Hiring tips for small business owners
As your business evolves, so do the demands on your time and resources. At some point, you will reach a pivotal moment where you need to consider bringing on more hands.
While hiring staff is crucial for growing your small business and reclaiming work-life balance, it can also be a little daunting.
Here are some practical tips to help you hire staff for a small business. Whether you’re unsure how to hire someone in Australia or looking for tips to attract specialist talent, our checklist makes the process foolproof.
Understanding your hiring needs
Before you start the hiring process, take a step back and assess your business’s current state and future goals.
Hire for growth
Where do you see your business heading in the next one, two and five years? How will the new hire help you get there? What can you offer in return?
Look for candidates who will fit the business at these future milestones, because they are the people who will motivate you to keep working towards them when things get tough.
Don’t rely on CVs alone
Skills can be learnt. A shared vision is invaluable. While impressive resumes are a good sign, alignment with your vision and values is often more important.
Engaged employees are more loyal, more productive, and more proactive.
Budget for a lengthy process
Hopefully you find the right person quickly. But hiring staff for a small business can take time, especially if you are juggling the day-to-day demands of running the show.
Engaging an HR consultant can help if you don’t know how to hire someone, but their expertise isn’t free.
Do your research
There are legal, tax and cost considerations when hiring staff for a small business in Australia. The Fair Work Ombudsman has helpful information on topics like converting casuals to permanent staff, award rates, and posting job ads.
Candidates are also interviewing you
Australia’s employment market is competitive. Good people have many options, meaning interviews are two-way streets.
Review your online presence
Proactive employees will research a company before getting too far along the hiring journey. They will be looking at your website, social media pages and online reviews to get a feel for the company culture.
Make sure your online presence is positive and professional, and you answer reviews promptly.
Maintain good public records
Smart candidates will conduct a business name lookup (ABN lookup) to ensure everything is above board. Now is the time to check that your details are up to date on ASIC’s business name register. This includes ABN details, registered addresses and, if applicable, company registration details.
**How to hire staff for a small business in 5 steps **
Advertising the job
Use a variety of methods to find potential candidates. This might include job postings, networking, referrals and searching on LinkedIn.
Ask open-ended questions to assess the candidate’s skills, experience and cultural fit. Consider at least one round of panel interviews if you have mentors or other entrepreneurs willing to help.
Check with previous employers and colleagues to get their feedback on the candidate’s performance, work ethic, reliability and teamwork.
Depending on the nature of the role, it might be necessary to verify qualifications and licences. You might also ask the candidate to supply a police check issued by the Australian Federal Police.
Culture and vision alignment is essential when hiring staff for a small business. Now that you have all the information, assess each candidate by looking beyond skills alone. Balance the person’s potential to grow your small business against their salary and role expectations.
Onboarding and integration
This is the time to welcome the new employee to your team and get them up to speed on their new role. It’s also a chance to introduce them to your company culture – or seek their contribution to create it.
Setting clear expectations helps to ease the transition. Make sure the employee knows what you expect in the first weeks and months, but also pay attention to what they expect from you.
Try to provide the resources they need to be successful and reward their contributions when they excel. If they seem to be struggling, analyse the situation to see where you can remove barriers or provide training.
Hiring staff for a small business is a trust exercise. Especially if this is your first hire, patience and understanding are essential for both parties.
You are learning from each other, and if you hire the right person, you will keep learning from each other for a long time.
Get your business looking its best to attract the right candidate
Whether hiring staff or attracting new customers, first impressions matter. Registry Australia’s affordable online services give small business owners the tools to sharpen their image.