How to Recruit - Prepare to Hire Before You Take the Plunge

Written by: Christina Merhar
Originally published on January 26, 2015. Last updated October 26, 2020.

The following is an excerpt from our free resource, The 20 Greatest Recruiting and Retention Tips. If you'd like to download the full resource, click here.

As a small business owner, who you hire is key to the success of your business. This is true for family-run businesses, start-ups, non-profits, and small businesses... as well as Fortune 500 companies. But knowing how to recruit can be tough. Small businesses with limited time and resources need to be smart about recruiting new talent and make each new hire count. So here’s a simple but effective recruiting tip - prepare to hire before you take the plunge.take-the-plunge-flickr

Prepare to Hire Before You Take the Plunge

It sounds simple enough - get your ducks in a row before you jump into hiring. But, hiring a new employee can be exciting, and all too often small businesses start listing positions and interviewing before they truly know what or who they are looking for.  

To hire the right employee the first time, take a step back and ask yourself these three questions.

What Role Will They Fill?

As you post the job and interview candidates, having a clear job description will help you hire the best candidate for the position.

Many small businesses don't have current job descriptions, but current and clearly written job descriptions help you recruit and hire the right candidates. The job description paints the picture for prospective employee about the role they'll be filling, and about the business they'll be working for. Having a succinct job description on hand not only helps you write a strong job posting, but it gets the right candidates through the door.

See also: Why Small Businesses Need Job Descriptions

How Much Help Do You Need?

Consider how much time you need from an employee. Do you need full-time or part-time? A contractor or consultant? An intern? By identifying the amount of help you need and the scope of work that needs to be completed, you won't over or under-hire.

How Much Can You Afford?

If you’re like many small business owners, you worry about the cost of hiring and the return on your investment.

As with every investment, consider:

  • Monthly cash flow (can you make payroll regularly?)

  • Monthly profit (have you been generating enough income to support a new hire?)

  • Expected additional revenue (how much additional revenue will a new hire generate?)

  • Estimated payroll costs (how much will you pay the new hire?)

  • Estimated monthly taxes and benefits (will you offer health benefits?)

  • Additional overhead costs (ex: extra rent, technology, energy expenses)


By getting organized and answering these simple questions, you’ll be better prepared to recruit, interview, and hire. You’ll know not only who you need to hire, but also for what position. This means you will get the right candidates through the door and hire the right employee for the job. Bottom line? You’ll be ready to take the plunge and find an employee who will stay and grow with your business.

What are your tips or questions about hiring and recruiting? Leave a comment below.

Originally published on January 26, 2015. Last updated October 26, 2020.


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