Recruiting and Hiring for Small Business – Step 6 Final


Here is the final step in our series on Interviewing, Hiring, and Recruiting for Small Business on behalf of Community Futures Cowichan.  We hope you have learned a little in recruiting in this applicant short market of 2017.  Employers are not in the driver’s seat any longer.  A large number of qualified candidates are NOT available any longer, trying to convince candidates that a great ‘opportunity’ exists if only they will start at the entry level for very entry level compensation won’t work at all anymore, And, not executing great recruiting and interviewing policies isn’t a ‘nice to do’, it’s essential.

Once the decision has been made as to which candidates will be interviewed, (the long list), then those candidates should receive the job description so they have all the information available on the job, what’s required to execute it, and what will be discussed in the preliminary telephone interview.  As mentioned in Step 5, the preliminary telephone interview’s sole objective will be to provide company information and to determine if the candidate and the company who is hiring share the same objectives.  If, after reviewing the resume and conducting a telephone interview with the candidate, no big red flags occur, then a face to face interview is in order.

As mentioned in an earlier Step, one of my best mentors suggested to me that an interview is a ‘life or death’ conversation.  That’s a bit exaggerated to make a point, but if you are an owner/operator small business finally making a decision to have an employee or two, it is understandably VERY important to apply all your best skills to achieving a good hire.  If the interviewing and hire is done with haste, no preparation, based on ‘gotta have someone to help me next weekend’ it is surely likely the hire will fail and you are back to spending more money and time finding a suitable person to work with you.

Before the interview – whether the initial telephone interview or the face to face interview – takes place, the following tips should be considered.  Where the interview takes place is important.  The location needs to be private and quiet.  So many folks have started their working careers sitting with their first boss in a food court in a mall, or a reception area next to the elevators in a big office building or at a farmer’s market on one of the benches.  No longer suitable in this applicant tight market.  The interview should also not be interrupted.  This writer has trained many people on who to be a good recruiter.  They are always told that the phone should be picked up by someone else, although obviously in this day and age, the mobile phone must be turned off.  Not just on mute, turned off.  It is not only disrupting, but rude, to pick up a call, or check a text, or an incoming response to a post during an interview.  This is literally an opportunity for the candidate to earn a living and perhaps realize their career goals.

Another interviewing element is the nature of appearance of the individual.  The writer isn’t speaking about whether the candidate is tall, short, fat, thin, or any various types of culture. That’s against the law.  It has to do with what the candidate wears to an interview.  If you are hiring hourly paid labourers, then very causal, suitable for labouring works just fine.  But, if you are hiring for a customer facing position in a financial institution or a lawyer’s office, very casual clothes aren’t acceptable.  What everyone wore several decades ago were MUCH more important than today.  Nonetheless, an appearance that is appropriate for the position helps to make a final decision.

All elements of a successful interview would be too much information to relate in these short steps.  Some employers like to keep it easy and simple and just ask questions like ‘what can you do for us?’ or ‘why are you applying here’ or ‘does your current employer know you are searching?’ or even ‘if we hire you, what are you expecting?’ None of these questions have any value, are leading questions that lead the candidate to know what the employer wants to hear and are far too general for the potential employer to obtain any good information on whether this candidate is good for your company or not.

Creating scenarios on what would/could happen in the position is called ‘situational hiring’ and it has great merit.  To take the time to create a realistic scenario that could happen while the new employee worked at his job and to ask him/her how he would handle it, gives you first rate information on the training level and understanding of the candidate.

The writer’s comment on reference checks?  Always do them, always.

Thanks for reading through this little series and thanks to Community Futures Cowichan for the opportunity to create the six Steps.  If anyone has any questions, comments, opinions, whatever about this series, please let us know through either this website, the Facebook Page, or by email to





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