3 Ways to Streamline Your Company’s Hiring Process


At some point, most business owners need to develop a hiring process that helps them find, evaluate, and train new employees. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs do know how to do this.
Even businesses with dozens of workers may be able to improve their hiring systems to save time and money, and to find more qualified applicants. The following simple strategies can help you locate and hire the right people for your staff:
1. Use a Staffing Agency
Getting professional assistance for your company’s hiring process is almost always a good idea. One great way to do so is to hire a reputable staffing agency. These companies specialize in providing business owners with the information, advice, and guidance necessary to connect them with the ideal job candidates.
There are several staffing solutions companies out there, and the key to finding the right one is doing your research. Ideally, you want to select a company that has a positive reputation for helping other businesses within your industry.
2. Utilize Job Analysis Strategies
Another way to improve your company’s hiring process is to use job analysis strategies. The job analysis process helps business owners and hiring managers determine the qualifications of the ideal employee. There are numerous steps involved in the job analysis process, and some of them include:
Determining what the employee will be required to do each day, week, and month. You should think critically about whether meeting these expectations will enable you to meet your company’s business objectives.
Determine which roles and responsibilities the ideal candidate should be able to handle so that your company remains on track to meet its goals. Company goals can vary depending on the industry, but a few common ones are increasing sales, generating leads an improving day-to-day operations.
Request the opinion of individuals who hold the same or similar jobs as the one you seek to fill. These people are considered “subject matter experts” and should be able to tell you about the necessary skills and experience of a qualified employee.
3.  Test the Candidate
One final strategy you should employ during the hiring process is testing your candidate. According to Forbes, testing is an effective way to determine whether job candidates are being truthful about their skill set.It’s a good idea to evaluate whether applicants possess the skills they mention on their resumes. Common forms of tests include job simulations, role-playing, and written assessments.
Other Ways to Optimize Your Hiring Process
These are just a few ways that business owners can improve their hiring process. There are several other proven strategies, such as:
Marketing the job on industry websites, LinkedIn, and Craigslist;
Creating non-disclosure agreements and contractor agreements to avoid legal issues;
Offering benefits packages to attract highly qualified candidates;
And review candidates’ social media profiles.
You should also be prepared with specific questions for each applicant. These should include:
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Why do you want to work for our company?
What can you tell me about this company?
Although these tips can help you find qualified candidates, there’s always a chance that a highly anticipated worker will turn into an unproductive dud. If this happens, it is best to end the employment as quickly as possible instead of wasting your time and resources.

About Mildred Bean
Mildred Bean is an experienced consumer debt expert. She is lived through bankruptcy and founded a national credit counseling group. She is also experienced in all aspects of getting out of debt and a recognized authority on the subject. These days she spends her days writing about the debt relief industry, warning consumers about scams, and providing free debt help and answers through the my article. You can also find Mildred on Google+ .

Small Businesses Speaking Out: How to Be Heard by Policy Makers


Although middle-market companies account for over one-half of U.S. jobs and one-third of tax receipts, issues that are critically important to them are often overlooked when government sets policies that affect businesses.
Large corporations have bands of attorneys and lobbyists monitoring proposed legislation and changing tax and regulatory policies. Smaller companies, however, which often suffer the unintended impact of regulation and other government policies, need a similar voice.
Don’t believe it when you hear that only big corporations, industry groups, and labor unions can access and influence policy makers. The rise of social media has changed the landscape of public and government relations drastically, enabling businesspeople to amplify their influence.
It is important for entrepreneurs to communicate—whether individually or in trade association and other groups—with federal, state, and local policy makers. The goal should be to educate people about your business, your customers, and the challenges you face, positioning yourself as a source of insight on business issues and job creation.
The benefits of having a voice with elected officials and raising your profile with policy makers can also enhance your company’s profile in your industry—and your bottom line. Networking with other companies that share the same concerns is a great way to meet potential customers, suppliers, marketing channels, and even alliance and merger partners.
1. Prepare Talking Points
Before meeting with a public official, prepare talking points describing the role of your business in the community. Ultimately, public officials want to hear about impact on their constituents, especially as it affects their main priority: getting reelected.
2. Build Relationships With Policy Makers
The core messages should be consistent and complementary with the company’s broader marketing and communication themes. But you must relate them to the policy maker’s interests; legislative policy makers typically align with the interests of those who put and keep them in office. Make certain you know in advance the policy maker’s positions and public statements on the issues you plan to discuss.
While legislatures have the power to make laws and appropriate money, regulatory agencies have the power to impact your business even more. They write and enforce rules and hold violating businesses and individuals accountable. Economic or scientific data or other quantitative information is what is compelling to regulators.
It is not necessary to have a specific request or issue to address. In fact, it is best to cultivate relationships that you can call on in the future, rather than meeting only when you have an agenda to advance. Once you have established rapport, use social media and email communication to keep your business and its issues front of mind.
3. Communicate Threats to Your Business
For middle-market companies, the issues of utmost concern include tax and immigration reforms, fiscal policy, healthcare legislation, and industry regulation. But don’t stop there. Don’t hesitate to point out that your investment and hiring decisions are heavily influenced by government policies.
Moreover, as state and local economic development incentives shift toward mid-sized companies, be wary that government subsidies reducing tax obligations and operating costs could be awarded to your competitors instead of you. Building relationships for the future is the best way to know about and mitigate these risks.
4. Invest the Time
To enhance the climate for your business, take the time to develop a public relations program to monitor and speak out on issues that affect your business and to educate public officials on the (often unintended) consequences of legislation and regulation.
A well-designed PR initiative can also help create market opportunities and protect your customers. It improves your chances to be seen as an innovator and thought leader in your industry and geographical area.
5. Be Visible
Be visible, individually or in concert with your industry peers, to policy makers and opinion influencers. Join industry organizations and interact with counterparts in the federal and state governments. You will find that the investment pays off in ways that may be hard to anticipate but can tangibly improve your bottom line.
Federal and state governments represent a huge opportunity for middle-market companies. Together with the regulatory mandate to solicit bids from smaller companies, middle-market companies are in a great position to access the government supply chain.

