If your small business has come to the point where it is time to hire on a few more people, there are exciting times ahead for sure. Some might argue that hiring for a small business is tougher than hiring for a larger business or corporation. There needs to be more insight into personality because your employees are a direct reflection of your business—and that is a reflection that is much more pronounced when your business is small.
Sure, a potential employee’s work experience is important, but there is one other place you can look to see what sort of person you are considering: their interests and side projects.
First, you can tell a lot about someone by their interests. Those that enjoy hiking, extreme sports, or any outdoor activities tend to be more outgoing. On the other hand, those that enjoy spending quiet time with a book or watching movies tend to be a little less involved, yet are often considered to be more helpful with large-scale ideas.
Side projects are also a great window to take a peek at what sort of employee you are hiring. For instance, if they are cooks, studies show that they are probably fairly patient. If they are a writer, they are probably talkative. If they are into sports, they are likely to be energetic and determined.
In speaking to them ask if they have a personal website or blog. Visiting a potential employee’s blog can sometimes give you a better idea of the sort of person they are than the interview itself might reveal. What sort of posts are they writing? Are they hate-filled and angry? Are they inspirational and well-written? While it may not be a direct reflection of how they’d behave in a work setting, it should give a clear picture of their true personality.
Of course, all of this is just a way to be cautious. There is no tried and true way to determine what sort of worker a person is until they are actually in your office and working. But learning about their side project and interests opens up a whole new level of conversation that some larger businesses often overlook.