In time, as your business grows, you will need to take on additional employees. This can be easier said than done. You may need a senior manager, accounting staff or shop floor workers. Finding the right people who will fit in and benefit the company at whatever level can be tricky. At times, it is also necessary to employ managers for your growing departments. Ideally, in any company, the whole workforce will work seamlessly together in order to perform at the highest level for the good of the business. The following provides some advice on hiring and managing your employees and a few pitfalls to try and avoid.
Ways to hire staff
1) Most organisations still rely on the traditional interview, so do look into learning interviewing techniques, especially if you have not interviewed people before. Draw up a list of questions you wish to ask. You should ask the candidate about what they know about your business to see if they have done their homework and are properly prepared for the interview. You can then elaborate on the business objectives and its future aspirations. You must also tell the candidates exactly what the post you are offering involves and the salary range you are offering. You should then be able to assess if the candidate is likely to be an effective employee.
If the business is fairly small, the candidates should be forewarned that they may be expected to multi-task and asked if they are willing to undertake tasks not specified in the job description. It is usually easy to gauge their immediate reaction, even if they agree. Some interviewees will be more than happy to extend their range of experience, although others may be more suited to a larger company where their duties are set in stone. An example of multi-tasking is that a sales person could be asked to work in the office or on reception during holiday or sick periods. Do determine the candidate’s prior experience and whether they are likely to be flexible.
2) If you have Human Resources (HR) provision, they may be tasked with interviewing junior staff. Do ensure that their interviewing skills are current – otherwise consider sending them on an appropriate training course with one of the many available around the UK. HR staff should be able to carry out the recruitment process from advertising, assessing covering letters and CVs, drawing up a shortlist, interviewing and making appointments. HR staff can help the company considerably if they have the proper skills as they will be able to hire the best staff available. Staff costs are one of the major expenses of a company, so it is vital to aim for the staff who will fit in and help move the company forward.
3) If your business is too small to have a dedicated HR section, or you are not confident you have the skills or time to conduct the recruitment process, there are agencies which can help. Dedicated recruitment agencies are available – and many focus on certain types of staff, eg accountancy staff, administrative staff, IT staff. They will have the experience required to find and interview appropriate staff on behalf of companies.
Managing your workforce
It is important that your staff are managed appropriately to ensure that the employees perform to their peak. If you are going to manage the staff yourself, it is vital to gain the required skills to get the best out of your workforce and avoid any conflicts. This will enable your team to work well together for the good of the company. The following are some hints to good management:
- Create a Team Charter
It is vital to make your staff aware of their exact duties. Requesting employees to carry out tasks which are beyond their capabilities will obviously negatively affect their performance, and the team’s overall performance will suffer. A Team Charter can be created to outline the purpose of the team/section. This will give them clear focus on what they are expected to achieve. This Team Charter should be written and implemented as soon as a team is formed and starts to work. This is good for the team as it provides clear focus and good for the business as it should help productivity and, therefore, profits.
- Motivation is vital
Ensuring staff are highly motivated is imperative for the business’s success. Employees who carry out their duties without enthusiasm are not likely to perform to their best. If possible, you could try to vary the duties and in the order they are done. This could provide employees with a new outlook on their job. Moving administrative staff to another part of the office can also help motivation, as they can feel more at the heart of the company. There are a number of methods you can employ to keep your staff motivated and, therefore, more productive.
- The importance of communication
As human beings are traditionally happier in groups with the associated interactions, it is important to keep your staff in touch with what is going on. As a team manager, you should ensure that you visit and speak to all your staff on a regular basis. Have frequent staff meetings and one-to-ones to keep them up to date with what is happening with the company, and you should stress their importance to its success. Include temporary workers as well – they can be equally important as they are often keen to do well in the hope that they may become a permanent member of staff in the future. A happy and motivated workforce will pay off many times over on the time you spend communicating with them.
In summary, it is vitally important to employ the perfect members of staff to fit your business needs. You must also ensure you have the best managerial expertise to motivate and communicate well and regularly with all members of staff. If you have an HR section, ensure that they are up to date with their recruitment techniques so they are able to employ the best available people to help you make your business successful.