5 Ways to Have a Great Web Design Experience


Embarking on a web design project fills many small businesses with dread. They’ve heard so many horror stories about working with design firms—from escalating costs to designs that make no sense for the business—that they just don’t want to do it.
The reality is that there are many good website designers Sydney siders trust that are ready to help small business succeed online. You just need to know what to look for and how to communicate in order to make sure you’re getting what you want and need.
There are five things you, as the client, can do to ensure the relationship goes well.
Spend Time Developing a Strong Creative Brief
As you prepare to design your website, you probably have some ideas about what you want. These ideas are the basis of the creative brief (also called a project scope)—the document that gives your project direction and guides your web designer.
When you meet with prospective agencies, notice if they ask a lot of questions—an inexperienced designer or agency won’t question anything in your brief or clarify any points with you at all. Experienced designers, on the other hand, will have a thorough conversation with you about the brief, asking you thought-provoking questions about your goals and how you differentiate yourself. By eliminating any assumptions the web designer may have, this conversation will lead to a better outcome for you.
You also want to make sure the designer is listening to—and that means they’ll have questions. Although you may have simple requirements, by not understanding the brief your designer may produce something that doesn’t fit your business at all.
Inexperienced designers tend to focus exclusively how the website looks rather than how it performs for your business. It’s well known that great design offers both form and function. But to understand function, your web designer has to understand your business objectives and customers. A good designer will pay as much attention to planning your websites purpose and user experience as its aesthetic.
Insist on Good Communication
Good, honest communication is the cornerstone of creating lasting relationships. Poor communication, on the other hand, ultimately leads to a breakdown in the designer client relationship.
Believe it or not, you don’t want a designer who agrees with everything you say. This actually causes problems because it means they aren’t hearing you or don’t really care. At some point, you will want something that does not serve your project, and you want a designer who is committed enough to your project to tell you so. While a web designer should always try to accommodate your requirements, their years of experience in building websites means they’ll know when your idea sounds good in theory but won’t work in practice. Most importantly they’ll manage your expectations without limiting your possibilities; often they’ll be proactive about these discussions rather than reactive.
On the flip side, poor communicators are often justifying missed deadlines, scope creep, and—most commonly—going over budget. They tend to be ambiguous or uncertain explaining what the impact is, leaving you angry and confused. The warning signs for poor communication happen early on when you discuss the creative brief. Trust your intuition. It’s worth having a hard conversation at the beginning than an even harder one later down the line.
Hire an Experienced Professional
Hire the right designer for your job, even if they cost more than you wanted. It’s important that the designer have the right experience for your job. You may decide to work with a talented young freelancer, they can often be great for keeping costs down and brining fresh ideas to the table. However, someone who is new to the industry may not have the experience to troubleshoot problems or steer the project in order to avoid complications. If you are aware of that, it doesn’t have to be a problem and you can get a beautiful website for a lower budget.
However, a lack of experience often results in a clunky solution, something called a ‘Franken-website’. This is a site that that has been assembled in a complex way without proper planning from the start. These cumbersome sites are a nightmare to maintain and aren’t Google friendly. Experienced designers know what they’re doing so the backend is as elegant as the front end.
When hiring a web designer, look for a wide and varied portfolio with years of experience. Although they may cost slightly more, you’ll have a solution that was built to suit your business – rather than the other way around.
Make sure what you see is what you get
Something will go wrong—or at least off kilter—during your project. That is just a fact of life in web design. How you and your designer handle it is what determines whether it ruins the whole project. A good designer will be willing and able to explain why things got wonky, and what the best solution to fix it is for your business. Building a website is actually a very logical process. Good web designers will not use your ignorance of web development to keep from being accountable for your projects schedule, budget and website performance. On the contrary, they will make sure you understand everything.
Good designers are patient and knowledgeable enough to be able to explain the answers to any questions you may have. Not only this, but if they’re professionals they should value your relationship enough to ensure you to feel comfortable with every decision you make.
Pay Attention to The Website’s Backend
The website design or ‘front-end’ is done, finally. Now the real work begins. Your website will likely be built on a CMS, commonly referred to as your website’s ‘back-end’. This is the engine that drives your website’s content and functionality. You want to make sure that the back-end your website is built on is robust and scalable. This means that you’ll likely have a website that is flexible and will be cost effective in the long term. Your web designer or project manager will suggest what platform best suits your business.
However, it is up to you to make sure you understand the rationale behind their suggestions because it is your site. Unfortunately this is often a case of comparing apples to oranges for clients who lack technical knowledge. Good designers will often suggest an open source CMS written in a well-known programming language—typically WordPress or Drupal for small businesses. This ensures that down the line, any good developer can modify the site.
Then there is the issue of access. At the beginning of your project, a good agency will discuss transferring access to everything you own, be it your domain name, your hosting account and your website’s source code when and if you decide to move on. If they aren’t open to doing that, don’t work with them. In your contract, clarify what you own versus what they own. Don’t sign if they own your domain or any proprietary licenses that are required to run the CMS you website will be built on.
Building your website—whether from scratch or a redesign—is an exciting time. It’s creative and fun, and a great time to really assess where your business is and where you want it to go. Your web designer can be a valuable partner in that. Following these steps and ensuring you keep the lines of communication open will help you have a successful project with great results.