Friday, August 17 , 2018, 6:31 pm | Fair 74º

 
 
 
 
Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with The Lab and American Riviera Bank
The LabAmerican Riviera Bank

Never Skimp on Staffing

Good employees are crucial to the success of small businesses. Here's how you can find, train and retain them.

People are the most important resource a company has, whether there are thousands of employees or just a handful. Good employees are particularly crucial for small businesses. After all, your competitive advantage is personal service and attention to detail.  And members of small staffs must assume a larger share of the operational responsibilities. That’s why it is essential to set up a sound strategy that will help you identify and hire the most qualified people for your business.

Your first step, however, should be to develop a personnel policy and manual so employees will understand what is expected of them after they’ve joined your company. This can be a brief document of only a few pages, but it should include your policy for hours, overtime, fringe benefits, sick leave, annual leave, training, dress code, personnel reviews, grievances, termination and retirement. A job applicant should be given a copy before a final offer of employment is granted. In addition, each company employee should have his or her own copy of the manual, which serves as a guide for his or her conduct and benefits.

SCORE Card

Santa Barbara SCORE meets every Wednesday, from 8:30-11:30 a.m., at 402 E. Gutierrez St., Santa Barbara. No appointment is necessary.

For more information, call 805.563.0084, visit www.santabarbarascore.org  or register for counseling online at www.edmisscore.org/0166.

In addition, the Santa Barbara SCORE Chapter publishes a great tool for aspiring entrepreneurs, How to Start a Business in Santa Barbara County.



Next, prepare a job description for every position within the company, including your own. Each description should outline responsibilities and duties, and describe who the employee’s supervisor will be. Also list the position’s objectives with specific and measurable goals. The job description provides you and the employee a clear road map for the expectations of the position from both the standpoint of workload and expertise required to accomplish the job.

You should also have a standard job application form for your business. You can buy standard forms or computer software for employment applications or create your own. Ideally, the form will be simple and should focus on relevant employment history including names of supervisors and references you can contact. The form should allow some space for the applicant to add a narrative summary of his or her career accomplishments. This section gives you a chance to see what the applicant viewed as important successes and milestones in his or her career.

Now, you’re ready to begin advertising the position and reading resumes. Narrow the applicants to a pool of qualified candidates and invite them for interviews. During that meeting, you want to learn as much as possible about the person’s job skills, work ethic and personality. Ask specific questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. The more dialogue, the more you learn about the applicant. More information will help you make an informed decision.

And be sure to check references. An applicant, who interviews well and has a sterling resume, may not be an ideal fit for the job. Call references to confirm your belief and to ascertain if previous employers’ accounts of the person’s job responsibilities and performance match what you heard in the interview. Also ask references for their opinions about personality, work style and strengths of the candidate. What they say — and don’t say — can give you clues to the character and skill of potential employees. A good question to ask previous employers is whether they would re-hire the applicant. Take this information and form your final opinions.

Hiring the right people for the right positions can mean the difference between top performance and profitability and weak performance and operating difficulties. Choose wisely.

 

You can plug into a wealth of business know-how by contacting your Santa Barbara chapter of SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” SCORE counselors offer free, confidential advice about every aspect of starting, running and growing a successful business, even mentoring.

Santa Barbara SCORE meets every Wednesday, from 8:30-11:30 a.m., at 402 E. Gutierrez St., Santa Barbara. No appointment is necessary. For more information, call 805.563.0084, visit www.santabarbarascore.org or register for counseling online at www.edmisscore.org/0166. In addition, the Santa Barbara SCORE Chapter publishes a great tool for aspiring entrepreneurs, How to Start a Business in Santa Barbara County.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >