Hiring Problems: How to Avoid Them

BUSINESS icon Giles Cadman November 13, 2019

Your business is as dependent on its employees as a Hollywood blockbuster is on the skill of its cast. No matter how much money you throw at a project or how skilful the director, if the actors can’t carry the vision forward, you’ve got a dud.

As a start-up, this risk is amplified because, just like a maiden movie, poor quality staff can break the project. It’s that simple. Your staff are the ambassadors, cornerstones and spirit of your company and you need to choose wisely and be willing to invest in them.

Attracting and hiring top talent, and even more importantly, persuading them to stay and grow your business, will be your biggest selling task, so here I share the first instalment of my top ten tips for tackling the minefield of hiring.

  1. Do you really need to hire?

The bottom line is value for money. Will your new recruit repay their salary and then some? If the answer is a positive yes, then hiring is the next step.

Alternatively, if you think you’ve reached a point whereby you can no longer perform every role yourself, be sure to evaluate the situation carefully. Taking someone on purely to spare yourself the hassle of slogging through the clerical stuff is a quick way to lose money, so be realistic about how much of your valuable time is genuinely being lost on admin or accounting and consider outsourcing as the first option.

  1. Engaging temporary workers

Taking on temporary staff is a win-win alternative. You won’t need to commit a monthly salary to the payroll indefinitely and engaging a temp for a few months is a perfect test to see if there is genuinely enough work to justify an extra body.

There is another advantage. Temporary workers see the inside workings of all kinds of enterprises, from giants to start ups. An experienced temp can help you to refine your procedures as well as give you tips on what’s trending across the business landscape.

It’s also a chance to try yourself out as a line manager, if this is a new experience for you. Are your instructions clear? Are your working processes efficient? Are you a considerate and motivational boss?

  1. Doing the math

Only hire a permanent employee after considering your options very carefully. You will need to scope out a job spec and itemise exactly what you want the new recruit to do.

If you then feel that you can justify a hire, it’s time to bite the bullet and do it. Remember, your company is never going to reach its full potential unless you facilitate more business and that means more employees.

  1. You don’t have to hire people like you

When recruiting, it’s tempting to radically overthink the hiring process and waste hours of time trying to find someone exactly like you. The truth is, it doesn’t hurt to have someone that thinks differently to you within your business, especially when you’re just starting out. Working alongside someone that offers a different opinion and possess a different skillset could actually benefit your business and its future.

  1. Due diligence

I cannot stress this enough  you need to be Sherlock Holmes before you admit a new hire into the fold.

We live in a digital age and everyone leaves a trail. I don’t want to sound unduly cautious, but any successful partnership needs a solid foundation of trust.

Triple check their social media, investigate their CV references and learn everything you can about them, who they are and how they work. You may be spending long days with this person, so you need to know that they have a decent track record and they are who they say they are before you put them on the payroll.

All of the above are hugely important when thinking about making a hire decision, but there’s also more to consider. Keep an eye out for my next post where I’ll be discussing the rest of my top ten tips to tackling the minefield of hiring.