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Hiring an Employee

When it’s time to start the hiring process, be sure to take the time to map out a vision of your ideal employees and the specific ways in which they contribute to your business. Consider the work you’ve designated for them, and what kind of responsibilities you’ll want them to have.

 

When you’re hiring new employees, you also need to consider what you hold most value to your business. Is it your customer service? In this case, you’ll need someone who is professional while still outgoing. Do you pride yourself on attention to detail? You’ll need someone who has top-notch expertise in their trade. Pay attention to what personal qualities you’ll need for specific roles.

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Some characteristics you’ll want to keep in mind are:

 

  • Experience: Has demonstrated competency in the past with the same level of work.
  • Ability To Learn: Eagerness to learn may be better for your business in the long term, as you’ll slowly be able to give them more responsibility.
  • Dedication: You’ll want someone who’s willing to stick around for the long term.
  • Motivation: Look for someone who’s willing to put in the extra work to elevate the finished product.
  • Personality: It’s important that your employees’ personalities mesh well together to ensure a positive and healthy work environment.

Where To Find Employees

As you start your search for new employees, there are numerous ways to go about it. There’s the more traditional methods like submitting job postings to websites online – or even traditional newspapers. And there’s more creative methods, like seeking out students still in school or veterans before they’re snatched off the job market.

Job Posting Sites

The easiest way to find new employees is by simply creating a job listing and posting it online. Below, we’ve listed the most popular sites for jobseekers in the service industry to make finding qualified individuals easy:

 

Newspapers & Supply Houses

Alternatively, you can turn to old school methods like posting Newspaper Ads or leaving advertisements in Supply Houses on boards. To post a newspaper ad, you can find a large list of publications here along with their rates. In addition to posting ads, you’ll want to check whether your newspaper has an online job board. Often, these online listings are free to post to.

Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth can also be a great way to get new employees. Post to social media like Facebook and ask employees to share your post. Share your post inside local groups. Or even ask your employees if they know someone to fill positions and offer a recruiting bonus to employees who referred new hires.

Trade Schools

It’s tempting to focus on experienced candidates, but trade schools and high schools vocational programs can be great opportunities to find new employees. High school students may be able to leave early to work with you for credits and current students at trade schools may need to work while enrolled simply to meet graduation requirements. This gives you a chance to hire them part-time and get them up to speed. Then, by the time they leave school, these employees will not only have the skills they need to complete the job but you’ll have them trained on your company’s methods and have already had a chance to vet them before bringing them on full-time.

Veterans

There are a number of benefits to hiring veterans including gaining someone on your team with a broad range of skills, both professional and interpersonal, from their time in service. This tool can help you discover which military occupations have the skills you’re looking for.

 

You can search for veterans and post job listings using the following resources:

 

 

Or, alternatively, you can connect with a Regional Veteran Employment Coordinator in your area here. As an added bonus, you may also be eligible for:

 

  • The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which provides a tax credit when you hire individuals from certain targeted groups who face barriers to employment in addition to other credit categories.
  • HIRE Vets Medallion Award, an award that honors small businesses that recruit, employ, and retain veterans.

Former Inmates/Felons

Ex-offenders are often overlooked but have completed training programs and have the necessary to jump into work. Should you have to supplement those gaps, there are a number of incentives that will help lessen the burden on your business including the The Work Opportunity Tax Credit and UNICOR Federal Bonding Program. You may also be eligible for other tax breaks or grants.

