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Think before you hire

Ask SCORE

September 08, 2013|By BOB POOR | r.poor@myactv.net
  • Robert A. "Bob" Poor
Robert A. "Bob" Poor

Q: It is time for our small business to think about growing. One thing that we sorely lack, however, is knowledge of successful human-resources procedures, especially related to hiring and staffing. Can you help us get started?

A: You won’t want to miss SCORE Hagerstown’s upcoming business roundtable. 

From noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at Always Ron’s restaurant, 29 N. Burhans Blvd. in Hagerstown, the roundtable will feature local entrepreneur Judy York sharing how she grew her company with excellent human resource management practices. 

Space is limited, so reserve your seat now by calling 301-766-2043. The parking and event are free; lunch is available for purchase.

Generally speaking, if you are considering expanding your workforce, you want to be sure that the people you are hiring are qualified and committed to doing a good job. That said, it is easy to go into the hiring process with the best of intentions and end up with results that fail to meet anyone’s expectations.

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So, before you display the “help wanted” sign, literally and figuratively, give some thought to your hiring goals and strategies for achieving them.

• Do you really need help? It’s great that your business is on a growth track, but is adding staff cost-effective? Reformulating processes or rearranging current employee responsibilities might be all that’s necessary, at least for the short term, if it doesn’t overburden your current employees.

• Assess alternatives. If your needs do not match up with a full-time position, creating one or more part-time positions might do the trick. Utilizing temp agencies, independent contractors and outsourcing might be worth exploring, as well, especially if your needs are short-term.

• Define the job ... and what it takes to do it. Incorporate the position’s responsibilities into a written description. Be reasonable about your expectations. If you are too stringent, you limit your available talent pool; if your requirements are too low, you might be deluged with unqualified applicants.

• Compensation counts. State and local chambers of commerce, employment bureaus and professional associations can help you determine appropriate wages and benefits. Also, study comparable jobs to determine prevailing wage rates.

Need more help with your hiring or other small business start-up or growth challenges? Then contact SCORE, a nonprofit organization of more than 10,000 volunteer business counselors who provide free, confidential business counseling and training workshops/roundtables as a public service.

For more information, go to www.score.org and www.scorehagerstown.org.

• Robert A. “Bob” Poor is a local small-business owner/operator. He is a small-business mentor and a regular contributor to the Ask SCORE column. Questions may be emailed to him at r.poor@myactv.net or sent by mail in care of The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741, ATTN: Ask SCORE column.

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