Small Business Development Center

Hiring the Ideal Employee

Hiring the Ideal Employee


Authored by: Sherri Daymon

You need to hire in a tight labor market. How can you recruit the right candidates to apply? First, brainstorm what knowledge, education, and professional skills you need from your ideal employee. To help with this brainstorming, you might consider the ideal employee’s experience or career so far.

But remember, you are hiring for the future. So for this, you need to consider the mind-set, values, and personal skills that describe your ideal employee. Sometimes, the perfect fit may come in an unlikely package. A person may lack the formal education or the exact experience you think you need. However, if the person has a demonstrated can-do attitude, excellent problem-solving skills, loves assisting others, and is a quick-learner, he or she could become your ideal employee.

A lot of business owners look for employees who are versatile, self-motivated, and willing to grow with the company. To attract this type of individual, put yourself in the applicant’s shoes and describe the future career path of your ideal employee. What might their position look like next year, two years from now, or within five years if they join your company today?

Alternatively, if you are looking for someone to do a long-term, consistent, repetitive set of activities that doesn’t necessarily result in an upward career path two or five years down the road, that’s okay. Instead, emphasize values such as stability, mastery, or life-balance to recruit the ideal employee for that position.

If you would like assistance flushing out the specifics of your ideal employee, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is here to coach you through this process. We offer additional advising services related to personnel or staffing, such as:

  • Mapping out current and future positions and areas of responsibility within your organization
  • Writing detailed job descriptions to clarify employee roles and responsibilities
  • Doing a cost/benefit analysis of increasing your staffing levels
  • Developing an in-house employee training plan


You don’t have to work in isolation or go-it-alone. The SBDC can help you get the help you need! Contact us today to schedule a confidential, no-cost appointment with a professional business advisor.