Interviewing

When interviewing your potential new employees, it’s important that you’ve carefully selected your list of questions. Your questions should give you the necessary information to assess whether your candidate will be a good fit for your company. Below are a set of example interview questions:

  • Tell me about the work environment in which you are the most productive?
  • What expectations do you have of managers and co-workers?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Why do you want to work with us?
  • A customer gets angry with you over the cost of a repair. How do you respond to them?
  • Can you tell me about a time you delighted a customer, how you did it, and why you did it?
  • Have you ever turned an unhappy customer into a happy one? Explain.
  • How do you balance the need for speedy resolutions with safety?
  • Describe a scenario and ask them to diagnose the problem, taking you step-by-step through their thought process.
  • Tell me about a time you had to solve a problem, but didn’t have the information (or knowledge) to do so? What did you do?
  • What do you do when you make a diagnosis, get the OK from the customer, make the repair and it doesn’t solve the problem?
  • How would you handle it if you couldn’t meet the deadline on a project?
  • How do you define work ethic and what does it mean to you?
  • When things at work are slow or you’ve finished your work, what do you do?
  • Tell me about a time you went the extra mile at work.
  • Tell me about a time you felt overwhelmed at work and what you did about it?
 

Need more ideas? Download our list of 101 ideas.

101 Interview Questions

Interview Questions to Avoid

It’s important to note that not all interview questions are good, and some can actually be illegal to ask. Here are a few examples of interview topics that you should steer clear from.

 

  • What Church Do You Go To?
  • Are You Married?
  • Who Did You Vote For?
  • Have You Ever Been Arrested?
  • How Old Are You?

Background Checks

Everyone wants reliable employees who show up on time, keep customers happy, and know what it takes to get the jobs done. Most of the time, technicians will be interacting with customers unsupervised, which means that every time your team members step into a customer’s home, there’s potential for a lot of liability. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find employees you can trust and count on, so it’s important to utilize background checks for vetting potential candidates.

Types of Background Checks

There are several types of background checks, but in general, background checks are divided into two categories: criminal and credit. Credit checks are normally used in industries where employees handle large amounts of money, but they’re also used as a litmus test for responsibility and overall behavior. It’s important to note that credit checks for employment are illegal in some states, so make sure you take the time to check your state’s policies. Criminal background checks are very common, as they can be used in almost every industry. A criminal background check can be performed at either the county, state, or federal level. Some background check services will also verify education, birth records, visa status, and manually input employment history and references.

 

You may want to utilize private databases and 3rd party directories to run your own background checks, but we would highly discourage this as it is illegal. Many states have very strict guidelines around data privacy and collection, making it illegal to request certain types of information. It may seem like a way to save time and money, but in reality, you’re going to expose yourself to more liability and waste more time than you would by letting your background checks be handled at the county, state, or federal level.

 

In addition, you’ll want to check the validity of your candidate’s licensing, like their trade license and driver’s license – especially if they plan to use company vehicles.

 

Where To Run Background Checks

1099 vs. W2 Employees

It may be tempting to lower your payroll expenses and tax liabilities, but employee misclassification is actually a serious crime that can cost you thousands of dollars in penalties and FICA back-taxes. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to figure out whether you’ll need to classify someone as a contractor or employee, but the line may not be as clear in a service business setting. Generally, the way someone works dictates their employment status, but this can be influenced by factors such as scheduling and provided equipment.

 

If you can tell your worker when, where, and how they should work, this is referred to as ‘behavior control’ and they’ll need to be classified as an employee. Independent contractors, however, are their own business entities because they control the when, where, and how of their work. This may sound simple, but things can get muddy quickly when you start to look at real-life situations.

 

If you run a pool cleaning business, and your workers use their own cars to drive to each location, but they use specific supplies and uniforms that you’ve specified, are they considered employees or contractors? They’re given specific directions, but you’re not directly monitoring or managing them. Be sure to do your research to avoid misclassifying your workers.

Offer Letters

Once you’ve made the decision to hire a new employee, you’ll want to send them a formal offer letter. This outlines any conditions of employment, like passing drug tests, their job title, the job description, their salary, start date, benefits, and any other information you discussed prior in interviews. It’s wise to ask candidates to sign and return this letter as a formal acceptance. That way, should conflicts arise about the initial terms of their employment, you have something to reference.

Now it’s time to start hiring! 

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