Entrepreneurial

How small businesses can hire the right people

Doug and Polly White have seen small businesses use all kinds of questionable hiring practices. There was the entrepreneur who hired anyone looking for work. Then there was the woman who hired and fired her sister twice. The list goes on.

In their book, Let Go to GROW: why some businesses thrive and others fail to reach their potential , the Whites found from their business consulting that entrepreneurs often don’t know how to hire employees.

“No one is born knowing how to hire and manage people,” said Polly. “You come into this with no clue how to hire and manage people. So entrepreneurs often end up hiring friends and family. While your friends and family may be right for a job in your organization it’s not always the right way to go.”

Entrepreneurial interviewed the Whites about the five steps businesses can follow in order to hire the right people.

 

1. Know what you need

Hire someone based on their behaviors and cognitive capabilities.

“By behaviors we mean work ethic and turning up on time,” said Doug.  “At the entry-level you can teach them how to make a widget. But you’re unlikely to teach someone a great work ethic.”

Few small businesses plan to hire

Many small business owners in the United States are reluctant to hire more employees in the near term as economic uncertainty and sagging sales continue to put pressure on company balance sheets, the latest index on small business optimism from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) shows.

Of the 2,077 small businesses in NFIB’s membership surveyed, the number of companies planning to increase staff is down two percentage points to just nine percent, while 12 percent plan to reduce their workforce over the next three months. The report also shows employment has been reduced for the fifth month in a row with an average reduction of 0.1 workers per company.

“Small businesses seem to have the right number of employees,” said Holly Wade, senior policy analyst at the NFIB. “They’re breaking even. But until they see a pick-up in consumer spending there’s no reason to hire.”

Exclusive: Small business backs Obama, not Democrats: poll

The Obama administration has hurt small businesses but the president still leads in backing among current 2012 election candidates, a new survey found.

Some 63 percent of small businesses said the administration’s policies had been damaging to small business, while only 16 percent indicated they had benefited, according to the poll by Manta, an online community that promotes small business. Some 67 percent were highly unsatisfied with government, with only 2 percent highly satisfied.

Meanwhile, the survey, which queried more than 2,300 small business owners online between August 12 and 29, showed President Obama as the candidate with 21 percent of support, followed by Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, with 14 percent; Texas U.S. Representative Ron Paul, also a Republican, with 11 percent; and Republican former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, with 9 percent.

Why the debt ceiling debate won’t stop America’s small businesses

– John Krubski is an entrepreneur and the architect of The Guardian Life Index: What Matters Most to America’s Small Business Owners. He is currently working on his next book, “Cracking the America Code: How to Get US Back on Track”. –

As recently as April of this year, the Amex Open Survey announced that “For the first time since 2006, growth has surpassed survival as the number one priority for entrepreneurs… Perhaps further evidence that economic recovery is reaching Main Street, more than one-third (35 percent) plan to hire, the highest level since the fall 2008 survey.”

Just a few short months later, the headlines were filled with gloom and doom about the impending, “unprecedented” default of U. S. debt, followed quickly by predictions of a “double-dip” recession.

The entrepreneur’s equivalent of “10,000 hours”

– Mark Suster is a former serial entrepreneur and a partner at Los Angeles-based GRP Partners. This article originally appeared on his blog “Both Sides of the Table”. The views expressed are his own. –

50 coffee meetings. It should stick in your head as a metaphor for networking. For getting outside of your comfort zone. For starting relationships today that won’t pay off for a year. It’s the entrepreneur’s equivalent of “10,000 hours.”

Anybody who has spent any time with me in person will be tired of this advice because I give it so frequently. It’s a piece of actionable advice that if you put into practice starting next week, will start paying dividends in the near future. There’s a direct correlation to your future success.

7 business mistakes you ought to avoid

– Neil Patel is a serial entrepreneur who blogs about business at Quick Sprout and is the co-founder of KISSmetrics. This article originally appeared here. The views expressed are his own. –

After 10 years of being an entrepreneur, you probably think that I have everything figured out, right? Sadly, I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, to a large extent I know what I’m doing, but just like my first day as an entrepreneur I’m still making mistakes.

The mistakes aren’t the same rookie ones I’ve made before, but instead they are bigger mistakes. Here are some of the mistakes I’ve made over the last few years that you should avoid:

Silicon Valley recruiter on tech hiring frenzy: “Everyone’s desperate”

Robert Greene, the founder and CEO of Silicon Valley-based GreeneSearch Inc, specializes in recruiting hands-on talent for technology-focused companies, primarily startups. He provided his perspective on the current boom in technology hiring.

Q: How would you characterize the tech hiring market now?
A: It’s very competitive right now. It’s been like that for a while; it’s probably heated up even more of late. You have the bigger companies – Groupon, Zynga, Google, LinkedIn, companies that have been proven and successful – and then you have all these startups.
The supply doesn’t meet the demand.

Q: Is there an advantage to being a small company?
A: The advantage they have over those (big) companies is that they can move really quickly. They’ll do everything in a day and make an offer and hope that person will accept right away before they get into the bigger companies. Those are their selling points. They have to move quickly, they have to be agile, have to have the compelling story, have to give equity, along with competitive salaries.

Small business at a crossroads

– Jeff Stibel is the chairman and CEO of small business credit rating agency Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. The views expressed are his own. –

What is a small business owner to make of the headlines?

Right now, leading indicators – like lending, hiring and optimism – paint a conflicting picture of the direction of the country’s small business sector. It’s no wonder we’d be confused. It seems one index rises, while another falls.

Take, for example, small business optimism.  There’s no doubt we’ve come a long way from where we were at the bottom of the recession. But, the leading optimism index, calculated by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), still looks like a seismometer in the days following an earthquake.

Small business seen emerging from “foxhole”

An improved economic outlook has many small business owners looking to grow now to gain a leg up on their competition.

Nearly half (47 percent) of the owners polled in a recent survey by office equipment maker Brother International Corp said they were willing to spend rather than stockpile cash reserves – an increase of 11 percent over 2010, when they were still facing recessionary pressures.

“They know they can’t stand pat, they can’t stay in the foxhole,” said John Wandishin, vice president of marketing for Brother. “When the clouds start moving and the sun starts coming out, how are they going to be positioned?”

Small businesses cheer midterm results

– George A. Cloutier is the founder and CEO of American Management Services and the author of the bestselling book, “Profits Aren’t Everything, They’re the Only Thing”. The views expressed are his own. –

Last week’s midterm elections have provided an emotional boost for many small businesses, according to a survey conducted by American Management Services.

About 73 percent of small business owners said they felt more optimistic about the future of their company due to the Republican gains, in a survey of more than 300 small business owners in 25 states following the Congressional elections. The participating companies all employ at least 25 employees and are considered the job-drivers most likely to hire new workers.

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