January 23, 2023
10 SMART Goals Examples for Small Businesses in 2023 (+ Free Template)
Utilizing the SMART goals methodology will help your company achieve its strategic objectives. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. This strategy will focus your team members on the most important objectives for your business, which will help you in achieving them efficiently. We outlined some SMART goals examples you can use to help you create your own and stay focused on what you’re trying to achieve. Practical application is the best way to truly understand how SMART goals are utilized in small business today. These examples show you how you might apply the process for your own business. 1. Create a Marketing Plan for a New Business Within 1 Month When starting a new business, there are plans within plans to make. Creating the marketing plan for the new company is an important SMART goal. Specific: We need to create a marketing plan that has a specific outline we can follow to ensure we covered the most important information. Measurable: Each week of the month, we will finalize 25% of the plan's details to ensure completion within one month. Achievable: One month should be plenty of time to do all the market research and company analysis required to create a good marketing plan. Relevant: Without a solid plan for marketing, the company is missing a crucial component to success. Time-bound: The time limit is one month. 2. Pay Off $10,000 in Business Debt Within 30 Months Setting financial goals is an important step toward gaining control of your business finances. One SMART goal example may be to pay down the company's debt, thus making more money available for employee pay increases and other projects. Specific: Pay off $10,000. Measurable: We can measure progress by monitoring our cash accounts as we go, and track how we are doing month to month. Achievable: We will achieve this by spending less on growth-goal related items and will work to encourage vendors to pay on time and in full. Relevant: We will highlight development and project opportunities throughout the year that can benefit from increased investment once the debt is paid down. Time-bound: Within 30 months, we will achieve our objective. 3. Set Up a Remote Sales Networking System Within 7 Days This scenario became painfully real to many companies in the early months of 2020. Setting SMART goals for transitioning to remote operations at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was an important part of maintaining an effective sales culture during a very stressful time. This SMART goal example is rooted in a real-world experience that many people faced. Specific: Every member of our remote sales team should be connected and operational. Measurable: The task is complete when the networking system is operating and our remote workers are able to work. Achievable: Although this goal might be ambitious, we can move this to the top of our priority list and temporarily pull in resources from longer-term projects to complete this necessary goal. Relevant: Remote work is a good setup even when there’s not a pandemic making it necessary. In 2020, remote networking allowed companies to continue operating. In a post-COVID world, remote networking helps employees be productive and companies achieve results. Time-bound: The time limitation for this goal is seven days. 4. Increase New Customer Reviews by 30% Year Over Year Most companies' growth these days has to do with the brand awareness your business has in the market. One of your most important goals in brand cultivation is your brand awareness growth throughout the year. One SMART goal example for this: The number of new customer reviews we get must increase 30% on a year-over-year (YoY) basis. Specific: Increase customer reviews by 30%. Measurable: We measure our progress through monthly reporting, and it shows if we reach our target or not. Achievable: We increased our customer reviews last year by 20%. We believe the 30% target is achievable. Relevant: Based on our research to date, an increase in the number of customer reviews corresponds with increased sales in our top growth channels. Time-bound: This is a YoY comparison. 5. Ensure All Our Overseas Factory Workers Are Paid a Living Wage Within 3 Months As consumers become more conscious of where their goods come from, the demand for ethically sourced products increases. If you source your products ethically, you can gain customer loyalty and charge a premium while doing it. The word “ethical” is vague and can mean many things. Different companies have different standards of ethics that they are able and willing to implement. For example, you might insist that the overseas workers who make your product be paid 25% higher than the average wage for that industry, or that your production lines provide well-paying jobs and valuable job training to women escaping domestic violence. You might also make your manufacturing carbon-neutral by planting trees to offset the carbon emissions produced in creating your products. In this SMART goals example, the specific goal is to vet the working conditions of our overseas factories and ensure that all workers are paid a living wage. Specific: We are focused on all our overseas factory workers earning a living wage. Measurable: We will request cost of living data from our overseas partners and then evaluate their compliance with our living wage goal or select new partners on a region-by-region basis. Achievable: Since we already work with overseas factories, vetting suppliers and choosing new partners based on our updated requirements is an achievable goal. Relevant: Many customers base their spending habits on their ethical values. Sourcing our products ethically will help us win loyal customers. Time-bound: The goal is to accomplish this within three months. 6. Grow Worldwide Market Share of Our Top-selling Software at Least 10% by the End of the Year Growing market share is the goal of most organizations, large or small. Specific: We know the geographic area, the product line, and the level of growth (10%) we’re looking for. Measurable: We will be able to measure our goal by tracking new customers, growth in new markets, and overall growth in current markets. Achievable: We grew, overall, by 8% last year and we feel this increased goal is doable. Relevant: Growth in market share often results in higher revenue and more customers, among other benefits. Time-bound: We will reach our goal by the end of the year. It’s very important to create and use SMART objectives because they provide a frame of reference for all involved. That way, at the end of the period being measured your team can reassess whether or not it was truly “achievable.” 