Advice on employing people

Published · 7 min read

As your business grows, you will need to think about employing people. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the first time you’re employing staff or if you’ve done it before, it can be easy to get it wrong. Get it right, though, and not only will you be strengthening your business, you’ll be creating a happy environment for your workforce.

Employing the perfect person need not be a complex affair. By taking the time and effort to get your hiring and recruitment methods working in the right way, you’ll put your business in a strong position.

Need help on how to recruit people for your business? Read on for advice on dealing with interviews, employing the perfect staff and how to retain great employees, who will grow as your business does.

The recruitment process

There are a number of steps involved in the recruitment process and it takes planning and preparation to do them to the best of your ability.

First, decide on the role you need to fill. Perhaps you’re a hotel owner and you want to boost the number of your guests, so you’re looking to take on a sales and marketing manager. Maybe you want to take on a cleaner so you can keep your premises looking great.

Then work out where you will find your ideal candidate – perhaps via an online job board, an advert on your website or with the help of a recruitment company.

Next you need an advert. You need it to stand out from the thousands of other job ads that people see every day, so make sure it is clear and written well. It also needs to state what the job will entail and what skills are required from your ideal employee.

If you’re working with a recruitment agency, you’ll be paying them to deal with the next steps, including narrowing your list of people and creating a shortlist, interviewing the candidates (you might decide you want to step in at this point), doing any interview tests, making an offer to your chosen candidate and dealing with contracts. If you’re not working with an agency, you’ll have to take on those steps yourself. The points below cover them in more detail.

Employing staff takes planning and preparation
Employing staff takes planning and preparation

How to employ the perfect staff

Got lots of work coming in and need help to keep on top of everything? It’s time to start employing people. By getting the right people to work for you, you can fulfil that work and achieve more – which is great for your business and its finances.

And, of course, you’ll want to employ the perfect person (or people) to help you achieve your goals. But what does that mean to you and your business? Before you pay a recruitment agency to find a list of candidates for you or dive into the interview process, take a step back.

Consider if there’s a better solution to employing people – such as outsourcing work to a freelancer or improving your skill set so you can cover the necessary demands.

If you decide on employing someone is the best option, then you want to hire the right person for the job.

The perfect employee will have the skill set you require to do the task at hand. They will also have the right personality to fit in with your company’s culture. And they will have the enthusiasm to work hard, learn and grow, and help your business to keep improving.

To achieve this, work out what your employee’s job title and responsibilities will be, and what their role will look like on a day-to-day basis. Then find someone who can meet those requirements and help them grow into the role.

What role do you need to recruit for?

Are you looking for a sales assistant to help your business sell more products? Or do you need a sales director to oversee your selling strategy and lead a team that will make a difference to your bottom line?

Before you dive in and hire someone, work out what role you need to recruit for. Sometimes this can be obvious – you may require a specific person to help you with a role because you don’t have time to dedicate to it or the expertise to do it well.

But it can be a bit more complicated – you might need help with sales and marketing. Do you hire two people? Could one person do the job? What skill set do they need to have, and should they be experienced and knowledgeable or just starting out and eager to learn? How much can you afford to pay them?

By being clear on what you need, you can find the perfect person who can thrive at your company.

You can advertise on your website to find people to work for your business
You can advertise on your website to find people to work for your business

Where to find them?

There are numerous ways to find candidates. You might turn to someone you know, for example – however, if you take them on, make sure they have the right skill set.

Another option is to advertise vacancies on your website. It can be a great option if you get a lot of traffic to your site. But even if you don’t, at least you know any applications you receive are from people engaged in your brand and who are keen to be a part of what you’re building.

Using online job boards such as Reed and Monster will probably give you access to more willing candidates, as will adverts in local and national newspapers. Remember, you will have to pay for your job ads to feature there.

You might want to turn to a recruitment agency or an executive search company. They have a lot of expertise and can find willing candidates who have the right skill set in your sector. Again, there will be a cost attached to this method – the fees can be high, so be clear on what you’re looking for.

Interview tips

Now you’ve shortlisted your candidates, it’s time to interview them.

Interviews can take different forms, from one-on-one chats to panel discussions – but it’s important to be prepared. Here are a few things you can do to be ready.

Decide on the right location for your interviews. They can take place in your office, a coffee shop or even the pub – this can depend on the culture on your business. Make sure it’s a location you’re comfortable with and fits your needs.

Put a list of questions together for your candidates. You want to find out more about them and if they are suitable for the role. Be clear on what you should and shouldn’t ask in an interview. And determine whether any tests are required – such as a writing or client presentation test.

As interviews are a two-way process, prepare for any questions your interviewees might ask. After all, you are selling your business to your potential employee. Brush up on the role and how your ideal candidate will fulfil it, go over your products and services, and be clear on your ambitions for your new starter and your business.

Give your new employee the chance to grow as your business does
Give your new employee the chance to grow as your business does

Taking on your new employee

Once the interview process is over and you’ve chosen your candidate, give them a written job offer. In it, set out the terms and conditions of the role, details on salary and benefits, and information on contract length.

Check their references and qualifications so everything is legitimate and make sure your business has covered any legal basics in line with employing staff.

Having your new starter set up correctly with your payroll software will keep them happy in the knowledge they will get paid on time for their work. Also, as an employer, make sure they are set up to receive a workplace pension.

Finally, get processes in place so your new employee can settle in straight away. One way to do this is to create an induction plan, so they have tasks set up for the first few weeks and can meet the right people.

Managing new recruits

Congratulations – you have a new member of staff for your business. Now the hard work really starts to get the best out of your new employee. You want your new recruit to settle in and feel like they are part of the team. You also want them to be clear on what is required so they can go forth and conquer. To make sure that happens smoothly, there are a few things worth considering and doing.

On their first day, have a friendly face available to greet them and show them around your business. If you’ve just hired your first employee, it would be you doing this; if you have a bigger company, someone else could do this for you.

Start setting up some tasks that your new employee can get to work on and consider whether there’s any training they will need to get them up to speed.

Managing your new employee’s performance will help you to be clear that they are doing what’s required. It will also give you clarity on what they are doing well and where they can improve. Put in regular reviews to discuss performance and give constructive feedback so they can grow in their role.

Take a genuine interest in your new employee too. Find out what they like to do away from work, what they’re passionate about and what makes them tick. Not only will this help you to get to know them better, it will make them feel part of the team – and it could also help when it comes to delegating work.

If you know they have a passion for something in particular, asking them to complete a project around that topic will be beneficial to your business.

Help them to feel part of your team. This might mean getting your new employee to work alongside different team members, going out for drinks after work, or collaborating on projects. By creating a culture that they can feel a part of, it will help your new employee to fit in.

Make sure your new employee is clear on any health and safety and legal issues, so they don’t put themselves in awkward or dangerous positions in the workplace. By training them and providing them with the tools to get this right, you will save your business a lot of hassle in the long run.

Final thoughts on employing people

Now you’ve been through the necessary steps to employ the right person for your business, it’s time to determine exactly who you are looking for in a candidate and what you need them to do.

Take the time to find the right person for the job – you don’t have to go with the first one that comes along. And when you take on your new employee, spend the time to make sure they have everything they need to succeed in the role and grow as your company does.

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