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Productivity / Growth

Six tips for hiring an employee

Good employees may be your greatest asset but they are also your greatest expense, so it pays to use smart strategies when recruiting.

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“A company is only as good as its people” may sound trite, yet these words hold true, particularly when the economy is under pressure. Talented staff members are especially important during difficult times when you can’t let customer service slip.

Step 1. Take stock and devise a plan

It’s important to think outside the box when considering your staffing requirements. Rather than panicking to fill a role, really take the time to work out what is best for your business. Use the opportunity to analyse the weaker points in your current staff team and fill needs, not desks.

Don’t simply do what you’ve always done. Evaluate the day-to-day activities of your business, and identify workload trends over the last couple of years. You don’t automatically have to replace like for like.

"Your key aim should be to have a strong yet flexible employee base."

Step 2. Weigh up costs and expand gradually

Your key aim should be to have a strong yet flexible employee base. So before simply hiring a new team member, consider what skills the business needs and whether the work is cyclical. From here you can decide if you need someone on a permanent or temporary basis.

Rather than automatically hiring a full-time staff member, consider the benefits of a temporary worker. Hiring a temporary worker is a flexible option when workloads are at a peak, and having the extra person will help reduce stress. Most importantly, you shift a portion of your fixed staff costs to variable costs and flexible staffing will ultimately give you a competitive edge.

Step 3. Make the most of your resources

Bringing in a temporary worker to cover holidays as well as unforeseen circumstances such as long medical leaves of absence and unanticipated projects offers several advantages. It gives your business access to new skills when they’re needed, and also lets you try before you buy. You can take the opportunity to see how a temporary professional works out over a period of time, and then decide whether he/she would make a suitable permanent member of staff.

Want more articles like this? Check out the growth section.

Step 4. Consider referrals

Ask for recommendations from colleagues and contacts in your business network, as well as from family members, friends, current contacts and even former employees, if you’ve hired before. Offering incentives to people whose recommendations culminate in a successful hire can increase the quality and flow of referrals you receive.

Step 5. Offer competitive salaries

The best people expect to be appropriately remunerated. Review the yearly professional salary guides at Robert Half, which can help you ensure your business is meeting market salaries.  Finances permitting, consider offering slightly more than the going rate or, once you get to interviews, a bit more than what the applicant requests. That way a new employee will feel valued from day one.

Step 6. Bring in the experts

When your team is stretched, a specialised recruitment firm will take the hassle out of hiring so you can get on with your job. It’s also cost-effective because the best recruitment firms will place individuals with you who have the technical expertise and the ability to “hit the ground running” with minimal disruption.

Armed with these six employee hiring tips, you can look forward to hiring the best staff for your flourishing microbusiness.

What are your employee hiring tips?

Andrew Morris

is the Director of Western Australia and Queensland at Robert Half. He uses his knowledge of the Australian and Asian recruitment markets to offer clients, candidates and the media a regional perspective on recruitment trends.

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