Peter got burnt. So did Heather. Are you worried too?
When I first met Peter, a gentle, educated and easy going man, he had just acquired another local business that came with a warehouse and several employees. The excitement of the new business went south very quickly though. In the first month, two of the employees took him to the Industrial Relations Commission, and he’s been afraid to have employees ever since.
Another client, Heather, explained how her retail florist business has been a revolving door for employees. Just when her staff are fully trained, they move on. One of them even resigned by text message!
A straw poll of my clients revealed that (rightly or wrongly) many are afraid of hiring employees. In many cases, this fear is holding back their business growth.
Learning from big business
Bigger businesses build big teams, sometimes in the thousands, so there must be lessons that small businesses can learn from them.
Hiring an employee is one of the biggest risk factors to your business, so you need to enter the recruitment phase with your eyes wide open. If you are afraid of hiring staff, it’s time to think like a big business. Here are nine tips that might help.
Treat hiring as just another system
Treat Human Resource processes as a collection of systems, all designed to find, retain, train and get the most from employees. Make sure your systems keep evolving and developing to ensure they are delivering the results you want. There is no mystery involved, just systems.
Want more articles like this? Check out the growth section.
Take your time: Do your due diligence, interview extensively, complete reference checks, provide tests and scenarios, and do anything else that will ensure you hire the best person.
Equip yourself with knowledge
Protect yourself by knowing about industrial relations and awards. Have excellent contracts drafted, and put adequate protections in place. There are excellent, low cost resources available, but get advice from professionals as well.
Accept the risk
Accept that there is a risk when hiring employees, and realise that sometimes things won’t work out. It’s all just a part of owning a business. It’s no different to accepting the risk of a marketing campaign or taking on a lease.
Keep your eyes peeled for great talent
Never stop looking for potential team members, treat it like marketing, where you are always looking for new clients, only in this case you’re looking for new employees.
Don’t blur the lines
Keep a safe distance between you and your colleagues, they’re not friends.
Think outside the box
Look at other ways to engage staff. The following could all be suitable options: part-time, contracting, casual, outsourcing and franchising.
Assess your competence as a boss
Look at yourself, and get feedback from your staff on how you perform as a boss. If your staff aren’t performing well or leaving prematurely, maybe you need to improve in certain areas.
I’ve seen so many business owners who pay commission only or minimal rates. It’s a false economy. A minimum wage doesn’t inspire maximum motivation or loyalty.
Building a productive team with a cohesive culture is the foundation of a successful business, but getting the first team member can be daunting. Swallow your fear, do your homework and be brave. In the end, your attitude toward hiring can take your business to a whole new level.
What are your hiring tips to minimise fear when hiring?