7. Transition IT Support From Contract to In-house in 6 Months All companies that use computers have to have IT support. Many companies hire IT support companies to take care of their computer needs. As a company grows, it might become more financially beneficial to create an IT department and handle those needs in-house rather than contracting out to a service, as in this SMART goal example. Specific: This goal requires adding a new department to the organization structure and staffing it. Measurable: This goal is measurable by the existence or non-existence of an IT department. The number of people who will need to be hired is another measurement that will be determined in a sub-goal of this overarching goal because SMART goals can and usually do have additional goals required to make the plan happen. Achievable: This is a reasonable timeline for this goal, and we have the resources and expertise to create this department and hire qualified people. Relevant: An in-house IT department will save us time and money and make our employees more productive by decreasing technology-related downtime. Time-bound: The timeline for this goal is six months. 8. Plan 5 Customer Education Webinars by the Fourth Quarter A good idea here may be to plan and execute five customer education webinars by the fourth quarter with 15-plus attendees per event and at least 80% highly satisfied or very satisfied responses regarding content. Specific: The goal is to plan five webinars. Measurable: We will assess the number of attendees in each webinar and distribute and analyze attendee survey results. Achievable: The personnel and system resources are available and the need is active. Relevant: These webinars will help generate additional customers and/or our brand will establish expertise in the market. Time-bound: We will have this completed by the fourth quarter of the current year. 9. Increase Sales Cold Calls by 10% This Year In many businesses, cold calls are key to sales. Whether you’re doing business-to-business or direct-to-customer sales, if your business model requires you to reach out, then increasing your cold calls can be the key to setting higher sales goals, as demonstrated in this SMART goals example. Specific: We want to make 10% more cold calls this year than last year. Measurable: It is easy to compare the number of calls made last year to the number of calls made this year. Achievable: We can add incentives to push our team to make more calls. If we need to hire more people or move some part-time employees to full-time, we can do that. Relevant: If the conversion rate for our calls remains constant, this will increase our overall sales. Time-bound: We have until the end of this year to complete this goal. 10. Increase Website Traffic 25% by December 2023 If your website is successful, you already are aware of your overall conversion rates, both in terms of click-throughs from search engines and social media and in terms of sales generated per click-through. Increasing your website traffic will increase your sales, as long as your sales conversion rate remains relatively constant, in this SMART business goals example. Specific: To increase the number of visitors that come to our site by 25%. Measurable: Increase our annual visitors from 100,000 to 125,000. Achievable: Our inbound marketing team has solid social media and content creation strategies in place. We can hire additional experts as needed to increase our visibility and our website traffic. Relevant: The more traffic we have, the more money we make and the larger our reach. Time-bound: We want to complete this goal by December 2023. Bottom Line Not having a goal is like hiking without a map or building a boat without a plan. Making your goals SMART ensures that you not only know what you want to achieve, but how you will get there (as well as a way to measure your progress along the way). We encourage you to read more about using SMART goals as part of your performance management process as well.
January 20, 2023
6 Best International Payroll Services 2023
January 20, 2023
6 Best Salary Comparison Tools for 2023
Before you can set or negotiate an employee’s pay level, you’ll want to compare salaries using compensation data you’ve gathered for similar roles at other companies. The best salary comparison tools provide you access to a wide range of data—from staff wages and bonuses to employee benefits—that cover many job types, skills, and positions across industries and locations. Some are free to use and include both employee- and employer-reported salaries, while others offer paid solutions that provide market pay data sourced from salary benchmarking studies. We evaluated a variety of solutions and narrowed the list down to our top six salary comparison tool recommendations. : Best overall salary comparison tool : Best for a blend of employee- and employer-reported and job posting data : Best for education and consultants : Best for employers needing easy-to-understand salary research reports : Best for employers looking for a compensation scenario builder : Best for companies that need unique data filters to view salary data Only need a quick check? If you are only looking for a “sanity check” on a salary, there are simple, searchable databases that let you filter by job and location. These are usually aimed at job seekers, but can provide a good basis for comparison: Salary Comparison Tools Compared See fullscreen table × *Every product on our list offers at least some of its services for free. These include: Salary by job and location Range of salary Reports (most are downloadable) Search for a single job by title and location Bureau of Labor Statistics: Best Overall Salary Comparison Tools The (BLS) salary survey is the largest of its kind. It’s a highly scientific government-run survey that’s free to download. The data is sourced from quarterly nationwide employer surveys and has the most robust filtering and download capabilities. This helps you account for organizational, regional, and other data variations in compensation. However, the quarterly reports are summaries; the job-specific searchable reports are