How to Hire the Right Employees to Grow Your Small Business

Hiring an employee is exciting. But it’s also one of the biggest risks a small business owner will take as they grow their business. You must put your faith in someone who has no emotional ties to your business. This person will need to take your vision and execute it in areas you no longer have the bandwidth to maintain or don’t have the skills to do yourself. You’ll invest your time, money, and loads of effort to make sure this employee understands and cares for your business.

A successful employee consists of someone who has the skills to do the job, get along with you & other employees, and someone who you can trust to have the best interest of the business in mind.

Continuing my exploration into the questions asked by small business owners, answered by Barbara Corcoran, Entrepreneur and Shark Tank Judge. (Read the full Q&A here)

The question is: what you can do during the hiring process to mitigate the risk involved with bringing on a new employee?

Barbara Corcoran answered:

Other than checking the references, which I always forget to do, the best way is to ask the right questions in the interview. I like to ask questions about their mother, father, friends, interests, or anything that has nothing to do with work. These are things that applicants don’t practice whereas the usual interview questions people can get pretty good at and can use their answers to create a more favorable and less truthful impression. In short, when you talk shop, people’s guards are up, but when you talk family, you’ll usually see the real person.


tips to Hire the right employeeOnDeck Small Business loans


I asked Lauren Barnes, a Talent Acquisition Specialist at OnDeck, her thoughts on the subject. She is on the front lines of hiring here and is often the first person a new candidate will speak with at the beginning of the hiring process, and she has seen it all.

She created, especially for you, her 7 tips to ensure you’re hiring the best employee for your company.  

1) Create a Consistent Hiring Plan:

Creating a consisting plan will take a little bit of time, but this will ensure candidates have the same interview experience across the board, which will help you compare and assess candidates fairly.

2) Pay Attention to Nonverbal Cues:

Look for indications of positive body language: Sitting up straight, smiling, eye contact, upbeat attitude. Most candidates put their best foot forward during an interview, so if they’re not excited about the job during the interview, you can be sure they won’t be excited once they’re hired.

3)  Sincerity

Find out if they are truly passionate about your mission, the role, and the impact they can have at your company. As a small business, every employee counts and you need to make sure that they want to be at your company doing that job.

4) Prioritize Intelligence Over Experience:

There are some technical positions that will absolutely require the experience necessary to be successful, but if a candidate has most of the critical skills you are seeking and displays enthusiasm with the potential to learn the nice-to-have skills. This is someone you should hire!

5) Always Be Recruiting:

As a business owner, you should never take your recruiting hat off. The better your employees, the stronger your company will be. This includes networking events, conferences, social media, etc. The people you connect with could be your next hire and/or introduce you to someone in their network that would be a great fit.

6) Interviews Are a Two-Way Street:

Be mindful of how you represent yourself and your company as the employer of choice. You want everyone to have a great experience and sing your praises to their friends and family. Remember the 3 P’s to keep in mind: Be Polite, Professional, and Punctual.

7) This is Fun!

You are growing your team and there are endless possibilities for how this new hire will add value and impact to your organization. Get excited!