What are the first steps when getting ready to hire?
Employees are a key asset to any organisation. Hiring new staff is one of the hardest decisions for a leader to make. It can be the best investment for a business or a completely different story.
Queensland’s 405,000 small and medium businesses are at the heart of every industry sector. They are in every community, in every region and employ almost 45% of the state’s private sector workers. This is why they need the same HR standards as any large organisation.
Here are some simple tips to set your business up for HR success.
When should you hire new staff?
When you own a small to medium business, a new employee can make all the differenceto growth, profit and the future of your enterprise. Successful hiring will help your business strive and nurture further growth, while poor hiring decisions could cost your organisation valuable resources.
How do you know you are ready for a new employee?
Are you experiencing a period of strong growth?
Looking at your financial reporting will give you a good indication of this. If you see a steady increase in business revenue, this is a good sign. But also, if you notice stagnation due to an inability to take in more work, you might have reached the full capacity of your team and need to increase it.
Check current workload and overtime
If you are in a position where you cannot accept new work, or are currently struggling with too much workload, you probably need to open a new job position.
Are you being presented with new opportunities?
Have you gained a new tender or large client? If you have a new increased workload coming your way, you might need some specialised assistance or need dedicated employees to answer this new need.
New skills needed?
As your business grows, you might want to expand in new domains, cover skills your current employees do not have, or need deeper expertise as you observe a shift in demand. All this requires you to hire new staff.
Is your customer service suffering?
If your staff is stretched too thin and overworked, the quality of their work might decline as well as the time they can dedicate to service. If you are noticing complaints and lower quality service, you might need to consider hiring someone to maintain high quality.
Now you’ve seen the signs and done your sums you are ready to hire.
What next? Before any advertising or active search, everything starts with a good job description.
How do you write an effective position description?
Finding the right candidate with the right skills, experience and values should be easy, right?
It might be, if you can be clear about what you need, what you expect and what your business offers. All this should be covered in the perfect job description.
Your aim is to get people excited about the opportunities you are offering. You want to give enough details to eliminate responses from the wrong candidates while staying concise. It’s a balancing act between grabbing interest, giving out essential information, being precise and letting through some of your business’s personality, without overwhelming job-seekers.
Writing a position description requires a little skill, but by including the following key points you will stand out and have more chances of finding that ideal candidate.
What you need to cover to nail your job description:
The precise title of the position you are offering
By being specific, as per your industry standards, you are foreshadowing what the applicant will find in your description. Make sure you don’t confuse people and stick to standard names that candidates might be searching for. Look at what other businesses are advertising for, it might give you some ideas.
You don’t want to be overwhelmed by applications from people without the necessary qualifications, so don’t forget to include anything they require.
Include a list of soft skills
These include communication skills, problem-solving capacities and the ability to work well in a team. You may be tempted to list every requirement your ideal candidate should have, but try not to include too many so as not to dissuade every potential candidate.
Who the position will report to and who the position will work most with
This will give your applicants insights into your internal hierarchy and how they will fit within your business. Working relationships are important and telling your candidates about the team is a good idea.
Describe how the job contributes to your business objectives. Before listing specific responsibilities, highlight the possibilities of growth for the candidate and how their achievements contribute. Make them excited about your business and its potential in the industry. You can briefly share your key objective and expectation for this year.
Key areas of responsibility
Be detailed but concise. Choose the most important duties only, or the ones requiring specialisedskills so applicants have a notion of what is required of them. Breaking down the list in day-to-day tasks allows people to picture what the job entails.
Present the duties in digestible, easy-to-skim bullet points.
Your business values.
An employee is not only someone to share the workload with, but someone that will spend time with you and your team. It is important they fit in or you might be facing high turnover or lack of employee cohesion.
Highlight the benefits, workplace perks and bonuses. Make the position exciting, but don’t oversell your business either, as you want to set realistic expectations.
Don’t forget to check your ad copy for any biases. Gendered language, for example, is often subtle but could put off the perfect candidate. Prefer neutral terms instead.
You may want to consider including a salary range in line with similar positions. A bracket allows you a few variations depending on the experience and education level of your applicants. There are both disadvantages and advantages of including a salary range, so it is important to consider these before including it. If you are unsure, it is recommended you seek advice from a Human Resources expert.
You are now all set for posting your ad.
Seek.com.au is a good place to go to advertise for staff. If you want more tips on how to shortlist candidates, run interviews, organise your new recruit’s first day, set up your essential policies, manage performance, serious incidents and redundancies, check out our E-book, the Definitive Guide to Hiring Employees!