1. Write a job description
In your business planning process, work out what you want an employee to do. Job descriptions should give employees a clear idea of their duties, responsibilities and who they report to. They should state an overall goal along with clearly set tasks required to achieve the goal. Don’t make descriptions too long, and remember to include a ‘…whatever else we want you to do’ statement at the end.
2. Work out what you want to pay them
Conduct a financial viability assessment to work out how much you can pay your new employee. You can also ask the candidate what wage or salary they have in mind as this may be less than your budget. But always make sure that you’re complying with your legal requirements to pay at least the minimum rate.
3. Advertise the job
You have a number of options for reaching your target market with job ads but, for many small businesses, word of mouth brings the best results. Other methods could be:
- Specialist magazines
- Web marketing
- Social media
- Recruitment agencies.
4. Shortlist and get them into your business
Regardless of what is said in an interview, the best way to determine employee productivity and effectiveness is to see them work. Organise a trial first or a probationary period and make sure that you pay them for any trial work.
5. The interview
Try not to be nervous. Remember, the potential employee will be more nervous than you! Let them do the talking rather than telling them everything about your business, brand strategy and expansion plans.
6. Check references
Having conducted your interviews you’ll have formed an opinion as to who will be the best person for the job. It’s very important that you now check the prospective employee’s references to ensure that the applicant has been accurate and honest about his or her previous occupations and employers.
7. Make an offer of employment
Once you’ve found your preferred employee, you need to offer them the job. You can make an initial offer of employment by phone, in person or by letter.
8. Probationary periods
There are some important guidelines to follow.
- You must make the probationary situation very clear to your prospective employee from the start – they're on trial for a set period of time to determine whether they can do the job to the required level.
- While employed, they have the same rights as permanent employees (statutory holidays, dismissal procedures, personal grievance).
- You must very clearly spell out what your job standards and expectations are.
- If they’re not performing, you must give them an opportunity to improve by offering support such as customer service training or additional resources.
- If you have to dismiss them, you must follow the same procedures as for a normal employee. However, the notice period for both parties may be shorter than when the probationary period is completed.