Program facilitators in Kansas needed

searching for facilitators

Good facilitation is like beauty or even leadership, hard to describe but you know it when you see it. – Tim Fulton, nationally recognized consultant and advocate for small business

 

The Kansas Small Business Development Center (Kansas SBDC) network is actively seeking program facilitators for small business education programs delivered throughout the year. Some programs are one day or less in length; others involve a series of programs delivered over several weeks.

At the Kansas SBDC our focus is on growing Kansas entrepreneurs. Our program attendees will be entrepreneurs, small business owners and decision makers, as well as other individuals that work within the small business and entrepreneurship ecosystems in Kansas.

Do you have what it takes to facilitate some great events? We need program facilitators with the following qualifications:

 * extensive small business/entrepreneurial experience

* experience leading business teams

* a belief that the smartest people in the room are the participants

* an ability to be very flexible with the structure of the learning process

* a willingness to challenge participants in the programs

* a comfort level with being vulnerable

*desire to make a profound difference through entrepreneurship

We need program facilitators with the following skills:

*active listening

*guiding focused discussion

*guiding groups toward an agreed-upon set of outcomes

*helping groups define outcomes – set priorities

*people management

If this sounds like you, please contact Lisa Roberts at 785.296.6514 or email lsroberts@ksbdc.net.

 

Entrepreneurship at work in Garnett

Kansas SBDC client success story: HayesBrand Molding in Garnett, Kansas

With experience working in the plastics business most of his life, Gary Hayes decided to start a business of his own using his knowledge and expertise.

As HayesBrand Molding, his dream was, and continues to be, for his family to carry on his legacy in this field. HayesBrand growth has led to full family involvement in the business and continues to fuel its successful growth. Gary’s daughter Marci, and son-in-law Shane, have helped Gary realize his dream while Gary’s wife Cheryl, and youngest daughter Jessi, have joined HayesBrand as the business has expanded to its current level of 12 full-time employees.

Entrepreneurship at Work

HayesBrand was drawn to the KSBDC with the purpose of gaining additional knowledge and recommendations on methods to improve the business. The Kansas SBDC at PSU in Chanute provided expert consulting and connected the team with other resources that could identify, analyze, and evaluate potential business opportunities. Economic Gardening and Innovation Engineering were two key tools that provided help. As a result of in-depth market research, HayesBrand added a new packing and shipping business to their company’s service offers.

HayesBrand stays current on changes in their industry, seeks guidance from peer companies that been successful in their fields, and keeps an open mind to expanding outside their core. This Garnett, Kansas, company stays active in the community and raises the level of awareness of other businesses in the area to promote and support entrepreneurship in Kansas.

HAYESBRAND SECRET TO SUCCESS

“Retain pride, yet allow downfalls; remain humble and appreciate your upraising. Who we are today came from the growth we went through yesterday. And with honest integrity, success is inevitable in this life. We call this our family business.”

Regulatory Fairness Forum for Small Business

Regulatory Fairness Forum for Small Business
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 | Wichita, Kansas

A forum for small business owners to discuss federal regulations, compliance audits, regulatory fines, and enforcement actions impacting small businesses.
This Small Business Forum will facilitate a dialogue on federal regulatory issues impacting small businesses and highlight resources available to small business owners from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the SBA’s Office of the National Ombudsman.

WHO: National Ombudsman Brian Castro will host a conversation with Wichita area small business owners, and other representatives of the small business community.

WHAT: The National Ombudsman holds Regulatory Fairness roundtables and forums across the country to give small business owners a means to comment on unfair enforcement actions, government audits, and excessive fines or regulations. The Ombudsman directs specific issues raised by participants to the appropriate federal agency for a high-level fairness review, and works across government to address those concerns, reduce regulatory burdens, and help small businesses grow.

WHEN: Wednesday, August 13, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Kansas Leadership Center
325 E Douglas Avenue
Wichita, KS 67202

All members of the small business community, trade organizations, chambers of commerce, and media are invited to attend. Those wishing to report a federal regulatory concern confidentially will have the opportunity to do so privately at the forum.

RSVP (encouraged but not required) to Michael Aumack at 316-269-6275 or by email to michael.aumack@sba.gov by Friday, August 1, 2014.

