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7 Steps to Hiring Motivated Employees

Patrick Ball
June 26, 2017

Hire the right employees to take your small business to the next level.

Finding motivated employees for your small business can be an exhausting and challenging process. But, in the long run, it’s worth the time and effort to make sure you’re hiring the right people who share your goals and enthusiasm and will represent you well on the job.

“Hiring motivated employees for a caregiving company is a difficult and complicated task,” says Pat Kelley, author of Hiring Right. “It begins with making the right match. It does no good to hire someone for a caregiving position who is primarily motivated by money. Rather, you need someone who is passionate about serving others.”

So how do you find the best fits for your small business? Here are seven recommendations:

  1. Get Referrals
    Quality employees can be hard to find, especially if you’re starting from scratch. So try seeding the candidate pool by asking family, friends and colleagues if they know anyone looking for work who’d be a good fit for your business. And explain the personality traits you are looking for. “Ask for the names of people they trust and respect,” says career and life management consultant Ruth Schimel. “Referrals are often the best resource for new employees.”
     
  2. Ask Your Customers
    Your clients and customers can be another good source for referrals. “Customers understand your business and can be your best advocate,” says Todd Horton, CEO of KangoGift. “One of the challenges we face as small business owners is educating prospective employees on the things that make our businesses great.”
     
  3. Think of Hiring as Marketing
    Like you’re always promoting your business in search of new clients, you should always be putting yourself out there as a potential employer. Even if you don’t need staff at the moment, developing relationships with top-notch care professionals will help you reconnect when you do. “Recruiting is just another side of marketing,” says Liz D’Aloia, founder of HR Virtuoso. “If you meet someone who will be an excellent employee, simply hand them your card” with website or contact information where they can reach you and later apply for future openings.  
     
  4. Make It Easy to Apply
    An online application might be the first impression you’re making on candidates, so you want to put your best foot forward. Write a clear description of the job duties and candidate requirements, and then simplify the process. Most of your best candidates are going to already have jobs, and likely can’t take the time to go through a lengthy application process. Increase your chances of getting quality applicants by using short form applications and those that can be completed on mobile devices.
     
  5. Search Local
    To narrow your search, focus on your local community and on your specific industry – especially if you’re going to use a job board. If you’re looking to hire a nanny or tutor, you don’t want to be competing against local coffee shops for candidates. Look for “a forum or local message board that people are most likely to use,” says David Bradley, founder of Primal Digital Marketing. “This can give you access to those with the interest and insight you are looking for.”
     
  6. Make Sure They’re In It for the Right Reasons
    Finding people who share the same commitment to your goals is key to ensuring they will stay motivated on the job. As you’re reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates, consider past experiences and interests to make sure they share your passion for the industry. “Success comes when you connect people with what they want to do,” says Judy Crocket, owner of Manistee Interactive Marketing and Communications.
     
  7. Interview Carefully
    Once you’ve got a group of candidates, write out some questions that will help you get a sense of their personality as well as competency on the job. For instance, try to avoid the trap of orally reviewing their resume together. You’ve already read it, so instead ask the candidates what they’ve learned from their experiences. Also, ask a behavioral questions, like “what would you do if this happened?” or “how would you solve this problem?” to see how the candidate would handle a potential situation on the job. 
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