5 Qualities to Look for in a Job Candidate for Your Small Business

If you’re a small business owner, you know how vital each one of your employees is. Your team is small but mighty, and everyone needs to fit in seamlessly.

If you’re looking to fill a position, you need to do everything you can to bring on the right person. According to a report released by The Center of American Progress, employee turnover can cost a business about 20% of the employee’s salary. Regular employee turnover can significantly cut into your business’s bottom line.

When you’re hiring, you need to know the signs of the best potential employee. Here are 5 qualities you should look for when interviewing candidates to help you minimize employee turnover in your small business.

1)   Easy to Like

In a small company, employees can’t avoid each other. Make sure your new candidate will mesh well with their coworkers by asking how they like to interact with co-workers. This give you a sense if they’re going to be collaborative and social.

Not all of your employees need to have the same personality. Ideally, you should have a good mix of people, some with bubbly personalities and others with laid-back and quiet dispositions.

No matter who you hire, they should be honest and of good character. Even if your candidate is likable on the surface, you shouldn’t neglect to perform a background check. The cost of a background check is well worth it to protect your company’s reputation.

2)   A Sense of Individuality

You shouldn’t strive to hire someone who’s exactly like you. Look for someone who can challenge the way you do business and introduce positive changes.

Your blind spots are your worst enemies. A candidate that is honest and sees the world differently than you will help you grow and collaborate on new ventures.

3)   Engaged with Your Vision

If your company’s product or service isn’t particularly exciting, not all of your employees will be enthusiastic. And that’s okay! What you need is someone enthusiastic about the way you do business.

During the interview, pay attention to what your candidate asks about your company beyond the job description. Consider their answer to the adage question “Why do you want to work here?” to determine their passion for your company’s mission.

An employee that has a genuine intrinsic motivation to perform well will likely stick around for the long term.

4)   Responds Well to Praise

This quality ties well into the previous one. You shouldn’t look to hire an employee who’s simply a name on a roster. Find someone who responds well to praise and positive reinforcement.

Inquire about awards and titles they’ve received at past jobs. Give them the floor to reflect on their past achievements and use what they say to gauge their enthusiasm.

Someone who responds well to positive reinforcement will be easy to keep around. As long as you provide them with the praise that they thrive on, you will have a productive employee on your hands.

5)   Ambitious

Look for someone that is not only willing but eager to go above and beyond the job description. They should be proactive and look for ways to grow with your company. Don’t bring someone on to your team who has a record of job-hopping or subpar performance in past positions.

By the same token, you should also look for someone who can manage multiple projects at once. In the small business world, you should have someone who can take on different roles in case of an employee’s absence or an unexpected deadline.

Conclusion While you can’t eliminate employee turnover, you can certainly prevent it. Be on the lookout for a candidate with these five qualities as you’re going through the hiring process.

Image: Job Candidate via /Shutterstock

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