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Make Hiring Decisions with Confidence

Determining which potential employees to hire is one of the most important business decisions you can make. Choose well and you can watch your business grow. Choose poorly and you could be paying for it years down the road. The good news is, there are some easy things you can do to feel confident that your hiring decisions are the right ones.

Pose the right questions.

You’ve posted the job, sorted through resumes and scheduled interviews with qualified candidates. Now is not the time to “wing it.” Take time to prepare for your interviews and have a standard set of questions so you can easily compare one candidate to another. Include questions that tell you:

As you develop your questions, remember that there are laws and regulations governing what you legally can ask in an interview. If you conduct interviews yourself, protect yourself by using questions reviewed by a human resources professional or your attorney.

Check references—and check online.

It’s a basic step, but one too many employers overlook. Call references to make sure candidates are who they say they are. Run background checks on potential employees. Many companies can provide these types of services for a nominal fee—and if it keeps you from hiring the wrong employee, it’s well worth it.

Plus, with the internet at your fingertips, you can do some basic checking yourself. Take a look at potential candidates’ Facebook and Twitter pages and consider how they present themselves—and determine if you want them representing your company.

Perform pre-employment drug tests.

For safety and liability reasons, drug tests are particularly important when hiring equipment operators. If you make it clear in your job posting that a drug test is required, you’ll likely eliminate candidates who know they won’t pass. Remember, however, that drug tests are medical examinations, so they can only be done after you’ve made a conditional offer of employment and before new employees begin work.

Ask for help.

Too busy running your business to dedicate time to reviewing resumes, conducting interviews and checking references? That’s understandable. But don’t let your hiring practices suffer as a result. It’s okay to get outside help. Recruiters can do most of the legwork for you and weed out unqualified candidates so you don’t waste your time. Your local employers’ association is also a good resource, especially if you have a small (or no) internal HR team.

Find more resources from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB)