October 1, 2003 Issue #16


  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Hiring good people
  • FREEBIE: An easy way to boost your revenue
  • There is still time . . .
  • Write to us / pass it along / article reprints

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Hiring good people

For some business owners, hiring good help is kind of like throwing mud against a wall. They just give ‘em a try and see who sticks. Often, a hiring manager will hire someone just because they take a shine to them. Then, a job is developed around that individual. Unfortunately, both approaches put the proverbial cart before the horse and neither puts the needs of the business first.

There are some very simple things that you can do to improve the odds that you will hire the right person and that they will work well for you. If you do these things at the outset, you can save yourself a good measure of time, money and frustration.

First, develop a detailed description of work that you need to have done to achieve your business goals. Spending the time to develop a good description of the job will help to clarify your expectations of the person hired. Include:

  • the duties that they will be expected to perform daily, weekly, monthly, and occasionally
  • a statement telling whether or not they will be expected to be self-directed or if they will have specific assigned tasks
  • the position to whom they will be reporting (their supervisor)
  • the hours and days that they are expected to work
  • what kind of training they will receive
  • special circumstances of the work such as travel or physical capabilities such as lifting

Next, look at the job description and determine what kind of qualifications will be needed. Will the person you hire have to have a college degree and experience in order to perform this work? Or, is it a good job for someone with minimal education and no experience? Add the following to the job description:

  • required or preferred educational level
  • number of years of experience
  • the kind of jobs the job candidate should have had
  • any needed or preferred professional credentials or certifications

Finally, determine how much you are willing to pay the individual you hire. Keep in mind that you will be competing with other employers who are hiring people with the same qualifications. You can see if your salary offer is competitive at www.salary.com or at job search web sites such as www.monster.com.

Now you are ready to start looking for a person who will be able to do the job. The question is, where will you look? Do you have the time, patience and skill to screen applicants? If you choose to "do-it-yourself" you will have to do several things including:

  • solicit applications from one or more sources
  • screen the applications to find the best ones
  • interview the applicants
  • check credentials and references
  • administer skills tests where appropriate

If you do not have a person in your company who has the expertise and time to handle these chores, you might consider hiring an employment agency to fill the job for you. They will advertise for applicants, screen them, do skills testing, check credentials and references and conduct a preliminary interview. Usually, you will be presented with 2 or 3 viable candidates. You then conduct one or more interviews with each candidate and make your choice.

The cost can be substantial - 30% of the first year's earnings is common. There are usually some guarantees that the person hired will be a satisfactory employee and will remain with your business for a specified minimum amount of time.

An alternative is to contact area vocational schools, colleges or proprietary schools which offer training in the skill areas your opening requires. The placement offices at these schools often will post job opportunities and some will do an initial screening. Their services are usually free. Candidates from these sources are usually individuals just starting out in their careers.

Your state department of employment services will also post job openings and do some initial screening. In Ohio, contact the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Online. Their URL is www.state.oh.us/odjfs/indes.stm.

The best source of good job candidates is usually from people you know. Be sure you "call around" and ask if your friends, family and business associates know of anyone who might be a good "fit" with your requirements. The advantage is that a person whom you already know is probably more likely to give you a referral to someone who will be reliable. Be sure to check references and credentials, even if you have gotten a referral from a friend.

FREEBIE: The Affiliate Masters Course

One of the easiest ways to increase your product offerings and boost revenue if you have a web site is through affiliate programs.

In an affiliate program, you offer products and services of other businesses on your web site and collect a commission on each sale. Companies that offer the opportunity to partner with them as an affiliate usually provide marketing support in the form of copy and graphics that you can easily copy to your own web site.

There are literally thousands of products and services available via affiliate programs so the challenge is in selecting the ones that will best meet your business goals. The Affiliate Masters Course will show you exactly how to choose the best programs and how to utilize them effectively to produce added revenue for your business.

Learn how to become a high-earning affiliate champion. The corse is free and will be delivered to your e-mail box. All you need to do is send a blank e-mail to tamsodyssey1@sitesell.net

There is still time . . .

to register for Power Marketing for Smaller Businesses starting November 18 at Polaris Career Center. If you have been considering taking classes, sign up today. If we do not have enough people enroled in a course, it will have to be cancelled so early registration is important.

For complete description and registration information, visit https://www.businessodyssey.com/training.html.

Write to us; pass it along; reprint articles

If you have questions, comments or an idea for an article you would like to see in The Chronicle, please drop us a line at info@businessodyssey.com.

Please pass this newsletter along to anyone you think might find it of interest. If you do, be sure to forward it in its entirety and include the copyright notice.

To use an article in your own publication, just send me an e-mail telling me which article you want to use. I will e-mail you the complete article with an information block which MUST be included.

Copyright 2003 Kathleen Thompson ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Business Odyssey

Cleveland, Ohio