When you’ve recently launched a small business, one of the biggest challenges that you can face is finding the right people. Recruitment is now often considered to be a specialist field, and small organizations can’t afford to be stuck with employees who are not pulling their weight. Where should you begin, and what kind of help is available?When you’ve recently launched a small business, one of the biggest challenges that you can face is finding the right people. Recruitment is now often considered to be a specialist field, and small organizations can’t afford to be stuck with employees who are not pulling their weight. Where should you begin, and what kind of help is available?
Essential staff for small businesses
The first thing that you will need to think about is which areas of your business most urgently need new staff. The chances are that you won’t be able to afford to employ somebody in every role straight away, so you will need a core of staff who can help you get by. This makes it particularly useful to find people who can multitask. You may, for instance, need a front of house receptionist who can also be an admin assistant, or a systems admin who can also design your website and manage your social media.
Sometimes, you may find that there are specific skills that you need that you can’t find in other potential employees, and that are used too little for you to justify hiring someone full-time. Payroll, for instance, often presents a problem for small businesses. In such situations, the practical thing to do may be to bring in a contractor.
Criteria to consider
When it comes to finding the right people, what should you prioritize? This varies a bit from sector to sector, but the following elements are good places to start:
• Qualifications – essential for some roles and always a handy way to get a quick impression of what somebody is capable of, but not the be-all and end-all that some people assume.
• Skills – in any small business, you really need people who can hit the ground running, so establish a clear job outline and look for people with specific skills that match it.
• Experience – employees with past experience in similar roles not only have some proven skills but may also be able to contribute useful ideas. They’ve also shown that they can commit.
• Personal qualities – there’s no room for personality clashes in small teams, so look for someone that you can get along with who also has the right attitude to do the job well.
If you really struggle to find the right people, there’s the option of using a professional recruitment service. This can be expensive, but you may decide that the upfront cost is worthwhile in exchange for access to good-quality candidates, especially if consequent increases in productivity mean that you can quickly make the money back. Using an umbrella company employee keeps things simple and means that you don’t have to deal with any complicated issues around tax.
Recruiting can be a difficult process, not least because if you’re doing it well, you may sometimes have to turn away likeable, skilled people. Nevertheless, making the effort to find the right people is one of the single most significant contributions that you can make to your company’s future success.