updated each May. Earning an overall rating of 4.12 out of 5, the BLS scored high in pricing, comparison tools, and reporting given its free salary research reports, nationwide employer-reported data, and multiple filter options. It was rated poorly in ease of use primarily because of its dated-looking website, which makes it difficult to navigate through wage reports. Indeed: Best for Employee-reported, Employer-reported & Job Posting Data is one of the largest job posting sites on the market. It has a robust set of salary data that is a blend of information pulled from past and current job postings on Indeed, including those anonymously reported by employees and employers. It’s completely free to use, and because Indeed captures data from so many companies, it’s a good tool for competitor analysis. Scoring 4.06 out of 5 in our evaluation, Indeed earned perfect marks in pricing, given its free salary research tools. It scored the lowest in reporting because it doesn’t let you download salary comparison reports. Plus, it doesn’t have robust data filters like Payscale, Salary.com, and the BLS do. Read Full Indeed Review PayLab: Best for Consultant Services & Academia If your focus is on salary research for academic or consulting purposes, then check out partnership program. It offers you access to all your country’s data in exchange for participation in its research. PayLab is one of the few on our list that provides salary information for countries outside the US. It offers sample salaries of over 700 job positions in over 36 countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia. PayLab earned 3.94 out of 5 on our rubric. It took a big hit on pricing since its free tool is extremely limited for employers. However, it did very well on comparison tools, reporting, and ease of use, with the second-highest ease of use score after ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter: Best for Employers Needing Easy-to-Understand Salary Comparison Reports is an online talent marketplace and recruitment solution for posting jobs and finding qualified candidates. It also offers a salary comparison tool that contains compensation information from job listings posted on its site and third-party data sources (like ADP). The results of its salary research are easy to understand, plus it has a short yet helpful summary that explains the average annual pay and pay range for the position selected. It earned an overall score of 3.91 out of 5 in our evaluation. Its ease of use and free-to-use salary comparison tools contributed to its high scores. However, ZipRecruiter’s lack of data filters and downloadable salary research reports prevented it from scoring higher on this list. Read Full ZipRecruiter Review Payscale: Best for Businesses Looking to Create Custom Compensation Scenarios is an easy-to-use tool that includes robust employee- and employer-reported data (although not job posting data like Indeed). It has a wide range of compensation management and survey tools like Salary.com, although Payscale lets you build your own compensation scenarios in case you need to create new positions or a completely new business. This allows you to get a holistic idea of your staffing costs, more so than the other salary comparison tools in this guide (although PayLab will let you set up cumulative positions for multiple salaries at once). The reports are simple and easy to understand, but the plethora of job titles can make it difficult to get the right title comparison. It scored 3.72 out of 5 in our evaluation, with perfect marks in comparison tools and ratings of 3 and up in reporting capabilities and ease of use. However, the non-transparent pricing of its paid salary survey solutions and services hurt its overall score. Salary.com: Best for Businesses Wanting Unique Filters to View Compensation Data is one of the oldest sources of salary data on the web—the company was founded in 1999. It has 100% employer-reported survey data purchased from data collectors and even offers a wide range of compensation management and salary survey products. The information is updated monthly and can be filtered in ways unavailable on other sites, such as salary views based on performance and management level. Salary.com’s pricing hurt its score the most, bringing it to 3.69 out of 5. It earned a perfect score for its robust comparison tools, with the unique filters making it stand out. Plus, it had high scores for ease of use. It has a free-to-use salary calculator, but you have to pay extra if you want to download the report. We also found the add placement more intrusive than others on our list. Tips for Using Salary Comparison Tools Conducting salary research is a critical part of creating your company’s compensation program. It helps ensure that you’re paying employees at par with market rates, enabling you to attract qualified candidates and improve employee retention as well. Regardless of which salary comparison tool you use, here are a few key things you should do. How We Chose the Best Salary Comparison Tools We looked at several salary comparison tools, comparing each solution’s data sources and the types of pay information supplied. We also considered other features like downloadable reports, the amount of data available, and ease of use. And while most have free salary research tools, we checked whether it offers a paid version that’s affordably priced. Click through the tabs below for a more detailed breakdown of our evaluation criteria. Bottom Line Regardless of your company size and the type of business you have, you should be using salary comparison tools to determine whether or not your salary package is on par with the market. Having access to up-to-date salary data also helps you create compensation strategies for attracting new hires and retaining current employees. Some even provide insights on HR best practices such as for hiring qualified candidates, onboarding new hires, and more. We found that the offers the best value for money. It’s free to use with a rich data set that comes from nationwide surveys run by the government. The salary ranges for positions, multiple filters, and different data points included (like salary quartiles, pay by years of work experience, and extensive industry coverage) are also super helpful. You can even download its reports and charts in various file formats—all at no cost. Get started with the BLS’s salary research tools today.
