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Identifying the right person for your business

There is a saying: “You are only as good as your weakest player”. This is true in team sports and true in business as well.

Many local businesses operate as smaller one-to-five person operations. In this regard, every person on your team matters. If, out of the five people on your team, one consistently performs at a less than average level, then it impacts your entire operation and depending on which industry you are in, can have a disastrous effect on the operation and longevity of your business. How then do you select the “right” person for your organisation? Here are six tips to help you get started down the road to answering this question:

1. Start with a plan: Do you know what tasks you want your employee to perform? Do you have a job description that details the responsibilities that are to be completed? Use the internet as a resource to help you identify the skills needed from each position you are hiring for.

2. List the skills that your ideal employee should have: Be sure to prioritise this list, as more often than not, one person may not possess all the skills, you need. Note that some skills can be developed, but others unfortunately cannot. Make sure you know which are your must have skills. (i.e. you can teach a person how to sell goods, but you can’t teach someone how to be friendly.)

3. Create a checklist to standardise your hiring process: A checklist can help to ensure that the process is consistent and can help to remove any bias.

4. Consider the culture of your organisation. What do you want people to know about you/your business? How do you want people to feel when they use your services? Is your organisation formal, or informal? Make sure that the person you select can succeed within the culture that you have created.

5. Ask the right questions: Prepare a list of questions prior to interviewing the candidate to ensure that you cover all your bases. This is your opportunity to access the candidate on not just what was provided in a resume but also on their personality, helping you to get closer to identifying the right candidate for your company.

6. “Try before you buy”: Whenever possible, give your potential employee an opportunity to do the job before making an offer. If you have a short list of employees, have them work in the environment before making the final decision.

The six tips listed above are by no means exhaustive, but it will help you to begin the process of identifying the right person to help build your business.

Jamillah Lodge is a Business Development Officer for Bermuda Economic Development Corporation. She specialises in providing aspiring and existing entrepreneurs with business development advice and loan guarantee assistance. In addition, she manages the marketing and communications plan for the Corporation and oversees the development of a mentorship and youth entrepreneurship programme. She has a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.

Business Buzz is a monthly column presented by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation. Every month, read about entrepreneurship, obtain business management tips, and find out what’s going on in the small business sector.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and should serve a general guide and should not be considered as replacement advice from a lawyer, accountant or other professional service provider. Readers should consult with the appropriate professionals as necessary.

If you have questions about starting a business in Bermuda, just ask BEDC: E-mail us at info@bsbdc.bm or call 292-5570.

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Published July 16, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated July 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm)

Identifying the right person for your business

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