How To Hire Exceptional Employees

Are you hiring for the needs of today but the vision of tomorrow?

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Small business owners sometimes feel like they have to do it all. They feel compelled to devote every waking hour to handling every last little detail of their business operation. Of course, the most effective small business owners are the ones who know how to delegate, passing along certain responsibilities to team members they know and trust. If there are no such team members to be found, then the business owner has a big problem — specifically, an HR problem. 

Indeed, staffing a company with trustworthy employees — employees who understand the company’s vision and are empowered to work toward achieving it — is essential. It can also be difficult. For the business owner, the challenge is navigating the hiring process and ultimately finding new team members who can be trusted to get the job done effectively and efficiently. 

Now and later

Easier said than done? On some level it is, but there is one principle you can follow to streamline the hiring process: Hire for the needs of today but the vision of tomorrow. That is to say, an employee should be hired to address current work needs; if there is nothing for him or her to do right now, it makes little financial sense to hire a new employee at all. At the same time, employees should be chosen on the grounds that they can grow with the company — providing the skills that will help the business blossom. 

All told: For a business owner, the hiring process requires both a clear-eyed assessment of current needs and a strategic vision for the future. 

Knowing the job

It can also be helpful to spend the time needed to draft a formal job description. This is hardly just an intellectual pursuit: By knowing exactly what the job will entail, business owners can ensure they are screening potential employees for all the desirable skills. Having a position like “general office assistant” can be detrimental, unless that job is carefully and specifically laid out on paper. 

Ready to compete

There is a very real sense in which your business is competing with similar businesses for the best and most desirable job candidates. If you end up getting the top-shelf employee, you’re the winner; settling for a subpar or inexperienced employee, of course, has the opposite implication. What this means is that a job offer needs to be competitive. Do some research and see what other companies offer to their employees, salary-wise and fringe benefits-wise, and try to keep up. 

If you’re unable to do so, know that you may not be able to land the truly top-shelf talents. (Also realize that a truly talented employee will boost productivity and profits — likely exceeding whatever you pay in terms of salary.) 

Assessing skills

What makes the hiring process especially daunting is the reality that many of the most relied upon methods are really rather faulty. Certainly, resumes only go so far; professional resume writing services can make any candidate look appealing on paper. Interviews are similarly limited in their efficacy, as they can be so subjective.

As such, companies may be best off when they develop some specific skill assessments, tests or personality profiles — something designed to cut through the vagueness of the resume and match the best people with the available jobs. Looking to hire someone to do a particular set of tasks? Test them on those tasks, not taking their word for it that they’re qualified. 

Hiring the right employees is not necessarily easy — but it is essential for long-term success.

About the Author

Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic Inc., a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, Calif., and Dublin, Ireland.

Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects and often engages in content and social media marketing, drafts resumes, press releases, Web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at


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