There’s no 2 ways about it; employees are the lifeblood of a business and the success or failure of a business can often rest in their hands. You could be offering fantastic products and services, but fundamentally it is the day to day actions and decisions of the staff within a business that shapes a business.
Not only is it important to find the right people, its business critical. The right people will possess the knowledge, experience, skills and personal attributes that fit the business needs, but they will also be forward thinking, proactive and committed. They should understand the mission of the business, and the action that they can take to drive it forward. Young businesses cannot afford to carry dead weight.
It’s a good step to seek advice before recruiting your first team member, and before you embrace recruitment you need to be clear on the contribution that the position adds to the business. Drawing up a job specification can aid you in identifying what you need doing and the knowledge, skills or experience that a new employee should have in order to be able to undertake the role.
A good recruitment process doesn’t need a large budget and once the role is clear and you are aware of what you are looking for, you should create a person specification to act as a guideline and advertise the role.
Before parting with cash, consider your potential candidates; where are they most likely to see an advertisement? The recruitment process has moved beyond solely relying on recruitment websites or agencies. Have you previously met someone and found that their energy inspired you? Don’t be afraid to approach people directly, or use social media or LinkedIn to find potential candidates, their profile, and stories they share and language they use will give you a great insight into their personality and values.
When discussing the role, written or verbally you must be clear on what you are offering. What are you offering in terms of salary, rewards and benefits? Are you offering a role that stimulates in an inspiring culture and environment? Is it an entry level role or do you need an experienced professional?
Make sure that you provide a level playing field for all candidates that you interview – this is a legal requirement, but also means that you are opening yourself up to the talent pool fully. There must also be no discrimination present in the interview.
The feeling of recruiting a great addition is one of great satisfaction, and you will experience a new wave of motivation and excitement with regards to the business (let’s not pretend it doesn’t get wearing at some point or another). Learn to trust your gut instinct, if something doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t and getting recruitment wrong can prove to be very costly.
There is an avalanche of employment laws and they cover anything from wages, maternity and paternity rights, pensions, workplace health and safety and disciplinary and dismissal procedure.
It’s incredibly important to ensure that you are aware of the basics of employment law and are adhering to them, because failing to do so is undoubtedly going to have a negative impact on you and your business. Ignorance and negligence when it comes to employment law could see you landed with hefty fines or even prison.
It is therefore, in your best interest to read up on employment law before taking on your first employee; much of it is logical, practical and boils down to common sense, but if you are ever in doubt, its best to seek professional advice.
Having a clear, concise employment contract as well as operative employment policies removes uncertainty from many situations that will occur. It should set out expectations of both the employee and the employer as well as detailing what is deemed as unacceptable and any consequences that will take place.
You ideally should creating employment policies on the following before your recruitment need increases. Health and safety, working hours/overtime, annual leave, long-term/short-term sickness, salary and benefits/expenses, conduct, discipline/dismissal. These standard (and legal) requirements should be alongside other advisable policies such as dress code, code of conduct, confidentiality, abuse of drugs or alcohol and personal use of company property.
Effective company policies produce an effective, productive and profitable business.
Managing people is hard work, and many business owners haven’t given a 2nd thought to the fat that managing people might be one of the biggest challenges that they face within business. People are complex and no two people are ever the same; people are motivated in different ways and sensitive to different things. Some employees will be able to take charge and be left to their own devices to complete a task, while other require close guidance.
It’s essential that communication is a priority; carrying out regular review meetings or team catch ups strengthens bonds and makes people feel like their efforts and opinions matter. These meetings also give people the opportunity to air ay concerns or grievances and for business owners to provide constructive, positive feedback.
Being personable, friendly but firm is a great stance for someone in a managerial position. You must always be aware of your teams efforts and contribution, offering thanks and encouragement – good staff want to feel their efforts are acknowledged in order to continue to feel valued and motivated.