Human Resource & Leadership for Small Business Blog

Small Business,10 Things to Do BEFORE Interviewing

Posted on Thu, Oct 31, 2013

As A Small Business Owner....

One of the many challenges that small business owners face is duplicating themselves or pieces of themeselves so that they can focus on the big picture of why you went into business in the first place. Too many times the small business owner gets stuck in the day to day minutia and get frustrated and/or overwhelmed.

When you are ready to look at hiring and getting some of those job roles off your shoulders, it is important to set a strong foundation for that interviewing process, well before you make a hiring decision . Have you ever hired a new employee who has all the skills you need and is doing well...only to find out that they like their job..but are looking to leave?? If this has happened to you, then how to improve employee retention is important to you, right??

Why does something like that happen??

20543757 Two people interviewing a woman

Well, let's back up a minute...Let's start at the beginning with your vision. Have you thought about putting that vision you had when you planned to go into business into a well thought out and crystalized and communicated format, so that your team understands the core values that are what are going to make your company strong and competitive?

Do you convey this vision during the interiew process...if you in fact have them already well thought out and written down?

Before you begin interviewing, here are some things that you should do as a small business owner BEFORE you begin to hire your team and surely before you begin the interview process. These things will help ensure that you hire a great employee and continue to do so... and also that you are consistently growing a great team, set up for longevity, success and loving your company!!

This is all about improving employee retention that will add MANY dollars to your bottom line!

1. Determine, clarify and crystalize the type of culture you are looking to create in your business.

It is a good idea to do this before you begin interviewing or if you have done this, incorporate this vision into the interviewing process, so that you know if the potential new hire will not only have the skills for the job, but will enjoy working for YOU! If you do not create an intentional culture, you will probably end up with one by default and it may not be the one you would choose.  What happens if you don’t?? You will probably end up hiring people who do not “get” you or “get” your company or "get" your product or service and you run the risk of low productivity, mismatched priorities, not delivering the type of customer service you want for your customers as well as potential trouble relating to the rest of your team and potentially a parting of the ways.

Why is that, you might ask?? Your day to day running of your business from service, operations, the way you answer your phone, sales and pretty much everything you do… reflects your culture.  Also, a good question to ask …Is the culture that I am intending to create actually the one that I have? If not, what do you need to do to ensure that your company actually has the culture you want?

Be sure to communicate this to your perspective candidates before you interview as part of the interview process..the ones who want to work for you will weed themselves in and those who don't like the culture will weed themselves out!

2. Keep your company vision in mind when you are hiring and before you begin to interview.

What is your vision for your company? Why did you go into business…to create a better products or services…to make a difference in the world, right?? Look at where you want to be in the end game and see what it looks like… If you take the time to become clear on your vision, it can and should be communicated to not only your new employees,  but to your customers and existing employees, and do use it in creating your marketing materials as well.  You want all of your employees to sound like they work for the same company… isn’t that true? This is one way to do help ensure that your employees are all on the same page as you.

Define your vision, clarify it and communicate it and use it when you interview new employees to see if they would fit well into your company. The benefits are many!

Then, it may be advisable to take that vision and be sure that the qualities that you are seeking from your potential new employees are qualified and demonstrated during the interviewing process.

3. Your Mission Statement- It will be important in looking at your mission statement and see that the key qualities are targeted in your interviewing process.

Also important as well will be the fleshing out your job descriptions. How will these hires fit in with your mission statement and how will they thrive or not in your company? The mission is your day to day blueprint to get you from where you are to fulfilling your vision. The mission will drive your company towards achieving your vision. Does your interview process qualify and distill the qualities that will be important in matching the role with your mission?


As a small business owner have you given thought to also communicating all of this to your employees through a formal communication plan? Often as business owners we think about communicating our message externally, but just as important is planning, creating and discussing these topics so that the culture reflects you, your interntions and a real live culture filled with key employees who understand, are in alignment with and are ambassadors of the vision you had when you went into all carries through to the bottom line.

For more information on the additional steps that will make a strong impact on your business,
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© Accurate Resource Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

accurate resource group incFor over 30 years, Accurate Resource Group Inc. is Your Small Business Solutions' Strategist for small businesses (under 250 employees) with a sweet spot of fewer than 50 employees. Kathy M Barron is founder, president and a principal consultant. For more information visit and view the HR Consulting support for small businesses OR email

Tags: Employee Productivity, employee retention, small business services