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Employing The Right People

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Before you put an ad in the Press to find someone to work for you, there are a few things to think about. Common problems in employing and managing people can be avoided if some basic principles are adhered to at this point. New employers, and in particular small businesses, often want to be very flexible - but beware it can lead to big problems later

We don’t want to put you off employing people, because getting the right people will grow your business. But we do want to give you some advice that we know would have saved a lot of people a lot of money, time, and worry.

When thinking about recruiting, spend some time planning what exactly it is that you want this person to do, and how much you can afford to pay them. Write yourself a list of the key tasks that person would need to perform, write down the people they would need to communicate with, and if there are any absolute necessities e.g. drivers licence, accounting qualifications, literacy.

This list will give you the information you then need to write a Job Description and a Person Specification.

The Job Description, obviously enough, describes the job you want the person to do, and the Person Specification lists all the skills, knowledge and attitudes you want the person to have. For example if the person will be interacting with customers you would want them to have a positive attitude to service.

Think about how flexible you can be. People are often attracted by the ability to work flexibly, and this will also give you access to a larger supply of talented and skilled labour

Plan your interviews using your job description and person specification to work out what kind of evidence you are looking for from the interview. If they need to speak to customers on the phone, ask them some questions about how they have handled difficult customers in the past.  Try to get evidence of what they have done rather than just being able to give the right answer about what they should do.

Induction

Once you have decided to employ someone you need to make sure that they really fit in and can do their job to the standard that you require. You are not being unfair by making that clear at the beginning. You need to provide guidance and support so that they can do their best, and so you can fairly assess them.

It’s important that people feel that they can talk to you about problems that they encounter in their work, and the best time to establish that principle is at the beginning of their time with you.

Sit down with a new starter and talk to them about the company and the role you want them to fill. Give them a clear idea of what’s important to you and how they can be successful in their work. This is a good time to tell them about what your company is trying to achieve.

For example if you want to be known for your fast response times, you need to explain how the new person will help to fulfil that aim. If you want to be known for excellent customer service you need to discuss with them what that means and give them clear examples. Even simple things like how to answer the phone will have an impact on how your customers view you.

Make sure you introduce your new member of staff to key customers and suppliers so that they can start to get to know the workings of the business and the people they will be in contact with.

During the first month you should also be assessing how the person is getting on. Are they matching up to your expectations? Where do you think their gaps are? How is their time keeping? Are they helpful to customers? Are they good communicators? Are they a good team member? Have they got the skills they claimed to have at their interview?

You should talk to them directly and calmly about any concerns you have as soon as practically possible. Concerns that are not aired can fester and become real problems later on.

Deal with issues while they are small. You wont regret it!

For details on Recruitment & HR Specialists in Guernsey, visit our Business Directory.

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