As a small business owner, it can be a challenge finding just the right employees. What’s the right fit? How much background should they have? Too much education or too little? Can they be over qualified, or not qualified enough?
Let’s take a look at some of these questions.
How much education should employees have?
That depends on a lot of things. How much are you willing to train them is the first one, and how specific are their duties is the second. If you are hiring someone to keep your books in order, you may want someone with a finance degree, but then again, that could be overkill. Depending on the size of your business and its expenditures, you may be able to hire someone without the degree, but who is a quick learner and “gets it.”
If you are willing to do some on the job training, you can probably go with someone who isn’t necessarily trained in the particular field, as long as you see strong possibilities they’ll catch on. If you run a bakery, you don’t necessarily need someone with a pastry background, you can do the teaching (and probably pay him or her a bit less).
Can they be over or under qualified?
Yes – to both. So be careful. You can hire someone overqualified who may end up feeling unchallenged and unhappy in this position. Back to the bakery, if you hire a highly acclaimed pastry chef to work in your bakery, he may not be pleased when you ask him to help out by working the counter.
Small business employees often have to wear a lot of hats and someone with a specialized degree and lots of credentials may not be happy about this. Frustration can ensue and you may be looking for someone else soon.
As far as under qualification, if there is no experience or idea of what you do, you may want to continue your search.
Back to your finance person, if she didn’t do well in math, has upside down personal finances and has never used a financial program before, you may be in over your head teaching her the ropes. You might find yourself better off doing it yourself.
However, you can go a bit in either direction and come out okay. Someone with high qualifications can take on a leadership role and someone with not so many may be fine doing a variety of jobs, and you can teach them just how you want it done. Be smart about it, though, and think about credentials when hiring.
Hiring the right employees is tough
You want people your company can grow with and be with you for the long haul. A good idea is to network the people you know because even though they may not have the perfect fit on paper, you’ll know them already and have an idea how it will go. Many small businesses start out hiring friends, family and even colleagues from past work.
As a small business owner, what have your hiring experiences been like?
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