SBA logo

 

 

 

SBA’s programs and services are provided to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least 1 week in advance. Contact: Ms. Keshia Ezerendu, Tele: 316-712-4961,
Email: kezerendu@kansasleadershipcenter.org

Small business news delivered weekly to your inbox

Feel like taking the time to stay up on all the news you can use for your small business interferes with actually running your business? Wish that you could have one resource that gives you some quick news and information in one place? Look no further.

Save yourself time searching for small business news by tapping into of a variety of news and educational pieces we gather each week. Stay up on #allthingssmallbusiness with our weekly paper delivered every Monday morning at 8 am CT to your inbox.

Subscribe to Kansas SBDC on the paper.li newsstand.

Business Plan Alternatives

Not a fan of the business plan that I talked about last week? As promised, this week we’re providing some business plan alternatives that may work well for your business model.

If you remember from our last post, three things you’ll still need to include a more streamlined approach are the business concept, marketing, and financials. The three approaches we’re sharing in this post don’t include the financials you’ll need, but they help you lay the foundation to move to that next step.

 

#1 Business Model Canvas with an expanded Value Proposition Design

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool that allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model. It can be used online as a web app or you can download a pdf of the canvas free of charge.

This web app is like a huge drawing board where you can manipulate your ideas into realities into a business model that you can test. You have options to use sticky notes, draw, use colors, sketch alternatives, tell a story, and even learn from the best within the canvas community. If you’re a book reader, there is a book that explains not only the method behind the canvas, but also shares valuable examples.

The building blocks provide a simple and easy way to create this canvas by giving you a unique way of viewing your business plan other than the typical blank piece of paper or a template. The tools isn’t for everyone, but can provide an insightful alternative to the traditional business model.

After the Business Model Canvas was released in 2009, a valuable add on, the Value Proposition Canvas was created to enable entrepreneurs to dig deeper and gain insight into this key element of the Business Model Canvas. A book is forthcoming, but the pdf can be downloaded now.

 

#2 GrowthWheel®

GrowthWheel® is a tool designed to give a 360 degree perspective that helps an entrepreneur identify and prioritize key challenges in their business – creating a business concept, building customer relations, maintaining profitable operations, and creating a viable organization.

Each tool in GrowthWheel® can be usedindependently as well as together. Unlike the Business Model Generation Canvas, GrowthWheel® is a product licensed to partners like the Kansas SBDC. We in turn have consultants across the network use the model to assist when consulting with your business. If this interests you, we invite you to download the Product Assortment worksheet and Product Value Pricing worksheet examples from GrowthWheel® .

growthwheel model overview graphic

 

 

#3 How It Works mapping

When searching for alternatives to the traditional business plan we found a simplified “how it works” approach on the website The Fresh Tilled Soil. The site suggests creatingsomething similar to a ‘how it works’ demo or tour you’ve seen on tons of application websites. It doesn’t need to be big or complicated. One page or a simple diagram often suffices.

For example if we were selling a 3D printer we might use this video as our talking points for a written on page diagram. Or, since Kansas is in the midst of summer mosquito season, we might use these talking points to build a business around selling a better mosquito trap. Pay special attention to the mosquito trap, the narrator does an excellent job using a human persona to explain the core premise of the product.

The key, according to the website, and honestly for any business plan is that the explanation must be so clear that a stranger, having seen your “how it works” model, could describe what you do to another stranger. Sound familiar? We know this is key with your elevator pitch and any time you are talking with a prospect or another individual that can refer business to you.

While neither video we’ve shared provides a full picture of how the product will result in building a business, both serve a good starting points. Working from the product, service, or technology your business has or is creating, using the How It Works approach you then will link these ideas to your customer development process (See diagram below).

how it works graphic

 

According to How It Works process, by drawing a simple initial diagram you’ll be able to show how your team will need to be aligned to get the product out the door.

The rest involves additional detailed steps of your marketing and sales process. Use simple step-by-step diagrams to show how your customer will be introduced to your business or product and what the various interactions would be along the funnel from stranger to customer (or even repeat customer).

