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Practical Business Advice Newsletter Feb.-12  

Here is the February Practical Business Advice Newsletter. Hopefully you'll find the information informative and useful!

Please feel free to pass it on to colleagues and friends.

Tips on How to Hire the Right Person

The trick in getting the right person for the job is in deciding what kind of skills are needed to perform the job. Once you know what it takes to do the job, you can match the applicant's skills and experience to the job's requirements.

Determining Needed Skills and Abilities
The first step in analyzing a job is to describe it and develop a job description.

Once you have a job description on paper, decide what skills the person must have to fill the job. What is the lowest level of skill you will accept? Make sure you know what skills you must have and those areas that you can provide training on.

Finding Applicants
When you know the kind of skills you need in your new employee, you are ready to contact sources that can help you recruit job applicants.

  • Create a posting/summary for the job you are hiring for.  Have it handy to email or hand out. 
  • Use your network.  Contact friends, neighbours, customers, suppliers, present employees, local associations such as the Chamber of Commerce or networking groups you belong to.  You can also post on your online social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and FaceBook.
  • Online job search websites are increasingly popular – online paid job directories like Monster and Workopolis; free sites with job posting options like www.kijiji.ca are some examples.
  • Another source of applicants is a "Help Wanted" sign on your website or in  your own front window. 
  • Newspaper advertisements are another source of applicants. You can reach a large group of job seekers and you can screen them at your convenience.  Depending on the job, you can place it in the classifieds or career section – talk to the paper about where they suggest your ad would be best placed.
  • Private employment agencies will also help in recruitment. However, the employee or the employer must pay a fee to the private agency for its services.

Your choice of recruitment method depends on your type of business, your location, and you. You have many sources available to you. A combination may serve your needs best. The important thing is to find the right applicant with the correct skills for the job you want to fill, whatever the source.

Developing Application Forms
The hardest part of your work, if you did a good job listing the skills needed, is in finding and hiring the one right employee. You need some method of screening the applicants and selecting the best one for the position.

The application form is a tool that you can use to make your tasks of interviewing and selection easier. The form should have blank spaces for all the facts you need as a basis for judging the applicants.   Always request a resume along with the application form and ask for references.  Use the completed forms to rank which candidates meet your criteria and who will be “short listed” to interview.  

Alternatively, if you do not want to have the applicant fill out a form (just submit their resume), you can fill out the form yourself as a quick way to screen each one to see if they meet your qualifications.  Or you can ask the applicant to also submit a cover letter, summarizing their qualifications, with their resume.

Interviewing Job Applicants
The objective of the job interview is to find out as much information as you can about the job applicant's work background, especially work habits and skills.

The best way to go about this is to ask each applicant specific questions that you have prepared in advance that address each requirement.  For each skill that you are looking for, ask for a past example of them demonstrating that skill.  For example, if you are looking for strong project management skills, ask – Can you give me an example of a time you had to manage a big project? How did it go?  How did you ensure deadlines were met?  Was it on-time and on budget?

As you go along, evaluate the applicants' replies. Do they know what they are talking about? Are they evasive or unskilled in the job tasks? Can they account for discrepancies?

When the interview is over, ask the applicant to check back with you at a later date, if you are interested in that applicant. Never commit yourself until you have interviewed all potential applicants. You want to be sure that you select the right applicant for the job.

Next, verify the information you have obtained. A previous employer is usually the best source. Prepare a few specific questions about the applicant that can be answered quickly.

After you have verified the information on all your top applicants, you are ready to make your selection.

The right employee can help you make money. The wrong employee will cost you much wasted time, materials, and may even drive away your customers.


If you have any particular topics you'd like to hear about in upcoming issues, your feedback would be appreciated.

Best Regards,

RoseRight-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.  
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Rose Kasianiuk
Strategic Business Advisor
RK Business Solutions Inc.
Calgary, AB T2T 4S1


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