January 20, 2023
Create an Employee Referral Program in 6 Steps [+ Free Template]
An employee referral program involves asking your employees to refer candidates who may not have otherwise applied to your open roles and rewarding them for their referral efforts. It gives you access to higher-quality applicants—and may reduce hiring costs and time to hire—as most employees will only refer individuals they believe could excel at the job. Your ultimate goal is to get quality referrals from your employees through a simple and straightforward process. Download our free employee referral policy template below. You can customize it to your exact policy requirements and incentives. Establish your own employee referral program by following these steps: Step 1: Determine Your Company Goals When determining company goals for your employee referral program, it is important to consider the desired outcome. Your goals should be concrete and measurable, so you can accurately track progress throughout the process. The first goal you should consider is how many referrals you would like to receive from each employee. Setting realistic expectations will ensure that everyone is working together toward the same goal. Knowing what you want to achieve is key to developing an employee referral program that fits your needs. Here are some common outcomes you should expect: Reducing your company’s cost to hire Reducing your company’s time to hire Targeting passive job seekers Gaining access to a larger pool of qualified applicants Step 2: Establish a Process & Rules When you establish the employee referral process, keep it straightforward. If it takes employees too much time, or if they have to submit endless paperwork or online forms, they won’t do it—and you’ll miss out on potentially excellent referrals. Keep it simple by using an online form to collect only relevant and necessary information: Employee’s name Referral’s name The open job title or requisition number The referral’s resume An open box for the employee to provide information about the referral Within minutes, you can create a Google Form and a unique link you can share with employees that will send all responses to your email. The responses can get automatically populated in a Google Sheet, so you can easily track referrals and any rewards that need to be paid out. You will also need to create some rules around the program to eliminate confusion. For instance, if an employee refers someone your team has already contacted about an open position, they can’t claim a reward if that person gets the job. Additionally, if an employee makes a referral and then quits before the referral is hired, they should not be eligible for any incentive. Step 3: Identify Eligibility Generally, any full-time employee will be eligible to participate in the program, except hiring managers and HR representatives directly involved in the hiring process. Executives and part-time or seasonal employees may also be ineligible; however, you may want to offer an incentive to those with longevity and/or in certain positions within the company. Additionally, consider adding a clause to your policy that only employees in good standing will be eligible for any incentive. Besides employees, you have another source of referrals—vendors and contractors. They are familiar with your business and will be more inclined to refer candidates if you reward them. While this should be a separate policy so as not to blur the employment relationship line and to ensure higher employee incentives, an external referral program can be a good supplement to your recruiting toolbox. Step 4: Decide on Rewards This is where you get to have some fun. You might naturally think of cash bonuses for referrals—and many employees will like that idea—but you can expand to other rewards. Examples include: Additional paid time off (PTO) Gifts or gift cards Random drawings for larger prizes Company outings Ultimately, most employees will want a cash reward. How much you decide to pay may depend on several factors, although the average payout is $2,500, according to LinkedIn. Generally, the amount of cash rewarded would depend on how difficult the role is to fill or the type of position (i.e., an entry-level hire may have a referral bonus of $1,000, whereas an executive level position may carry a higher referral bonus of $2,500). If that’s the path you choose, make sure you include tax information in your policy so that employees know any reward they receive will be taxed as a bonus. Your policy should also stipulate when rewards are paid. Employees may want their reward as soon as a referral is hired. However, you’re better off making sure the referral meets your expectations. We recommend you pay referral bonuses only after a referral has been on the job for at least 90 days. This period strikes a good balance between keeping your employees incentivized to give referrals and get paid quickly with your company’s need to hire the right people. However, if you think three months might be too long, you could offer a smaller incentive for any referral that gets an interview. This incentive is in addition to any larger bonus paid out after the referral hits their 90-day mark. You will notice wording for both types of incentives in our free downloadable employee referral policy template. Giving employees an initial bonus for making the referral provides more incentive for them to submit referrals because they get rewarded for taking the time, even if the referral is not hired. Incentives ultimately benefit your company, even though you may need to increase your referral bonus budget. Step 5: Communicate With Your Team Your team must understand the referral process and how it benefits them. If you don’t properly convey the program, it may not give you the results you seek. Whether you, HR, or individual managers roll out the new policy and process, you need to determine how you will communicate the initial plan and keep employees updated on referrals they have submitted. Show employees the benefits (gift cards, cash bonuses, or whatever you choose). Explain why the program benefits the company (better and more skilled hires, less turnover, and lower hiring costs). Keep forms to receive referrals in a place that’s easy for employees to find such as a shared folder. Send an email with a descriptive subject line, and put the link on your company intranet or electronic message board. Create an internal marketing drive to promote your employee referral program. This will help keep the program front of mind for your employees and ensure they always have the relevant information near the top of their inboxes. Send a quick but informative email several times per quarter to keep employees engaged in the referral program. Step 6: Review Program Metrics Regularly Data is key to any business venture. Your employee referral program is no exception. You should track: How many employees have been hired as a referral The time to hire for referrals vs applicants from job boards The number of employees who have submitted referrals The retention rate of referrals vs employees from other sources How many referrals has been interviewed The level of candidate diversity The total sum paid out to employees as a referral bonus Employee satisfaction with the referral program One reason employee referral programs fail is that employees don’t know what happens to a referral once they submit the name. Especially when the employee knows the referral well, sending a referral into a black hole does not inspire confidence in the employee that the program is efficient. Transparency is key to overcoming this challenge and making sure that employees are updated on where their referral is in the process. Through your regular internal marketing of the program, you can keep employees informed of how many referrals have been received and interviewed for each open position. Benefits of a Good Employee Referral Program One of the most important recruiting statistics you need to know is that a referred candidate is 85 times more likely to get the job. That’s because referrals are generally higher quality candidates than you’ll find by advertising a job on job boards. Employees will only submit a referral if they are confident the individual can excel in the position. Here are the three biggest benefits you’ll see from an effective employee referral program. Legal Considerations An employee referral program can provide you with a great additional source for talent acquisition and reduce your costs to hire. Making sure that you establish clear guidelines and criteria, however, will help ensure compliance with local employment laws and regulations. Specifically, a big legal issue you need to be aware of is making sure that you’re not discriminating against protected classes. The best way for you to avoid unintentional discrimination is to keep using multiple sources to hire, adopt blind hiring techniques, and not rely only on your employee referral program. You need to track your employee referral diversity. If you find that 95% of your referrals are white men, you need to reevaluate your program, making adjustments to ensure diversity. Bottom Line Employee referral programs can give your company a boost in the quality of employees while improving employee morale and engagement. Providing incentives for employee referrals will inspire your team to become your best ambassadors. Monitoring your program and tracking specific data will ensure your employee referral program remains a key pillar of your success.