How It Works then suggests showing these diagrams to 5 – 10 of your prospective customers and ask them to explain it back to you. If there are disconnects, fix them and redraw the diagrams. Don’t have any customers yet? Then use friends, family, or our consulting team members at any of our Kansas SBDC centers around the state.

 

One of our core areas of expertise in the Kansas SBDC network is business planning. Existing businesses turn to us for guidance when expanding their business, identifying new markets, re-organizing to improve profitability, and more. We work with a variety of businesses from manufacturing to professional services, from wholesalers to retailers, through every stage of the business life from start up to final sales. Search “success stories” on our site to hear from our clients.

Contact your local Kansas SBDC to access business planning assistance today.

 

About our Authors

Logan Hildebrand is an aspiring intern at the Kansas SBDC and is currently attending Washburn University in pursuit of three degrees: business marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. She has a passion for capturing the awes of consumers through social media and marketing, and has been interning at the state office and the Kansas SBDC at WU for the past 2 years in order to develop her experiences. Adapting to the ever-changing field of marketing and social media is a strength of hers, as well as making a delicious cup of coffee. Her dream is to one day open her own coffee shop and continue her marketing aspirations through that venture. Until then, she will be providing this blog with insightful, interesting, and useful posts to help aid in the development of marketing in businesses that need assistance.

Lisa Roberts is the associate state director/marketing and product manager with the Kansas SBDC statewide network. Lisa brings a background of marketing, sales, and media with a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communication to the Kansas SBDC network. She’s been with the team since February 2013. She believes that entrepreneurship is the lifeblood and small business is the backbone of an economy built on free enterprise.

 

Social Media Analytics Made Easy

measureNow that a lot of your work has been put into developing your social media accounts/profiles and you’re beginning to get the hang of things, I bet you’re wondering how you’ll know if and how it’s helping your business, or your boss is trying to figure this out.

So, to help you get your hands around how this, we’ve pulled together some steps you can take in order to see how your social media can be measured.

But before we measure anything we need to know what we’re measuring it against. Before you get started set goals.

What do you want your social media to do for you? Raise awareness? Increase sales? Show who you support and who supports you? That answer will be the basis of the goal you set. For example, if you set as a goal to use social media to increase awareness, you would want to measure likes on Facebook over a period of time, traffic to your website through social media sites, hashtags from twitter, etc. Those items would show the increase in awareness that you were hoping for from your social media presence.

The next item that you might focus on is the channel, or platform, that you’re utilizing. As we shared in one of last week’s posts, determining your channel based on your target market is crucial. More than one is ok, but measurements will be different for each one. Facebook measurements may consist of likes, shares, and contest entries. Twitter can be measured in followers, favorites, re-tweets, and hashtag use. Pinterest metric can be re-pins and followers while Instagram metrics can include hashtags, hearts, and comments. The list for each goes on and on. Knowing where the majority of your audience is, and confirming that through measurement, can help your small business maximize ROI.

Tracking, tracking, tracking…..can you guess what the next step is? Yes, tracking. Tracking is key when measuring the resources (your time, money, etc.) that go into and the return that comes out of contests, campaigns, and giveaways on social media. While online tools can’t track your time, social media provides tools to track and measure your activity. Google Analytics is a frequently used tool, but not the only game online. You can also use these other platform analytic tools to help measure your return from social media.

Finally, if the boss is trying to figure out how social media is impacting your business, it may be worth your time to write a report on your findings. Try these 5 Top Google Analytics Reports for Social Media Marketers by Chris Sietsema or check out these tips and tricks.

Now REVIEW! The final step in any goal-setting process is the review what you’ve done. Based on your findings is it time to find a new channel or approach? Or is your approach on Facebook working, but Instagram not so much? Tweak, test, and keep moving forward. If you need additional help, here are 11 free tools for measuring social media success. And don’t forget, our team of consultants is available to you free of charge as well.

You can find last week’s post HERE.

Contact one of our centers for more assistance.

About our Author

Logan Hildebrand is an aspiring intern at the Kansas SBDC and is currently attending Washburn University in pursuit of three degrees: business marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. She has a passion for capturing the awes of consumers through social media and marketing, and has been interning at the state office and the Kansas SBDC at WU for the past 2 years in order to develop her experiences. Adapting to the ever-changing field of marketing and social media is a strength of hers, as well as making a delicious cup of coffee. Her dream is to one day open her own coffee shop and continue her marketing aspirations through that venture. Until then, she will be providing this blog with insightful, interesting, and useful posts to help aid in the development of marketing in businesses that need assistance.

