I hear it over and over. How am I supposed to hire them when I don’t have the time and resources to hire an entire team? It is a difficult question, but it poses one of the most important questions any small company can face.

The answer to this question lies in your ability to properly understand what makes a great employee and then having the tools to select the right candidate. There are many tools available to help with the process, but the way defines a great employee is the easiest.

First, I think it’s important to define what a great employee is. It has to be someone who exhibits strong leadership skills, has initiative, is capable, is honest, displays passion, and has a strong work ethic. There is no perfect employee. The question is: how do I find them in an interview? The process of creating a great employee begins with the question.

To attract a great employee, you must develop a compelling position in which you are eager to explain the purpose of your company, your standards, and how your company viewed the problem and lead the horse to the water. You must communicate both to the candidate and to the interviewer in your advertising. Offer a vision, a mission, a guide. Rehearse your responses to questions from your new employee and practice your handling of each of them. It is the recruitment process and is the most important step in dealing with a great applicant.

Next comes the interview. Often there is a new company director who has not worked with this candidate before. These people who do not have direct hiring power apply for this position. These people are looking to “test the waters” to see what this application has to offer. They are often very excited to meet with someone who must be the solution to the problem they have in their own department. The ideal candidate is not a personality type, but they are human. You have to be able to listen to the candidate and not judge. In this context, it is more important to listen than to defend your position. Without a doubt, these are two skills every candidate needs to possess in order to be accepted into their position.

During the interview, again ask questions in terms of understanding what a great employee looks like. This question is often asked by either the interviewer or the candidate. If you are hiring for a non-profit organization, when interviewing, ask “back of the envelope” questions. It’s an issue of keeping the application process somewhat disconnected from the job interview. Think of it as if you are interviewing a candidate for a team position in a company.

Once you have an interview, try to keep the hours of the interview as refreshed as possible and if you had to postpone the interview, reschedule it to a time that works for everyone. The days following your interview should be spent waking up and cleaning your office. Your time or your company’s time is precious and should not be wasted. Remember, this is a step that will help you in the relationship with your new employee.

Follow all the interview steps in reverse order. If you did not thoroughly interview the candidate, reschedule. Even if you interviewing a candidate, then if you must cancel the interview, reschedule to a time that works for the employee. If a candidate should not be accepted for the position, then refund their money and explain why you must move forward with the candidate.

Remember that the forward-moving, dynamic team philosophy, increases your success. You also stand a better chance of successfully interviewing the best candidates. However, you must follow the steps in order and claim the next skill to reflect career growth in your company’s successful growth.

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