One Way Small Businesses Can Be Better at Hiring

Workplace Success

shutterstock_265722122Two weekends ago the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League facilitated their annual draft of amateur athletes.

An annual draft of amateur athletes is how most professional leagues develop succession plans for their teams by continually bringing on new talent.

It got me thinking about how small businesses typically bring in new talent and fill positions in their company.

It’s not typically as systematic.

Professional sports teams invest a lot of resources in making sure the right players are recruited for their teams.

Small business leaders don’t invest nearly enough.

The biggest resource small business leaders need increase investment in hiring is simply time.

There is rarely advanced planning for hiring.

Recruiting for new talent in a small business has a tendency to happen in two ways:

  1. When an existing employee gives their two-week notice that they are leaving, and
  2. When the realization comes that the current staff is over capacity and there is room to add to the payroll

In either situation the small business leader feels a time crunch to bring someone on staff to alleviate the pressure. Unlike professional sports teams that invest heavily in researching, scouting, and evaluating the right talent available for the makeup of their team, in small businesses hiring is typically done hastily without enough time to find the best fit.

Because small business leaders need to play it tight when it comes to payroll and do not have the luxury of a lot of pre-planning for every position, the best thing to do is to get very clear on the type of person to recruit.

By this I mean to get clear on the personality that is the best fit for your culture. This includes attitude, work ethic, focus, values and beliefs about work, etc.

Not enough emphasis is placed on those highly valuable traits and too much is placed on work skills, knowledge, experience, and education.

In the hiring model my clients apply there are five components to evaluate in a job candidate outlined in the S.K.A.T.E. Hiring Model, Skills, Knowledge, Attitude, Talent, and Education/Experience.

For virtually every employee the attitude and talent requirement segments should be virtually identical, because those are innate traits around which you can build a championship caliber workforce.

For a free .pdf of the S.K.A.T.E. Hiring Model worksheet email me at