 

Social Media ABC’s

social media abc building blocks

A social media alphabet for small business

As a small business owner you know that social media is no longer just a way to connect with friends and relatives. It’s a tool, a resource, a series of channels that have transformed into a worldwide marketing and advertising tool for businesses.

On any given day you’ll find a plethora of advice for businesses on how to, when to, and why to use social media. You could spend hours on learning about Facebook or Twitter alone. So, we thought to ourselves, wouldn’t it be nice to have a short list of the basics all in one place. Thus, we’ve created the Social Media ABC’s – an alphabet for small business. Enjoy!

A-   Authentic Behavior: Be authentic to your brand, your business, and yourself. Do not let social media change the way that you do business. Personal feelings to a bad review or other negative things can ruin a response to a post, message, or review. Be genuine to who you are as a company and how you run typically.

B-    Brevity: Any post on any social media site should be short and to the point. Long messages will get ignored and passed by. Tell the consumer what they need to know in about 140 characters.

C-    Communicate and Create Content: Communicate with consumers, create a call to action by asking them to respond, share, like, etc. This will increase interaction with content. Content itself should be constantly created. Try not to copy from others, but create raw content through your company. Consumers like to see new things and uniqueness can help your business stand out among competitors.

D-   Disclosure: Disclose only information that is appropriate to be shared among consumers everywhere. Do not go in depth on items personal about the business or leak information that could harm the business or offend other businesses.

E-     Evaluate and Measure: Use analytics provided by the page, analytic measurement pages, or hire a measurement and evaluation team to complete your analytics for you. Watch how customers react, what is popular, how many like there are on posts, how many new likes have been generated as well as views on posts. Base posting techniques on these results as well as compare them to sales increase in your product or service.

F-     Feed Their Curiosity: Show your customers what is going on behind the scenes and bring them into your business. Help them relate and show them that you want them to be a part of your business and not just another customer. They want to see what is going on in order to create the product or service they are purchasing. What is normal work for you, may be something that intrigues and entices consumers.

G-   Generosity and Giving: Giveaways, contests, deals, and specials bring in new customers. When used wisely, these offerings of generosity will bring in new customers that can be maintained for repeat purchases. Too many will lose you money, so be careful. If possible show the behind the scenes of how winners are picked so that consumers better trust that someone wins fairly. Before you begin, however; you must know the rules.

H-   Humor vs Harm: Use humor as you see fit, but watch the type of humor you are using. The jokes and funny posts that you share could be offensive to some. Taking risks is ok as long as you are willing to take the judgment. Beware of appropriateness and the image/voice you are portraying for your business.

I-       Interaction & Influence: By interacting with your market through social media you have another advantage when it comes to influence on their interest and their purchases. The relationship that you create through social media sites will remind those possible customers that you care and they will remember the experience. The better the experience, the more influence you have among interaction with consumers.

J-      Join In: Join in on the fun and show consumers that you are up for the new and innovative. Get them to join in by asking for ideas, comments, and reviews. Ask them what they would like to see, new products or services they would like to have offered, and even what is the most popular things in their life when it comes to choosing products/services like yours.

K-    Know Your Stuff: Know what is appropriate, what is currently trending, and what social media sites attract what customers. Know the type of social media to use in your industry or to reach a certain objective. Know how to answer consumer questions and persuade them to buy via your business.

L-     LISTEN: Pay attention to feedback and what other companies are doing. Listen for your company being mentioned and for other companies /products similar to yours making the headlines. Listen to the changes in social media policies and stay up to date. Listen to what new social media is entering the market and how it is being perceived by consumers. Here are some free tools that can help!

M- Maintain: Maintaining your social media sites is just as important as content and interaction. Maintenance must be constant both with simple posting as well as information updates. As the business changes, the sites should change to match. Hours should be up to date as well as links; pictures should be current and relevant to the company. Keep content appropriate and accurate, keep up-to-date ownership of the site to ensure correct and honest posting, keep privacy as privacy and don’t allow too much personal information out. Bad maintenance can lead to failure or worse, the damaging of your brand.