January 19, 2023
Employment Contract: Template, What to Include, and Pros & Cons
An employment contract is a written employment agreement documenting the shared rights and responsibilities between your company and a W-2 employee. A strong employment contract should include terms of agreement, the employee’s responsibilities, compensation and benefits, and a nondisclosure agreement (NDA), among other items, and will help ensure all parties are aligned and all laws are followed. We’ve provided a general employment contract template for you to download and use, as well as a California-specific template since the state has numerous laws and regulations that make creating contracts a bit more complex. What to Include in an Employment Contract An employment agreement template works as a fill-in-the-blank document. You add your company name and logo plus the worker’s name along with dates and payment info. The benefit of starting with an employment contract template is that much of the wording is boilerplate. You only need to change details specific to your business and any agreements made with the worker. Beyond describing your company and details of the job that the employee is being hired for, the employment contract should address compensation, benefits, and employment terms. In addition, it’s helpful to include a clause to ensure confidentiality and clarify how disputes will be resolved. Here are six critical sections to include in employment contracts: Pros & Cons of Using an Employment Contract Both employers and employees can benefit from an employment contract. However, it’s in your best interest to write the employment contract in a way that preserves your rights as an employer, such as by specifying the amount of advanced notice you need to receive from the worker if they resign (for them to be eligible for bonuses or severance). Using an employment contract can go a long way toward eliminating confusion from the start; however, it can also create more work for you and is sometimes costly. The primary benefit of documenting your employment agreement in a written contract is that it clarifies expectations all around and provides you with an assurance that work will be done as expected. Employment Contract vs Job Offer Letter Different from an employment contract, a job offer letter is a more common way that businesses clarify the employment relationship with direct-hire employees. In an offer letter, you specify the hire date, pay rate, and job title and spell out any other pertinent agreed-upon information, such as a hiring bonus or extra paid time off. The differences between a job offer letter and a more formal employment contract are: Employment Contract Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Can I write my own contract? You can, but we don’t recommend it. Employment contracts are ripe for mistakes that can lead to costly litigation and disputes. It’s best to use a template and have it reviewed by an employment attorney before using it. Do I have to use an agreement for an independent contractor? Do you have to? No. Should you always? Yes. Without a formal written contract, you won’t be able to hold the contractor accountable since it’s just your word against theirs. Plus, you won’t have any protections for your business. I already have employee contracts. Can I use those for freelancers? No. Employment contracts and freelance contracts are different beasts. Freelancers should receive your standard independent contractor agreement. How do I know whether to use an employment contract or a 1099 contract? If you’re hiring an employee, use an employment contract. If you’re hiring a contractor, use a 1099 contract. The distinction between an employee and a contractor can be tough to make. Review our five key areas of difference to give you a better idea. Bottom Line An employment contract is a useful document to have in the personnel file if you are hiring a manager-level employee or higher. Use our free downloadable templates as a starting point to protect your business and yourself, as well as set clear expectations about the role and compensation of the worker. is an example of payroll software that offers features like e-signature and document storage as part of their payroll processing. Once you hire a worker, whether a 1099 contractor or W-2 employee, Gusto can process their payroll and store their signed contract documents online. Start with a 30-day free trial.
January 18, 2023
How to Fill Out an I-9 Form by Section [+ Video Instructions]
Employers are required to complete an I-9 form, which confirms eligibility to work in the US, within three days after a new employee is hired. The employee fills out the first page, and employers must verify and fill out the rest. Follow the instructions by section to complete your I-9 forms correctly. Begin by downloading the current I-9 form, which is free and available in English and Spanish, during the onboarding of your new hire. You can choose to use the fillable PDF or print and give paper copies to your new hires. Section 1: Employee Information and Attestation Section 1 of the I-9 form should be completed in full by the employee. If any of the fields are not relevant (such as your employee has no email address), they can write “N/A” in the field. Employee Information The first part of Section 1 is to provide the employee’s information. Have the employee input their Name Address Date of birth Social Security number Telephone number Email address (if applicable) Attestation The second part of Section 1 attests (under penalty of perjury) that the employee is eligible to work in the United States. The employee should check the appropriate box: A citizen of the United States A noncitizen national of the United States A lawful permanent resident An alien authorized to work The employee should then sign and date the form, where indicated. Preparer and/or Translator Certification The employee must state whether they used a preparer/translator or not. Have the employee check the corresponding box: I did not use a preparer or translator A preparer(s) or translator(s) assisted the employee in completing Section 1 If a translator was used, then that person (which may be you, another employee, or the employee’s family member) will need to complete and sign the section where indicated. Section 2: Employer or Authorized Representative Review and Verification The employer completes this section. In a small business, the authorized representative may be your administrative assistant or accounting/payroll manager. Start by copying the employee’s name and enter it into the first box that