Recruitment is an area that some small businesses struggle with. Many start off as a one man or one-woman operation and the decision to take someone else on is a stressful one. What if they damage your business reputation? What if they fail to understand your business values and your culture and regret your decision to hire them in the first place?
Large companies do not have this problem. They are able to put together dedicated Human Resources departments staffed by employees with specialist training and experience in how to attract, recruit, and retain the best calibre of employees. In a small business, you as the business owner may be trying to fulfil many functions at the same time. It is impossible for you to be an expert in all of them.
Recruitment and retention of staff are vital if your business is going to succeed. Your employees will enable you to take advantage of new opportunities and explore markets that would have been inaccessible to you. Here’s how you can attract and recruit the right staff for your enterprise.
Be clear on what you are looking for
You are in control and you need to be clear about what you are looking for in candidates. Don’t expect the perfect recruit to walk through your door by accident. You need to define what you need and then go looking for it.
Look carefully at how your business works. What skills are missing right now? Have you missed out on any opportunities because you didn’t have the right person with the right abilities and experience? Common areas that are in demand are marketing skills and IT expertise. Then decide exactly what you want the employee to do on a day to day basis and list the skills that they need to complete these tasks.
The next stage is to decide how the prospective employee can prove to you that they can do the job. You will be looking at knowledge, skills or experience or a combination of all three. They could prove that they have knowledge by presenting qualifications in a relevant subject. They could prove that they have skills by telling you about a challenge in their current job that they have overcome by using the skills. Finally, they will demonstrate their experience by listing their previous employment on their CV.
Get some expert help
You can access your own training in recruitment, selection, and help with CV writing. This can be useful in your own career and in recruiting for your own business. You can get guidance on recruitment process planning, on how to write effective job advertisements and how to collect, assess and prioritise job candidates. You can even get training on how to structure short-listing of the best candidates for interview and interview skills development to structure and improve hiring decisions.
Armed with your new skills you can start the recruitment process by crafting an accurate job description. This is essential for you to avoid any misunderstandings about the job.
The job description needs to clearly define where the new role fits within your team and your business as a whole. Every job description should include:
- A clear description of exactly what the candidate will be responsible for. This is often listed as deliverables or as a list of duties. For some manual work, it may specify tasks, machinery or specific tasks.
- The wider short, medium and long-term objectives of the role. This is especially important for strategic and management roles where the employees will be expected to set their own tasks and show initiative.
- Details of the progression and promotion opportunities. This will be important to ambitious candidates. They will want to see how they could be taking on more responsibility and earning a higher salary in a few years’ time.
- The educational requirements for the job. Does the candidate need basic Maths and English qualifications? Do they require a degree? Is there any practical training that they must have undergone? Perhaps the role requires particular health and safety or first aid training.
- The soft skills that are required for the role. This includes communication skills, team working skills, and written communication skills. Ask for specific examples of when the candidate has used these.
- The exact location of the employment. This is the base where the employee will work and details of any travelling/overnight stays that are also expected.
- The remuneration offered by you. This is not just the salary. It is also any benefits such as a subsidised staff canteen, private health insurance or help with childcare.
- A clear statement of your business ethos. What makes your business tick?
With some training in recruitment and clear job description you stand the best chance of recruiting the best employee.
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