N-   Network and Niche: Network with the right people and create your niche market to hit. The more people you can connect with, both personal and business-to-business, become connections that can be used later when needed. You can get referred, provide referrals, or even suggest a partnership for something that you both need.

O-   Own the Offline Opportunity: Use social media, but also incorporate it into offline events involving social media through consumers’ eyes. A tweetup for example.

P-    Publish, Publish, Publish: Create a publishing schedule for media to be added and updated. Manually publish everything and do it on a schedule that is constant so that consumers never miss a beat and lose track of you. Daily post, have a weekly update for events and coupon deals, create at least one giveaway or special a month, have a quarterly re-vamp of pictures and content, bi-annually hold a large contest, and annually measure the sites to check posting progress. Most of all know when to post, tweet, and e-mail!

Q-   Quality Questions: Hold Q&A sessions or Tweet events, etc. in order to get response from consumers. Create questions with a purpose to discover more about what your customers want and hope for.

R-    Response: Respond to all inquiries, posts, messages, etc. in a timely manner so that customers recognize that the business cares about their involvement as well as get customers will be happy to get a reply.

S-     Share: Share posts from other businesses that you support, interesting topics, and posts from related to the business social media site.

T-     Trust: Trust is trust; just like in life you must create a means for the consumer to trust you. Make sure that your site is free of bugs, viruses, and infected posts. Make sure that links are secure and that your website locks the customers’ information so that nothing can be stolen. Also show them that they can trust your product or service by providing testimonials, warranties, and stories through social media. Be open with the good and bad to show them how you take care of a problem.

U-   Understand Ubiquity: Social Media is 24-7! Everything is everywhere all of the time. Your business is available to consumers every second of every day, there is not break or shut down period. Businesses must maintain their social media presence and make certain that the business social sites run the same from morning till night.

V-    Value: Create value with posts and other items shared on social media. Do not post just to post or share just so that you have activity that day. Provide a value with your posts that customers can perceive and understand. If there is a value to them, then they will be more willing to click through the post. Value can be created in many ways, but here are some lessons.

W- Work: Social media is no easy task, it takes work, work, and more work. Content needs to be made, posts shared, customers analyzed, information received, questions answered, deals given, contests held, options given, information updated, and much much more! It is a full-time job, not just something that many can handle in the background once the business is on its feet.

X-    Xerox: Copy from anywhere and everywhere, but make sure to give credit as needed.

Y-    You: Be you, be personable. Customers are not robots and hate being treated as such. Be the person behind the social media, but maintain a personable and professional stance when it comes to running social media. You are what connects the consumer to the product/service you offer. You drive the passion and fuel the fire behind what customers are looking for so keep the “you” behind the media. Stay true to who you are.

Z-     Zero Excuses and Catch Your ZZZs: Do not provide excuses to customers or yourself for not keeping up with social media. If social media cannot be up kept then do not take on the challenge of that opportunity yet. No social media is better than a social media that is not present, out-of-date, or taken over by fake and spam accounts. Also catching ZZZ’s when it comes to social media means to take breaks. When social media getting on the nerves or long hours are causing trouble to you, then take a break. Get sleep at night and set scheduled times to post and work on social media for both you and/or the employee in charge of the paged. Don’t let social media run anyone’s life.

 

About the author

Logan Hildebrand is an active intern at the Kansas Small Business Development Center and is currently attending Washburn University in pursuit of 3 degrees: business marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. She has a passion for capturing the awes of consumers through social media and marking and has been interning both here and elsewhere for the past 2 years in order to develop her experiences. Adapting to the ever changing field of marketing and social media is a strong point of hers, as well as making a delicious cup of coffee. Her dream is to one day open her own coffee shop and continue her marketing aspirations through that venture. Until then, she will be providing this blog with insightful, interesting, and useful posts to aid in the development of marketing in businesses that need assistance.

Networking? What’s your pitch?

networking pitchWhen meeting folks for the first time in a business networking situation I’m often asked, “Now, who is it that you work for, and what do you do there?” To which I used to respond with a mouthful, “I work for the Kansas Small Business Development Center Network where I’m the associate state director slash marketing and product manager.”