states Employee Info from Section 1. In the Citizenship/Immigration Status box, input the number corresponding to their employee status, as indicated in Section 1: A citizen of the United States A noncitizen national of the United States A lawful permanent resident An alien authorized to work For example, if the employee is a citizen of the United States, you would input #1 in the Citizenship/Immigration Status box. Identity and Employment Authorization To complete this portion of the I-9 form, have the employee bring in two forms of identification (must be examined in person). Examples of acceptable documents can be found in our I-9 form article. Using the document(s) provided by the employee, the employer representative will complete the Identity and Employment Authorization sections (List A or Lists B and C). Fill in the following fields: Document Title (i.e., US Passport) Issuing Authority Document Number Expiration Date Once you’ve seen the original documents yourself (or had your representative verify them), and you’ve noted the document title, issuing authority, document number, and expiration date on the I-9 form, hand the documents back to the employee. There’s no need for you to keep photocopies. If the employee is unable to present the required documents from list A, or from lists B and C combined, you have one of two options. If the employee doesn’t yet have their documentation, a receipt showing that they’ve applied for these documents will suffice. You will be required to come back and complete Section 3 of the form once the documents arrive. You can rescind the employment offer and terminate their employment. Make this expectation clear from day one by showing them the text at the top of Section 2, which states: “Employers must sign and complete Section 2 within three business days of the employee’s first day of employment.” Start Date and Authorized Signature After you have completed List A or Lists B and C, you will enter the employee’s start date. This is the date the new hire began work with your company. The employer or authorized representative will then sign the document. Include the following: Title of employer or authorized representative Last name of employer or authorized representative First name of employer or authorized representative Business or organization name Business or organization address Section 3: Reverification and Rehires Section 3 is used only to review documentation that was applied for but not yet received at the time of hire or reverify documents when an employee is rehired. Similar to Section 2, you (or your representative) will sign that you have reviewed/reverified the document once the employee brings it in. You do not need to fill out a new form—simply add the following to the existing I-9: Part A: Fill in the employee’s name if it includes a name change that is different from Section 1 of the form (i.e., marriage and divorce with a name change). Part B: Fill in the new hire date. Part C: Used to establish new (or previously expired) documentation different from that in Section 2 of the I-9 form. Enter the document title, number, and expiration date. Verify the I-9 Form Is Completed Correctly & File To verify that the I-9 form is completed, make sure all required fields are filled out (or marked “unknown” or “N/A,” as required), signature fields are completed, and dates are input in the correct format of mm/dd/yyyy (example: 07/03/2022). Another option to verify employment eligibility is to use the E-Verify system. E-Verify is a government internet website that allows you to verify that the information the employee listed on the I-9 form is valid. Whereas completing an I-9 form is required, using E-Verify is not required for most employers. However, it can give you peace of mind if you want to ensure your employees are legally eligible to work in the US. Where to File I-9 Forms Once documents are signed and verified, create an electronic or paper file folder called I-9s and store them by year. As a best practice, do not store signed I-9 forms in employees’ personnel folders due to the confidential information they contain. Use a checklist in each employee’s personnel file to indicate that you have completed the I-9 form and have it on file. Of note, the I-9 does not need to be sent to an authorizing authority but simply kept on file within your business. When to Delete I-9 Forms Completed and signed I-9 forms need only be kept for three years after the time of hire. A best practice is to destroy (shred) I-9 documentation after three years. If an employee is terminated, their I-9 form can be destroyed after one year. An audit of your records can result in fines (up to $10,000), but records aren’t usually levied against a business unless a pattern of violations is seen. Frequently Asked Questions Can I fill out an I-9 for myself? No. Employees cannot act as their own authorized representative. Each employee must fill out the employee section of the I-9 form and the employer should complete and sign the employer section. In the case of an employee, such as HR, acting as the authorized representative for employees when signing I-9 forms, this person should have someone else in the company review, verify, complete and sign their individual I-9 form. What happens if I don’t fill out an I-9? If an employee does not complete their I-9 form within three days of hire, you have the right to refuse work and/or terminate their employment. However, you cannot withhold payment for work completed even for an employee who has not filled out the I-9 form and is facing termination. Although the I-9 form does not have to be returned to the IRS, it is a requirement to keep one on file for each employee. Not having I-9 forms filled out could result in a penalty if your business is audited. Does the address on your I-9 matter? Your employees should enter their current physical address (that matches their identification) on the I-9 form when they first fill it out. After that, there is no requirement to keep I-9 forms updated when employees change their names or addresses. The primary purpose of the I-9 is to verify eligibility for employment in the United States. Once that has been verified, there is no need to update the form unless the eligibility status changes. Bottom Line I-9 verification is an employer requirement that must be completed within three days of your new hire’s start date. You must complete sections 1, 2, and 3 and verify documentation in person for each new hire. While the I-9 does not need to be sent to anyone, you should keep the document in a separate file from the new hire’s personnel folder.
