Suddenly the day has arrived. You conceived it, given it a name, guided it through difficult times, watched it grow, and let’s face it probably shed a tear or two. And now your business is ready to grow, it’s time to get someone new into the business, whether for the first time or to add to your existing team. Whatever the circumstances, it’s about now you’re thinking ‘help I need to hire someone!’
Where on earth do I begin?
Finding and recruiting the ‘perfect’ person can be daunting for even the more experienced business owner. The risks and disruption to the business and the time and investment involved. It’s easy to think, why rock the boat?
But hiring someone can be really positive and there are many benefits for any small business. if the process is done the right way and with the right support your business will reap the rewards. So, don’t panic, take some deep breaths, this is not going to be as painful as it sounds!
Is it the right time to hire someone?
The chances are you’re feeling desperate for help but it’s important not to rush the process. Make sure you have enough time and head space to hire someone, from planning through to the probationary period. It’s also a good idea to avoid busy periods when your business is already under pressure.
Healthy and sustained net profit margins are one thing but it’s important to take into account the bigger picture. Potential risks, liabilities, threats and contingency funds on top of the usual costs of recruitment such as pension, insurance and statutory entitlements such as sick pay.
What role do I need?
Arguably this is the most important question and time spent thinking this through is definitely time well spent. Particularly if you need a technical role or skill that you’re not familiar with. Discussing your operational needs and options with a HR consultant will help you avoid some big pitfalls. They can help you identify the level of experience required, what tasks you need help with, prioritise essential skills and ‘nice to haves’ and any flexibility in the role that you might need. It’s also a good idea to think about how the role might evolve over the next few years and whether there is some room for training further down the line.
And then there’s the practical bits – market rates, how to write a good job description where to place your ad, if using an agency is the best option and ultimately how to get good results. A HR consultant can take this off your hands so that you get a good selection of people the first time around without having to do it all over again.
“We tried to do things ourselves but not being HR specialists, we didn’t know where to start, and it became hugely time consuming.
Using HR Overload has added real value to our business and made us think about the role we actually needed. We gave Maria a brief and she helped us write a much more detailed job description, advising on salary and the best places to advertise. She also carried out the first stage telephone interviews giving us very thorough feedback on each applicant including who might be the best culture fit. So, from the start we had a very high quality selection of candidates.
We’re a small business and none of us are HR experts. Without HR Overload’s help it would have taken us much longer to get to where we are now.”
Client Director, Silverback Studios
How can I find someone who ‘gets’ the company?
If this is your biggest fear you’re definitely not alone. Culture is so important to any company and it’s normal to feel nervous about diluting your brand when you’ve built it from scratch.
A good place to start is to think about the qualities that reflect your values; the way you treat customers, maybe your community involvement. Most people want to work for companies they relate to so why not ask someone how they would describe your culture and check that you’re on the same page.
The right person for your company is not necessarily someone who ticks all the boxes on paper. Emotional intelligence should be equally valuable, a spirit of entrepreneurship or potential to succeed might be exactly what you need to energise and drive the business forward. If you feel stuck why not ask your clients how they would describe your service and use this to guide your search.
How do I select and recruit someone effectively?
What’s the worst interview you’ve been to? You were kept waiting, the interview was disorganised, you left feeling confused about the job and didn’t hear anything for weeks? We can confidently say you’ll do better than that!
The secret to a good interview is to prepare well and break things down into smaller manageable chunks. A well-structured interview should include an introduction about your company, a test or practical exercise and time for questions and maybe a tour of the office. A test will tell you how someone deals with pressure and there’s plenty of further options HR Overload can advise on from psychometric questionnaires to using assessment centres.
Emotions play a big part in any interview so involve colleagues in the process to be as objective as possible and gain buy-in from other areas of the organisation. Gut feelings are important but backing up your hunch with a clear competency-based scoring system will give you extra confidence. It will also help you give detailed feedback to unsuccessful candidates which is an important part of the process. HR Overload can provide interview training or conduct the interviews for businesses directly if required.
What If it goes wrong?
It’s a great feeling to get your first hire on board, settled in well and working well with clients. If you’ve followed the steps and done your homework it’s unlikely you’ll run into any problems.
If, however, things don’t go to plan, don’t panic, and don’t see it as a disaster! Sometimes the job just turns out to be the wrong fit, or maybe your concerns around performance can easily be solved. It can be hard to know what to do in the early stages but getting advice sooner rather than later will save you from a lot of unnecessary stress.
HR Overload will talk you through the options, get a clear plan in place and guide you along the way. There’s a solution to every challenge, and one thing we can guarantee – your business will be stronger as a result!
“Recruitment and HR can be a potential minefield and so we have sought the services of HR Overload.
Maria has effectively become our HR function, advising on all areas from recruitment, training and, unfortunately, disciplinary and removal of employees. The service has always been very professional and supportive as it’s an area that really unnerves me. Getting it wrong can cost money, time and reputation and Maria has helped us get it right.”
Paul Davies, Director @Home Estates and Lettings Agency
HR Overload can help with a wide range of recruitment services to make life easier for anyone looking to hire another member of staff. Contact us now to discuss support.