Hiring the right candidate for your small business company

by Ashvini on February 28, 2012 · 5 comments

in Managing Team effectively

Hiring is a tough decision for the entrepreneur. Hiring mistakes may cost a small company  lot of money. Unfortunately, most of the hiring is done in haste without proper planning. Most of the hiring happens for fulfilling short term demands. While that strategy may save costs in the short run, it is not right for the long term.

Hiring right candidate, entrepreneur, small business

An organization’s growth is the sum of all the efforts by its employees. Right hiring gets in good employees who stay longer and work with more commitment.

That brings into question, how do we actually find and hire good employees. One of the elaborate ways could be “Understanding Why Companies Hire for Culture Fit

Write accurate job description

I once received a mail about a job that had listed about twenty skills as a requirement. It was hilarious. Other than tech skills, the candidate was required to have management skills, project management skills and all the other skills you can think of. Clearly the job description was not very well thought out.

It is impossible to find a candidate with so many skills even though that is desirable. Concentrate on the most important skill and then search for the right candidate.

Partial skill set matching is good enough

Often a candidate has partial skills set match with the criteria. He is probably good at what he does but has not worked in areas that you need for the job. Before you reject such a candidate find out the capacity of the candidate to learn new skills. You can check his resume to get a clue about how many things he has learned in his career.

According to experienced HR professionals, a skill match of 70% is often good enough to be considered for hiring if the candidate is good.

Look at the potential and not only at the skill set

It might be the case that the prospective candidate does not have much knowledge of the skills but she shows promise. If she has got letters of appreciation from previous employers, client testimonials and other awards, she may be the right candidate. It maybe that she is looking out to learning new skills.

It’s worth it to hire such a candidate. She may be put under an experienced senior/mentor who would guide him to reach his potential. Since she is capable and motivated, she will find it easier to pick up the skills. She may stay with you longer because your company allowed her to learn new skills and apply them.

Determine intrinsic motive for leaving the old job.

It is not right to hire a candidate who wants to move to your company just for salary hike unless he is getting very low salary from the current employee. It is a common phenomenon in many countries, for candidates to jump companies frequently for hikes.

However, if the reasons of job switch sounds convincing, it may be used to decide the outcome. Sometimes, people leave the job because they are not treated well, not given any room to grow or to learn new skills. If you find them suitable and committed, why not give them a chance?

Image: luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What would your criteria be for hiring ? Who is a suitable candidate for your company ?


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Aswani March 5, 2012 at 11:06 am

Thanks Ashvini for this useful writeup. Hiring is one of the things which I still haven’t been able to understand it better. I have an experience of more than 50 interviews till date for various jobs. And I was hired by only few of the companies. I really don’t get this. Leaving few cases where I was lacking required skills, I didn’t find any problem as such with other companies. I think there are many factors associated with the same. Just cannot rely only on your qualifications, experience or skills. At least from what I have know till date..!


Sonia March 2, 2012 at 9:08 am

This is great Ash. I think companies want skill set more then potential quite honestly, but there are a few companies that will look for both. Friends I know looking for work complain that they get over-looked because of their age or hear that they are “over-qualified”. Although that is a completely different animal in itself, it still exists.

You never know what you will walk into these days, but I am an advocate of just putting your best face first and giving it all you got. For one company that won’t hire you there is a company out there that will. You have to believe in yourself and project that during the interview phase. It’s funny, but the person interviewing you can tell if you don’t have confidence in what you say you know how to do or not.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena March 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Hi Sonia,

That is very well said. There are all kinds of companies. I would frankly prefer the company who give me chance and time to grow. Some companies may be short on money thus they might be reluctant. But they can still optimize the talent.
Believing in ourselves is very important. A little marketing and lot of substance goes a long way :)


Adrienne February 29, 2012 at 12:46 am

It’s been my experience in the hiring process Ashvini that our skill set requirements have really fallen in line of what the job entails. Anyone who had done that type of job in the past would qualify.

I loved the post that Sonia wrote for you about the culture fit. I think that’s really a fabulous thing to incorporate into the work environment. But also I believe that the candidates need to be trainable, willing to learn new things and work well with others. When you’re in a corporate environment, I believe those qualities are a must.

Hope you’re enjoying your day! :-)



Ashvini Kumar Saxena March 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Very true Adrienne. Companies are hiring what suits their work in these times of recession. In my opinion, they also need to work on hiring people who have potential. A lot of companies here in India used to do that, pick up really grads from top colleges. Of late, it is getting lesser. I think small companies still hire for potential as they probably find it difficult to fit people who have experience in large organization. The salary demand too may be high.

Isn’t it ironic. Small companies need experienced people and large companies need people with potential but they get the opposites :).
Thank you so much for your opinion :)


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