January 18, 2023
Free Interview Evaluation Forms & Scorecard Templates
An interview evaluation form allows interviewers to assess and score job applicants consistently, allowing for more objective screening. Data from the forms is then transferred to an interview scorecard used by HR or the hiring manager to determine which candidate, based on all interviewer feedback, is the best fit for the organization. We have included eight free interview evaluation forms and three free scorecards that you can customize for specific types of interviews and job roles. You can download all 11 templates with the link below, or download only the individual template(s) you need. Download Our Interview Evaluation Form Templates Simple Interview Evaluation Form The simple interview evaluation form is the best and easiest evaluation form to use if your interviewers don’t have much experience or if you only need a simple one-page document to jot down notes and score the candidate on 5-10 job qualifications. It allows raters to assess each candidate using three choices (poor, OK, great). Because these templates are editable, you can modify each to suit your particular needs by changing the text in the categories, modifying the rating scale, or adding your logo. Job-specific Simple Interview Evaluation Forms These forms take the basic questions provided in the interview evaluation form template and customize them to specific job roles. For example, candidates for a retail job may need point-of-sale (POS) experience, while candidates for an administrative role may need specific computer expertise. Browse the tabs below to download job-specific simple interview evaluation forms. Complex Interview Evaluation Form A complex interview evaluation form is more detailed and contains additional behavioral interview questions that are appropriate to ask in professional interviews. Use this customizable template if you’re looking to document results from a detailed behavioral interview, as well as job-specific qualifications, personality traits, and organizational fit. Job-specific Complex Evaluation Forms These forms use the same format provided in the complex interview evaluation form and further customize the behavioral and technical questions to suit specific job roles. For example, managers need to inspire team members, project managers may need PMP certification, and technical team members may need to have specific hardware or software expertise. Free Interview Evaluation Scorecards Once individual interviewers have completed their rating of a candidate using the evaluation form(s), you can input that data into an interview evaluation scorecard to compare everyone’s interview ratings for the same candidate. This way, you can determine the average rating for each candidate and decide (without bias) whether or not you should move the candidate forward in the hiring process. Browse the tabs below to download our free interview evaluation scorecards. Training Interviewers to Use Interview Evaluation Forms Our free interview evaluation forms are straightforward, containing 10-20 questions, room to make reminder notes about each rating, and a three-point rating scale for interviewers to choose from. All interviewers should use the same form and rating system for consistency. In addition to training on how to conduct an interview (including what not to ask), your interviewer training can be as simple as showing the interviewer how to use and score the form: Complete form information, such as interviewer name, candidate name, job title, and date Rate candidate on each of the questions (poor, OK, great) by using a checkmark Once the interviewer evaluation ratings are complete, count the number of each “poor”, “OK” and “great” ratings and write that number at the bottom of the interview evaluation form Interviewers then circle their overall rating (which is subjective; it may or may not match the numeric score) Last, they should indicate “yes” or “no” on whether they recommend the candidate If they have comments as to why they made a recommendation, they can write those in the notes section With complex interview evaluation forms, you may want to explain why you chose specific behavioral and technical interview questions. It is scored the same way as the simpler versions; however, it typically has more questions. Do’s & Don’ts of an Interview Evaluation Form Whether you use our free templates or create your own, an interview evaluation form should have basic candidate information and job-related questions. However, be careful when you make your interview evaluation form that you do not ask or rate anything that could be subject to discovery in a litigation process, such as any demographic, gender, or other protected-class information that may violate labor laws. Below is a list of what to include and what not to include on your interview evaluation forms. Bottom Line Like most business tools, the exact interview evaluation form you need should be right for your business and the specific job for which the candidates are applying. If you are looking for a simple evaluation form, with 10 or fewer questions, download and customize the simple interview evaluation template. If you’re hiring your first manager or interviewing for a senior-level role, you might consider using a more complex template that is job-specific. We’ve also provided three versions of interview evaluation scorecard templates for you to choose from, both to compare interviewer feedback on a candidate and to compare multiple candidates against each other for the same job.
January 17, 2023
Hiring Salespeople: Finding the Right Rep for Your Business [+ Free Checklist]
Although finding the perfect fit for a sales position can be daunting, following a few simple steps can make the process much smoother and improve your chances for success. Those steps include creating a strong job description, determining the best compensation package for the role, and using job boards and your job ad to target sales reps. We’ve even created a free checklist to help you. Don't forget about , too. Its user-friendly platform helps you source top talent with powerful tools like an applicant tracking system (ATS) and a free Highlight Enhancement ($60 value) included with your 4-day free trial. Plan ahead and find success when it comes to hiring stellar reps. 1. Create a Job Description Every organization knows that hiring for any role, let alone finding the perfect sales representative, is no easy task. Doing your due diligence, though, with a well-crafted job description can help to attract quality applicants and eliminate those who don't meet all of the necessary criteria—saving you time in sifting through applications and streamlining your recruiting process. With clear expectations from the start, it's much easier to find a candidate that fits just right. Follow these steps to create your job description: 2. Decide How to Compensate Your Sales Rep Once you’ve decided exactly what it is you want your sales rep to do, you can consider the best way to incentivize the position. There are several ways to pay a sales rep, but the most common is to provide them with some kind of base pay (salary or hourly), along with some pay that’s based on performance, such as a bonus or commission. This will vary by industry and sales rep experience, so make sure you’re considering all relevant factors when determining a commission structure. For example, retail employees may make a flat dollar amount for every item sold, whereas software salespeople may make a percentage of the first year’s deal value. No matter what you decide, we recommend setting a policy where you only pay a commission after a customer or client has completed their payment. 