As you might guess, my response was either met with either a short “Oh” or a puzzled “I’ve never heard of it. What exactly is that?”

I learned quickly that this was NOT the response my inquirer wanted to hear. After all, they were networking. And when they’re in networking mode they don’t want to hear a long drawn-out explanation of someone’s job responsibilities or an About Us page regurgitated. They want to hear how they’ll benefit from doing business with you or by referring business to you. They want to hear how you’ll help their business or them personally in their career.

If you’re networking, isn’t that what you really want to know?

So, how do we – you and I – ensure that we’re not boring our audience with something that sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher and instead leave them with something memorable?

Here’s some food for thought when networking.

elevator pitch sentence structureDevelop an elevator pitch.

Some argue that this is a canned pitch and is ineffective. I would argue that it has its merits. A well-crafted pitch can be repeated by every person in your small business. It gives those that struggle with articulating your message a quick tool to use and delivers a consistent message. And consistency is critical to your brand development.

On the flip side, an elevator pitch is most effective when tailored to the audience at hand. You wouldn’t pitch the Shark Tank sharks the way you’d pitch a potential employee. Want more? Read about the best and worst shark tank pitches according to Mark Cuban.

My favorite approach is to answer a question with a little more fact gathering. Using the networking example above, I’ll pause when asked what it is that I do and respond with, “First tell me about your business, and your role, and then I can better explain what it is that I do.” This usually results in the person of interest opening up and revealing what’s important to them. I then respond in kind with “In light of what you’ve shared, this how the Kansas SBDC can help you and your business.” And I proceed to tell my story using what they’ve just shared with me.

Develop a memory dart.

In his blog post, Steve Woodruff suggests that the elevator pitch is one step premature and suggests the memory dart as a verbal business card to accomplish three things:

1. Leave an image behind – preferably an effective analogy.

2. Establish quickly if there is a potential area of need. This includes not only the individual you’re talking with, but includes someone they might know.

3. It opens the door to say more. This is where you want the listener to invite you to tell the rest of the story (“So, how do you do that?”).

 

The idea behind any approach is to get at what resonates with your audience – and get there with very few words. Still not feeling it? Here are Six Simple and Irresistible Alternatives to the Elevator Pitch.

Remember, we can tell you all day long how to do it, but actually developing any short story will take several hours, days or even weeks of hard work. You’d think that fewer words are easier to put together, but they’re not. Choosing the right words for the right audience while staying true to your core message is and can be a daunting undertaking.

One of the ways we help small businesses succeed at the Kansas SBDC is by helping them, by helping you, develop their/your short story. Whether you want to call it an elevator pitch or memory dart or “the best response in the world” to what it is that you do, our team of consultants can help you develop the most priceless response to this often asked networking question. And only we can do it for free.

Ready? Contact a center near you.

Recruiting and Hiring Top-Quality Employees

photo of employee team taking selfie

The final blog in my series summarizes the past blogs I have written which all had the common purpose – recruiting and hiring top-quality employees.

In my previous posts, I’ve discussed how any company, whether big or small, must always take the necessary steps to try and ensure that they are hiring the best employee for the position needed. There are numerous ways to go about this process, but I will recap on the crucial tasks that should be completed in the hiring stages for an employee in this post.

  • Develop accurate job descriptions. In order for a job description to be effective, it should reflect careful thought as to the roles the individual will fill, the skill sets they’ll need, the personality attributes that are important to completing the tasks, and any relevant experience that would differentiate one applicant from another.
  • Compile a “success profile.” For key positions that are critical to your business, it is important to develop a profile of the ideal employee. Identifying skills and attributes that a candidate needs to succeed in that position will help match candidates against a specific profile. For more, refer to my previous post, Developing Accurate Job Descriptions and Success Profiles.
  • Draft the ad, describing the position and the key qualified required. Including the key qualifications required will help limit the number of unqualified applicants you receive.
  • Review the resumes you receive and identify your best candidates. When receiving resumes it is important that you know what you are looking for in terms of experience, education and skills to help weed through the resumes quickly and identify potential candidates. For more, refer to my previous post, Reviewing Resumes and Identifying the Best Candidates.
  • Outline a solid selection process or guide that you’ll follow. For more, refer to my previous post, Selection Process Guidelines for a Job Candidate.
  • Select the candidate and run a background check on the individual. After matching the best applicant to the profiled job description it is time to make your selection. At this time it is also encouraged that a background check is done to uncover any potential problems not revealed by previous testing and interviews.
  • Make your offer to the candidate. Gathering information about the individual during the interview will provide an idea as to what starting compensation should be offered and the proper training this individual will need.

