‘It is without a doubt that fantastic employees can be your greatest asset, and possibly your greatest cost’ – Christine Howitz from Cornerstone HR at our April Lounge Networking Breakfast.
Our keynote speaker, Christine from Cornerstone HR, founded her business 6 years ago when she left her corporate career. She received numerous inquiries from small business owners who weren’t clear on their requirements when hiring staff, writing contracts and complying with employment law. Christine, who is also a Lounge Member of ours, explains that it’s a lot easier to get everything right from the beginning rather than working backward from an unforeseen negative experience.
Here are her 4 tips for hiring employees:
Getting clear on when to hire
Often small business owners who begin to grow will work at 100% until they begin to burn out. This is when they feel the need to add on an employee to assist in completing the work. Doing it this way is setting up for an unfavourable experience between employer and employee for many reasons.
Firstly, the employer will look for the first available person to help relieve the pressure of the workload. This allows little time for training, onboarding, and communication. The employee will have to fill the gaps and may not fully understand how things work or get done.
Christine suggests that you should consider hiring an employee when you are at 80% of your capacity. The reason for this that you have time to fully work out the cost of adding an employee and whether they will be able to cover the cost of their wages fully once they are trained up.
Getting clear on your requirements
When business owners rush to hire an employee to relieve pressure or distribute the workload, they often overlook what skill set they need or qualifications they are looking for. Getting clear on your requirements will allow you to find the most suitable candidate for the position.
‘With a well-written position description you will have over 65% better chance of hiring and retaining the right candidate.” mentioned Christine.
Clearly define what you will need your new employee to do. Know what their skills, qualifications, experience and personal attributes are and then avoid tailoring away from this exact person.
‘Onboarding is one of the most important first steps in retaining your employees, as 90% of employees will decide if they will stay or go within the first 90 days’ said Christine. Interviewing and onboarding correctly with employment contracts, etc. is very important. As is ensuring that they have a positive experience when they come onboard. It’s much like a first impression when someone comes into contact with your business. Devoting a welcome day and a great introduction from the beginning can make your employee feel welcomed and excited to begin working with you.
Develop & Retain
Employees want to feel that they are being challenged and developing in their role. Studies have found that introducing harder projects or tasks that made people feel proud, increases the feeling of engagement. Grow and develop employees by giving them the freedom to decide for themselves. Offer opportunities for their suggestions will make them feel valued to continue working with you to grow your business.
Remember too that your clients are your biggest advocates and promoters of your business and your employees are too. Just think of the classic example of when you’re at a BBQ and someone asks about your job. Maintaining happy and motivated employees will help spread word of mouth and positive impressions of your business to more people.
If you need advice about HR but aren’t at the stage yet to hire your own HR Advisor, using HR outsource solutions can do wonders for your business. Christine is also offering HR appointments as part of our membership package.