What to Consider When Hiring Employees You need someone who can do the job and who fits in at your company. It has to be both.

By John Boitnott

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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One of the most important acts of running a successful business is hiring employees. A bad decision can hurt your customer base, efficiency and profits. Use these considerations to arm yourself with the right employees when hiring.

Consider skills and personality when hiring.

Both skills and personality are important to consider when hiring. Making sure your potential employee has the right skill set for the job is crucial to ensure you are choosing the best candidate to meet your business goals.

Asking good questions during the interview is a sure-fire way to hire employees with the right set of skills and the ability to use those skills successfully. You want someone with the knowledge as well as a successful track record.

Here are some questions to ask candidates:

  1. How will your skill set help you in this role?

  2. What are some examples of your previous success in a similar role?

  3. What is your favorite software for this kind of position?

Personality is also an important factor in hiring employees. Culture fit has the potential to make or break an employees' experience in any business, as well as affect their ability to perform to their potential. Interviewing, at least in part, for personality can help show what kind of person would be good in a high-stress role or a role that involves multitasking. Some characteristics to look for include a good sense of self-assessment, knowing their strength and weaknesses, and a dedication to development, both personally and professionally.

Related: How to Hire Like a Pro

Common mistakes employers make.

Hiring can be a bit overwhelming for many reasons, sometimes avoidable ones. One of the most common mistakes employers make when hiring is not clearly defining the roles or responsibilities of the job. This creates confusion within the hiring team as well as with the job applicants, thus causing more stress and an inefficient, lengthy hiring process.

Consider taking more time to update the job description with the role that your business needs. This may have changed since the last time you were hiring and the responsibilities needed on your team may have shifted. Taking the time to truly assess your business needs and the type of person you envision in the role is important in making a good hiring decision.

Another common mistake when hiring employees, according to Entrepreneur contributor Deep Patel, is to hire a candidate for the company culture and not necessarily for the position. While personality and culture fit are important, they should not be the deciding factor for hiring a candidate. There are other considerations that should weigh heavier for hiring employees than culture fit including skill set, successful past experiences, and the potential for development.

All of these factors are necessary in order to find a good fit but beware of searching for the perfect candidate -- they don't exist. It all comes down to knowing what you're looking for in a candidate and how much of it you can teach.

Related: If You're Not Hiring Ahead, You've Already Fallen Behind

Above all, know what (and who) you're looking for.

Ultimately, the best thing you can do to successfully hire employees for your business is to be clear about your needs and wants for the position. As stated above, investing extra time in updating and clearly defining your job description will lay the groundwork for a successful hiring process.

This can start with an in-depth look at how you want to grow your business and the type of role you need to meet your growth goals. Ask yourself tough questions about what your business needs in order to successfully meet goals and if those goals are attainable in the time frame you set.

Once you've done that and updated your job description, you can start thinking about the type of person you envision in that role -- the characteristics and skills that make a candidate ideal for that position.

While that structure is good to know what kind of person you are looking for, avoid having a closed mind during the process. Staying flexible will allow hiring to be smoother and will lower the amount of frustration when interviewing. Though the perfect candidate doesn't exist, the best one for you is out there. They may not look exactly like what you pictured but they'll get you where you need to go.

Hiring employees is one of the most important things you can do to grow your business. It is pertinent to take it seriously and do your due diligence. Planning and strategy are important parts of the process. Avoiding common mistakes and having a clear picture of the kind of person you need for the role will help you make the right decision every time.

Wavy Line
John Boitnott

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Journalist, Digital Media Consultant and Investor

John Boitnott is a longtime digital media consultant and journalist living in San Francisco. He's written for Venturebeat, USA Today and FastCompany.

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