3. Post the Sales Rep Job on a Job Board Once you’ve got your job description written and are clear on how you’ll pay your sales rep, it’s time to post your job opening where job seekers can find it. You’ll typically start with a job ad and screening questions and then determine the best job board(s) to use. You may consider a sales-specific job board like (focused on general sales positions) or (focused on tech sales) or one of the highly popular general job boards. Write a Compelling Job Ad A sales rep job ad is a marketing tool to entice talented salespeople to join your team. However, it also serves to provide enough information to help interested job seekers determine whether the job is a good fit for them, including the pay structure you’ve decided on for this role. Not every salesperson will be comfortable working under a commission-only structure, for example. You can write a compelling job ad in a few simple steps: Use your sales rep job description as a starting point. Keep your job ad succinct, and use bullets to make it easier for job seekers to read. Include questions in your job posting so those applying to your job are clearly aware of your requirements. List experience requirements and set those as “must haves” or “preferred.” Use Pre-screening Questions To help job seekers assess their qualifications when applying for a job, online job boards like (shown below) allow you to add pre-screening questions. For example, ask candidates about their years of selling experience, industry expertise, or level of education. You can also set up common and specific interview questions to automatically send to candidates who apply for your job. Make sure you’re avoiding any illegal interview questions. 4. Screen the Applicants Responding to Your Job Ad When hiring salespeople, it’s crucial to make sure they can do the job. Your sales rep serves as the face of the company by representing your brand. Therefore, it’s best to review their applications and schedule screening calls to confirm whether they fit your culture and style in addition to having the job skills you need. Review Applications & Cover Letters While a cover letter is nice to have, pay close attention to applicants’ resumes. Make sure the resumes match your must-haves for this position. As you review the job application, resume, and cover letter, check to ensure the applicant has the following: Experience in your industry or with your product line Basic selling skills, including prospecting and closing skills Solid communication skills (including a resume and cover letter free of typos) Satisfactory answers to any questions asked on the application Verify the Applicant’s Job History Online It’s not a bad idea to do a LinkedIn or internet search of the job applicant by name to see if their social media profile matches what they’ve listed on the job application, resume, and cover letter. If it doesn’t match, you may want to pass on that applicant entirely. According to Indeed, some 40% of job seekers lie on their resumes. Schedule Phone Calls With Top Applicants Phone screening is a quick and easy way to assess your top picks. It’s typically a short telephone call that lets you chat with the job applicant, answer any questions they have, and assess their true interest in the job. For tips on what kinds of questions to ask, read our article on how to do a telephone screening interview. 5. Interview the Most Promising Sales Rep Candidates Conducting an in-person or video interview with your top three to five candidates is one of the best ways to get a sense of the job seeker’s temperament and people skills when you’re hiring a sales rep. During the interview, you’ll ask them questions about situations they’ve encountered, such as how they have overcome pricing objections or what to do when a client says they need to get the OK from their partner first. Scheduling the Interview Scheduling the interview with a sales rep job applicant is often the most difficult part. Fortunately, there are new text and email scheduling apps available to help you manage multiple interviews and give your job candidates a choice in picking a time that works for them. Interview Questions Those wondering how to hire a sales rep are often curious about how to structure an interview or the types of interview questions to ask. Your interview questions should be focused on the job seeker’s interpersonal skills, such as listening, as well as their sales experience. Candidates should be able to provide you with examples of how they interact with people and what kinds of sales they’ve done. Pay close attention to their body language, tone of voice, and personality. Sales reps must convey a friendly attitude but also be resilient to objections. This is a fine line to walk, and finding someone who can do this well every time is like finding a needle in a haystack. Keep in mind that some interview questions may violate state or federal labor law, such as asking about family or marital status, age, or criminal background. Below are several helpful guides to give you a starting point for what to ask and what to avoid. Interview Scorecard A best practice to ensure fairness across all candidates and avoid discrimination is to use an interview scorecard to keep track of the feedback on each candidate. This is especially true if your sales reps are interviewed by more than one person, such as an HR rep or a department manager. We’ve provided several examples in our article on interview evaluation scorecards that you can download and customize for your sales rep interviews. 6. Put Your Sales Rep's Job Offer in Writing Once you find the best candidate, it’s time to put your job offer in writing. Your sales rep job offer should include more than a start date and job title; it needs to be specific and should include the job description as an attachment that the candidate signs off on, noting their ability to achieve the requirements of the role. Further, the compensation amount and how it’s to be calculated should be included in the job offer letter so that the sales rep understands how they’re getting paid. 7. Hire & Onboard Your Sales Rep If you use an ATS, hiring can be simple. You can send the candidate reminders along with forms they need to sign and documents they need to review. If all hiring is done in-house, use a new hire checklist to make sure you don’t forget to gather the proper paperwork for your new sales rep, such as their W-4 tax withholding forms or I-9 documentation. Additionally, onboarding your new hire will require a specific amount of sales training and support to ensure they are successful. Even for highly experienced salespeople, it’s crucial that you give them training on your industry, competitors, and the services and products you offer so they’re not tripped up by any potential client questions. It’s not a bad idea to assign your new hire a peer mentor or trainer to help them acclimate to the new role and learn best practices from a more seasoned sales team member. Bottom Line Hiring a sales rep is an important process that requires careful consideration. You need to pinpoint what they’re going to be selling and how they will be compensated, post a job, interview, and choose the best candidate. To streamline your hiring journey, consider using an ATS, which can manage these steps for you—saving time in the long run. If you need more assistance, check out our sales management guide. Make sure top-notch candidates apply by posting on ZipRecruiter—it offers job description templates and applicant tracking features, making it easier than ever before to find the perfect match for your team's needs. Try it free today—get one step closer to finding quality hires fast.