Who Should I Employ?

Hiring a new member of staff can be a leap into the unknown. Here’s our advice for putting your best foot forward.

As the founder of a flourishing small business, there will come a point where you can no longer go it alone. If you have designs on growth and success, you will need help. But hiring a new employee isn’t something you should rush.

You need to identify the right candidates, and choose the right person who fits with your company’s culture and ambition. If you get that choice wrong, it could be costly, not only in terms of money, but also time spent finding their replacement.

To reduce the risk of bringing the wrong candidate onboard, you should look to hire someone with experience working for small and growing businesses. Typically, these candidates are well-versed in working with autonomy, leaving you to do what you do best. The last thing you want with a new employee is months of handholding and firefighting.

You might think that, in order to counter this scenario, you should fish in a bigger pond and hire candidates with a big-business background. However, this can result in even more time spent coaching your new hire, as they’re more suited to an environment shaped by rules, regulations, and processes. In the early days of a small business, they’ll be expected to roll up their sleeves and muck in with a little bit of everything, and they may not be prepared to do so coming from such a rigid background.

Where to Look for New Employees?

Often there’s a temptation to skip a few steps in the search for new employees, and jump straight to advertising on one of the big job sites or working with specialist recruiters. But as a small business, this is a needless expense; one that can actually prolong the recruitment process as you’ll have more candidates to review and interview.

Your best bet for finding your first batch of employees is by tapping into your existing network. Speak with friends, family, industry colleagues, and business advisers, such as your accountant, and ask for referrals and recommendations. If someone experienced in your industry, or someone you trust, recommends a candidate, you can be relatively sure they’ll be a good fit.

And once you’ve made a few new hires, you can start an internal referral scheme to incentivise recommendations for existing employees.

Only after you’ve exhausted your network, and that of your employees, should you turn to the job sites. Even then, look to niche job boards that specialise in your industry instead of the larger sites to help you narrow your focus.

Need a Helping Hand?

If you’d like guidance in getting your first hire spot on, an introduction to someone in our network, or even a recommendation, we can help. After all, you don’t get to 130 years in business without knowing a thing or two about recruitment.

Simply fill out our contact form, or call us on 01228 534371 to get started.