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Describe the job. Suppose you, as the busy business owner, decide to hire someone to relieve you of some of your duties. Begin by looking at the many functions you perform and decide where your personal attention is crucial and what tasks you can delegate. Know your own strengths and weaknesses and try to hire someone who can provide a balance to your skills. Put the job description on paper so you can refer to it easily.
Decide what skills are necessary to accomplish the job. What is the lowest level of skill you can accept? In this case, let's assume you've decided to hire a secretary, but you quickly learn that skilled secretaries are both scarce and expensive. Perhaps what you really need is someone to do some typing. Hiring a typist will probably be easier and less expensive. Many high school students are qualified typists and many seek part time work.
Spell out exactly what you want. Suppose you're looking for a sales clerk. What should the applicant be able to do? Tally sales receipts accurately? Keep a customer list? Promote products to your customers'? The job of sales clerk means different things to different people, and unless you spell out what you expect of the employee, you will receive applications from those who are both over and under qualified, thus wasting your time in interviews.
Locate promising applicants, there are many sources for promising applicants. Locally, Job Source is an excellent place to go with your needs. They maintain a sizable bank of names of people interested in securing employment. Private agencies can be helpful, particularly if the skill/educational level you are looking for is high. Be aware however, they will charge you a fee for their services, which is substantial in some cases. On the other hand, if your business has a display window, you may find what you need by putting a "help wanted" sign there, this will draw a number of non-qualified applicants which will cut into your already valuable and limited time.
Advertising in the local newspaper is another common method. A quick look at the classified ads on Sunday will show that job offerings are large in number and can run the gamut in skill levels. A big advantage of this type of employee search is that it will draw a number of written applicants that you can screen on your own schedule, and then choose to interview only the more promising applicants.
Local schools should not be overlooked, particularly vocational schools. Our area high schools offer courses in business related subjects and have students who either want to work part time during the school year or who are seeking full time employment upon graduation. Don't overlook Anderson University and Ball State. College students are always looking for extra income.
Finally, there are personal sources, friends, neighbors, suppliers, customers, present employees and various service clubs or business groups of which you may be a member. However, a word of caution is needed. You can lose goodwill or more if you fail to hire someone highly recommended or if, later on, you find it necessary to separate them from your firm.
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Anderson, IN 46016
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