many other things.  There are several ways to drug test employees, but the three most common are the urine test, saliva test, and the hair test.

A urine test typically will test for drugs that have been done in the past month or so.  There are many places that this can be accomplished, like local clinics and hospitals, or FDA approved employer kits can be purchased from websites such as UriTox Medical usually for between $5.00 and $50.00 a test.

The saliva test typically detects usage in the past few days.  These tests are usually more expensive than urine tests (about $15.00 to $75.00).  The advantage of saliva testing is that it is a less intrusive method and can be more reliable in detecting certain kinds of drugs.

The hair test is the most expensive method (about $100.00 to $150.00), but can detects substances over a longer period, normally between three and six months.  This test is not affected by periods of abstinence and like the saliva test, is a fairly unintrusive method of testing. Like the other screening processes, it is important to go to the Federal Trade Commission website to ensure that these tests are conducted with the utmost legality.

Although hiring effective employees might sometimes seem like chance or luck, these measures if followed correctly will ensure in proper hiring. While hiring can not always be one hundred percent accurate, these techniques will increase your chances of putting the correct people in the correct position to run a business successfully.






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