After reviewing these suggestions, I hope you are better prepared to recruit and hire the top-quality employees you need to successfully run and operate your business. Finding the right employees can be a challenge, but doing so will undoubtedly benefit the company in the long run. I would like to thank the Kansas Small Business Development Center and the Management Development Center at Fort Hays State University for the opportunity to guest blog about HR related topics that will further my knowledge on the subject as I prepare to graduate and begin my career.

From the Kansas SBDC

Saul, we’d like to thank you as well. We appreciate your contribution and know that this insightful series you authored and published on our website will help many small businesses in Kansas and beyond. We look forward to watching you develop in your HR career and hope to work with you again in the near future.

About our Author

Saul Sanchez is a Human Resources undergraduate student studying at Fort Hays State University. He blends his classroom education with real world learning working with FHSU’s Management Development Center (MDC) as a student intern. He takes his learning one step further by guest blogging about small business HR issues via a co-operative learning opportunity developed between the FHSU MDC and the Kansas SBDC.

Selection Process Guidelines for a Job Candidate

photo of job candidate selection process

After conducting effective job candidate interviews, it’s time to select the candidates you believe will provide the best possible match for the job duties and culture of your small business.

And, as we both know, this is no easy task. And it can be very expensive.

Did you know that a study by the Society for Human Resource Management estimated that it can cost a company $3,500 to replace an employee that is only paid $8 an hour? When a business makes a bad hire, this can cost the company not only thousands of dollars in wages, time spent training, etc., but can introduce a candidate that may negatively affect the workplace through lost production, performance, and more.

So, how do we lay the groundwork for a good selection process that increases the likelihood of a good hire and reduces the chance for a bad hire?

Here are a few guidelines that can serve as a basis to ensure you hire the right person from the beginning and utilize a fair selection process.

  • Anchor yourself to the hiring criteria. In the selection process, it’s important that the hiring criteria you first established serves as a strict guide throughout the evaluation process. It’s acceptable to change the criteria, but the changes made shouldn’t be done to better accommodate one of the candidates in particular.
  • Avoid “top of mind” syndrome. Stay alert to any unnecessary factors that can cause distortion may help you avoid selecting some candidates over others for the wrong reasons. An example of “top of mind” syndrome might be selecting a candidate that was interviewed later in the hiring process because he is fresher in the minds of the interviewer and not because he was more qualified than another.
  • Make checking references a priority. Inform the candidate that you’ll be checking references. This could help ensure that the answers the candidate provides during the interview are truthful. Also, checking references yourself is a great way to gain insight from a former supervisor on how to best manage the individual should they become your employee.
  • Administer pre-employment tests. These tests can help determine if an applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the position and can be a good prediction for how the applicant will perform and behave in the workplace.
  • Run a background check on the potential candidate. This is done to uncover any potential problems not revealed by previous testing and interviews. There are many different pre-employment background checks that can be done, however, a word of caution, it’s important to know the laws governing these background checks to avoid any legal issues.

The selection process can be long and difficult with loads of responsibility for the recruiter in charge of making the final decision. While we’ve provided a few guidelines that can help ease the selection process, remember there is much more information that can be discussed about this process.

There are many local consulting services that can help a business out with the selection process including the Kansas Small Business Development Center and the Management Development Center. Other general websites including the Society for Human Resource Management, Workforce, and the conversational HR Bartender blog can provide tips and ideas as well.

 

About our Author

Saul Sanchez is a Human Resources undergraduate student studying at Fort Hays State University. He blends his classroom education with real world learning working with FHSU’s Management Development Center (MDC) as a student intern. He takes his learning one step further by guest blogging about small business HR issues via a co-operative learning opportunity developed between the FHSU MDC and the Kansas SBDC.