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Hiring and Screening Tips for Small Business

Posted by Ryan Howard on Mon, May 01, 2017

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Running a small business means paying close attention to the needs of your customers and your employees. Small business employees lay the groundwork of your organization including everything from human resources to accounting and development to sales. Along the way, small business owners have to listen closely to determine when it's time to hire. Hiring the right people, then, is important to help continue that growth. 

Hiring and Screening Tips for Small Business: Use these tips to determine when it's time to hire, how to run compliant background checks, and onboarding best practices.

When to Hire Your Next Employee

Initially, there really aren't many job descriptions in a small business. Everybody does whatever they can to bring in customers and pay the bills. Eventually, there are clues that it's time to hire help. Some clues are louder and more obvious than others:

  • Illness and time off - When employees are overwhelmed, they start to get sick. Stress and overwork can do a number on your body. If you begin to notice employees calling in sick or wanting more time off, it may be time to hire some help.
  • Low morale - Overwork also causes low morale. This will be obvious in the mood of the office. If taking a fun day away from the office still doesn't boost morale, your employees may be asking for more than a free lunch.
  • Frustrated customers or things slipping through the cracks - When your employees are feeling strained, they may check out. Important tasks remain undone and clients complain about bad customer service when it's obvious that it's time to hire. 
  • When the choice is hire or turn away business - When there's a fork in the road, you have to make a choice. If it feels like you absolutely cannot grow without hiring, it may be time.
  • When your employees are asking for new hires - Your employees will know when it's time. They're spending too much of their time handling a task that is big enough for another employee. They're unable to focus on current clients because there are new clients who need help. They may realize that it's time to hire before you do so keep your ears open.

When deciding to hire new employees, make sure you're hiring because the present and future finances support it. Your new hire should help support the business in a way that makes sense, for your customers and your bottom line.Free Background Check Consent Platform

Small Business Hiring Process

The time to hire may also signal the time to create a hiring plan that can be easily duplicated for future employees. Hiring new employees can also be the perfect time to begin documenting an onboarding process. While it may seem like work, once it's done, future hiring will be relatively easier. 

Here are some things to consider in your hiring process:

  • Job Descriptions - While you may not be sure of every job description, now would be a good time to begin organizing certain tasks into job descriptions.
  • Paperwork - Do you know what forms you may need during the application and onboarding process? The forms for background screening are also crucial and must be FCRA compliant.
  • Verification - Are you aware of how to verify an applicant's eligibility to work in the United States? 
  • Interview Questions - Once you've decided on job descriptions and have a good idea of company culture, narrowing down a list of interview questions can help make the process smoother and determine when a candidate is a good fit for the company.

Affordable Small Business Background Checks

Growing your business means that your employees can be skill-specialists and gradually move away from being generalists. Specialized job skills means that not every employee will be subject to the same background screening. For instance, while everyone will be screened for identity verification and criminal records, not all employees need their driving record scrutinized. Some employees may require credit checks, while others may need a closer look at how they handle social media because they'll be taking over your company's social accounts. 


Job-related background checks will help reduce the cost of screening employees as well as help make the hiring process more efficient. As the company grows, there may be a need for deeper background screens, in terms of security or other job functions. Initially, and in order to keep costs low, the minimum background checks will offer some peace of mind when hiring someone to help support the growth of the business.

You'll be thankful for the work that is documented during the growth process of your business. These procedures are subject to change, of course, but small businesses are definitely more malleable than a large organization. Growing pains don't have to be painful if you're paying attention and are willing to do a little homework at the beginning. Hiring the right employee, at the right time, is crucial to the overall health of you, your employees and your business.

Topics: Human Resources, Hiring and Recruiting