As the boss, you set the tone, and create the atmosphere of your small business. Hiring good people can be one of the best investments you make in achieving your company’s goals. To get started, write a clear list of what you want done and how you want it done. Also, consider if you want this to be a full-time or part-time position. If you are concerned about doing this right, talk to other business people who have similar employees. But don’t let their bad experiences scare you; instead learn from their mistakes and their successes.
Then, take your time in your search. Since you probably will be working closely with this person, don’t use a search firm. Instead, advertise in media you like, talk with people you know, and work your network. If you attend a church or social club, see if there are people in that group who have the skills you need. Craigslist.org is a great place to post your ad. Request a résumé with a cover letter, so that you can create a pool of applicants to choose from.
When you have hired someone, work with your new hire so that he knows what you want, and can begin to work in harmony with you. Most people aim to please, and they will do what you ask. If you don’t ask, however, they will do what they think you want, so it’s in your best interest to be clear from the start.
Marilyn Holt, CMC, CEO Holt Capital Seattle, Wash.