As small business owners, we know just how frustrating it can be to hire the wrong person. I firmly believe that we feel the impact far worse than a mid to large size firm because we are so dependent on a select few being able to perform and do their jobs well. Hire the wrong employee and it will definitely cost you. Just how much will probably shock you.
Brad Smart, author of Topgrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching, and Keeping the Best People, interviewed his readers about how many hours managers spend smoothing things over with the ticked off customer, unruffling feathers with co-workers and support staff, coaching and mentoring, lost opportunity, missed goals, performance meetings, severance packages and other distractions resulting from hiring the wrong person.
Smart found the average time spent working with a mis-hire is 150 hours for an employee earning between $90,000 and $150,000. Do you have 150 hours to waste on trying to “fix” a wrong hire?
The moral of the story: while no one may enjoy taking the time or spending the money to do a thorough interview to find the right candidate for the job, it will definitely costs you alot less in the long run.
Recently, while skimming through my emails, my eye picked up on a headline that read “All in a Day’s Work: No Comp for Crack Dealer”. Naturally, I had to stop and read it!
The article posted in Workforce Management reported that the Ohio Supreme Court upheld that selling crack cocaine on a continual basis amounted to employment and that it was sufficient cause to terminate an individual’s permanent total disability compensation from the state.
Say what? Yep, you heard correctly. An individual, who was arrested and jailed for selling crack (and who reportedly was making $300 to $500 per week) was fighting the Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation who moved to terminate his disability benefits. The nerve! The audacity!
Definitely one that will first make you laugh at just how ridiculous life can be, and then probably make you mad that someone clogged up the courts with something so frivolous and asinine.
For many businesses, performing background checks — particularly criminal background checks — are an important part of the hiring process. Unfortunately, for small business owners its not always easy to do. The “who” and the “how” often are the biggest questions asked. So, knowing you should do them and why they are important, where do you start? Here are a few suggestions:
Legality. State and federal law dictates alot of what a potential employer can and can not access regarding an individual. Therefore, it is important to work with a vendor who can advise you on what tests are most appropriate for each circumstance, and what can be revealed to whom. Additionally, take a few minutes to research what your state laws are regarding this topic.
Vendors. The market has been flooded with background check vendors in the past several years. In this area, you’d do well to stick with a vendor that is reputable and well-known. Do your homework and shop around. A few of the more well known ones to start with include Sterling Testing, Acxiom, ADP, First Advantage, and Kroll.
Scope. As many people tend to migrate, moving from location to location, it is important that you run a background check not just on a local basis, but state and national level as well. You can often find out where the individual has lived in the past from their application. Start there. County reports tend to be the most reliable, but run all three if you can afford to do so, particularly if they’ve moved.
Most small business owners will tell you that a large percentage (if not most) of their waking hours are devoted to thinking of ways to make their businesses more profitable and successful. No surprise there…but what about the idea that many of us are also dreaming up ways to succeed? Yep, I said dreaming.
According to a recent online survey conducted by office supplier, Staples, nearly 51 percent of respondents confirmed they regularly dream about work. Of those individuals, as many as 70 percent said they put business ideas that came to them in dreams into action.
The moral of the story…don’t feel guilty about catching a few “Zs”. You never know. You just might come up with the next great business idea, so have that pen and paper by the bed side, ready to jot it down.
Many HR experts predicting trends for 2008 expect to see salaries for talented workers shoot up as demand outstrips the current supply. For a small business owner needing to hire additional help, but operating on a limited budget, this may prove troubling.
To ensure you will “get what you pay for”, take your time and do not settle simply because you are in need of filling the position. Also, consider:
- Providing detailed descriptions/expectations for each “help wanted” ad;
- Listing your job postings in as many sources (newspaper, internet, unemployment/employment agencies, etc.) as either affordable or relevant;
- Thoroughly interviewing a wide selection of qualified job candidates;
- Conducting pre-employment testing when applicable; and
- ALWAYS running background/reference checks.