Applicants will jump through hoops for your small business – if you ask them

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Hiring great employees is one of the most important jobs you have as a small business owner.

It took me a few false starts to figure out that the best way to avoid having to deal with 600 resumes was to concentrate on testing applicants during the application process by giving them hurdles to either jump over or trip over. This eliminated a lot of unnecessary interviewing and resulted in some really great hires.

A few months ago, I hired a virtual assistant using those same techniques, though I did apply a twist or two out of the Victor Cheng Elance playbook.

I put a freebie ad in the Flathead Beacon, which was very clear about my expectations. It resulted in 3 responses.

I replied to all 3 people, 2 of them responded.

Both were given simple tasks with specific instructions. Both completed them, telling me that they were truly interested and could be tested at the next level.

One has since found full-time employment and no longer helps me, but the other has worked out quite well.

Since the initial assignment, she has received numerous others of varying complexity and has performed each to my satisfaction, saving me time and money, and eliminating some tedious work for myself and clients that otherwise might not have gotten done.

Is there some work around your office that can be described step by step and farmed out? Don’t you have more important things to do?

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