Newsflash From Your Somerset Area Small Business Accountant: Your Business Isn't a Charity!

Newsflash From Your Somerset Area Small Business Accountant: Your Business Isn't a Charity!

October 2, 2012

Unemployment holds steady above 8%, mostly on the rise of “discouraged workers” — i.e. those who gave up looking for jobs. Even here, leading up to the election, there’s little that the government can do to massage those numbers. And as a small business accountant here in Somerset Area — I’ve had to massage some numbers (ethically) in my day!

The fact is, labor is cheaper than ever, as a result of all this.

I wonder, though — will Somerset Area business owners get lazy about how they select and hire their staff, because there seems to be so many qualified people looking for work?

(And, conversely, will they fire too quickly — believing that the next great employee is right around the corner?)

As someone who has experienced, firsthand, the hopeful rush of hiring a new employee … only to see those hopes dashed within the week, I thought that I might put together a short piece on what I’ve learned over the years…

Oh, and some quick, tax-related reminders…

1) You still have until October 15th to get your extension to the IRS. If we’re working on that on your behalf, you can rest assured it will be done.
2) There is a 3-year window for amending prior returns. If you have NOT had us working on your behalf for any of your recent years’ returns, let us know — we’d be glad to review any of your old returns, and you will only pay for our work if we end up filing an amendment which saves you money!

Call us if you have questions: 606-678-4372

Newsflash From Your Somerset Area Small Business Accountant: Your Business Isn’t a Charity!
We all know how much of a gamble the hiring process can be. Often, we end up going by “gut feel” … which method has put its fair share of adherents into some hot water!

So how do you know which of the job applicants you’re interviewing will be a winner for your team, and which will be the anvil around your neck?

Well, the “secret” to hiring the right employee is to give equal weight to five different factors:

1) Education
2) Experience
3) Passion
4) Drive
5) Fit

Sometimes, the best applicant is not the one with 20 years of experience. Sometimes, the best applicant is not the one with the Master’s degree. Focus your interview questions around all five traits, and the “right” employee will emerge.

What if it’s a toss-up? Look closely at the experience, because past experience is the best indicator of future success. In fact–despite conventional wisdom, I recommend you avoid open-ended questions altogether, and instead ask interviewees to give you specific and tangible answers about how they have handled problems or challenges in the past.

And if you’re struggling with current employees, here are four guidelines to determine if it’s time to let someone go:

1) You are doing (or re-doing) their work
2) They fail to reach their goals on a regular basis
3) The employee has not taken your direction and correction to heart
4) They negatively impact other employees around them

You do NOT have the luxury of keeping poor or mediocre employees. In this climate, you must keep only the best employees for your business. And, don’t feel guilty for letting go of inefficient or unproductive persons. You’re growing a business, not running a charity.