Dedicated and hardworking employees can increase the efficiency of your business and the quality of your customer service. But when you’re sifting through piles of resumes, it can be hard to gauge which candidates have what it takes to get the job done. Here are several tips to help you hire employees that will benefit your business.

Outline your ideal candidate

Write a job description and use it as your jumping-off point. Include the skills, experience, behaviors, and attributes that you believe are necessary to be successful in the position. It might also be worthwhile to evaluate your best employees and figure out what motivates them. If you have a clear and defined idea of who you are looking for, it will be easier to identify them when they walk through the door.

Look for signals

Once you’ve narrowed it down to the most capable candidates, schedule phone and in-person interviews. When meeting with the candidate, ask yourself a few key questions: Does the candidate look professional? Are they well spoken and articulate? Do they make eye contact and smile regularly? These may seem like small details, but how the candidates interact with you can tell you a lot about how they will serve your customers. So, in addition to exploring their professional background and personal values, use this opportunity to determine whether you approve of how job candidates will represent your company.

Make your decision

When choosing new hires, think about how their personality and work style will fit with your business culture, and how they’ll work with your current team. Contacting the candidates’ professional references is also a critical part of the process. References should be able to give you candid information about a potential hire’s past work experiences, and provide insights about their strengths and weaknesses. If you can’t make a decision between two or three qualified candidates, consider asking them to take a skills test. This will reveal how each candidate adapts to a real-life scenario, and will hopefully give you the information you need to make a final decision.

Using these tips and techniques will prepare you to hire employees who will help you focus on the big picture. Once you select the right hire, take a look at the on-boarding and retention programs you have in place. While managing a team does take extra time, making sure they are well trained and content can do a lot to improve your bottom line.

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