Every business is, first and foremost, made up of its employees. As a business owner, it is in your power to hire the best employees for the job, but that all depends on your hiring protocol. When you start the process, there are several things to keep in mind to avoid any costly hiring mistakes.

1. Look for employees who can help with more than one task.

When you have a small business, every employee is vital. If you have one that can serve in more than one role effectively, you’ve just increased your workforce without creating more positions. When hiring, ask about other skills that will be useful, especially if you decide to work from a virtual office. Whether it’s networking, sales, or bookkeeping, your business could use a wide range of valuable skills.

Also consider cross training new employees on other tasks that the office needs. With a shared office space, you can ensure that you will always have plenty of employees to handle the business even if one is out sick or on a sales call.

2. Don’t choose employees by their cost, or cost savings, alone.

It’s always great to ask prospective employees about their salary histories and/or how much they expect to make with your company. However, that can’t be your only consideration when hiring. Less experience and a less-than-satisfactory work history often comes with a lower wage expectation. If you get an employee for a great price but he or she offers little to your office, you’ve gotten a raw deal.

3. Make sure that virtual office employees understand what it’s like to work for a virtual employer.

For workers who have experience in online workplaces, there are few surprises when it comes to accountability. But if you hire employees who have always worked in brick-and-mortar offices, your employee may have a long learning curve ahead.

To experienced virtual team members, not having a boss around may mean a little bit of flexibility in working hours and the comforts of home. For a new virtual worker, it may mean the belief that they don’t have to work as hard because there is no boss around. Always have some type of accountability routine in place to ensure that any virtual office user is doing as asked. Sending in daily reports, screenshots or reporting in at specific times may be necessary to ensure that everyone is doing what the business needs.

4. Look for tech savvy employees.

No matter what industry you are in, the latest technology will have a heavily impact. Dressmakers need employees who are accustomed to using time-saving technologies for design and creation. A member of the marketing team needs to understand new web trends and how to use the latest devices and platforms.

An employee who is resistant to new technologies may hold your business back. Be assured, your competition is using current technology, and your team should have a firm grasp of it. With a well-wired team, you also ensure that all team members can communicate with each other no matter where they are and what their positions may be.

Courtney Ramirez
Research Analyst, Pacific Business Centers (rebranded as Pacific Workplaces)
Courtney’s research for Pacific Business Centers focuses on tracking emerging business trends and best practices – with an emphasis on how they affect business operations, technology, and the future of work trends.