Hiring the Right Staff – A guide

By | November 17, 2014

Hiring staff is one of the most difficult tasks I have to do in business.  It’s super tricky and you just never know how it’s going to work out.

I remember being taken to the employment court when I was a newbie business owner in my 20’s because I didn’t follow the procedure correctly.  I had my lawyer on one side of me and my wife on the other and my cheque book in my pocket.  It’s wasn’t fun at all. But, after writing out a cheque the problem went away, I learnt my lesson and life carries on.

Hiring is not a one off task – it’s an entire process. And not the easiest process to master!

If you are an established business already employing staff, you need to be mindful of the existing workplace culture. If this is something you value and want to continue – finding the right people to join your company is not an easy feat. Not only do potential employees have to tick the skill set and qualification boxes, but more importantly is the personality box, and whether or not you can see them assimilating into the current culture. 

Only time will tell whether a potential employee will be the right fit, but there are ways you can future proof your business by taking the time to carefully craft your hiring process.  


Anticipate Demand

One of the first mistakes you can make as an employer is to rush the hiring process – this usually occurs when you have not anticipated demand and quickly hire staff to help fight fires. But, let’s be honest most of the hires we make as small business owners are to replace people that have left.  So it’s always a rush!

In a perfect world as a business owner, you should be looking ahead and managing your growth and planning future hires.  

Job Description

Your job description is some of the most important copy you will write – you need to keep in mind the potential employers when writing the job description. What are you looking for? What are they looking for? What is expected? What will be rewarded? It’s essential to not only sell the job but also attract the right people. Tone and style of writing is extremely important. How formal is your company? Your job description should portray the company philosophy and business’s personality. 

I know when I wrote a job description with the words “Payroll Angel” in it – a lot of candidates were put off because they didn’t like the title as it wasn’t important enough.  Funnily the ones who did like the Payroll Angel idea were also the best fit for the culture and our company because they understood the importance of giving our payroll love for helping business owners with their payroll problems.

It’s also appropriate to consider where you are advertising your job description and where you are looking for potential employees. You need to ensure that suitable applicants hear about the opportunity. Are you strictly advertising in print? Or solely online? Consider the mediums eligible applicants use, if they are prone to using social media, it would pay to advertise through your social channels. 

Unsuccessful Candidates

People have taken the time out of their day to apply for the position, if they are unsuccessful, make sure you let them know. They deserve a sincere note that thanks them for applying.

Pre Screening Skills Capability Test

Potential candidates may look good on paper, but what about in action? It’s hard to figure out whether applicants can walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Pre-screening skills capability tests are a great indication to whether a candidate’s skills match those the position requires. Once you have made a shortlist of applications to interview, ask them to complete a specific skills capability task. From this you have better insight into their suitability and it can help confirm whether you want to take the time to interview them. 

Doing these little tests can reveal a lot of great information and I totally recommend it. We used to design our own specific tests, maybe a word or excel assignment or something specific to the job.

Job Interview Questions

The interview process can be as formal or informal as you like, and you should keep in mind the existing workplace culture when setting the tone. Make sure to ask questions which focus not only on the skills and abilities of the position but character questions to get an idea about how they would fit in at the company. I try really hard to make sure I’m doing less talking.

Go over the Fine Print

Congratulations! If you have found someone to fill the position, you’re off to a good start! But the hiring process doesn’t stop there. In fact, the second half of this process is critical. You’ve invested a lot of time and energy to find the right candidate, make sure to implement the necessary paperwork and induction practices to welcome your new staff member and ensure you are both on the same page.

You should provide a written job offer to the selected candidate, which outlines the expectations of the role, start dates, hours worked, probationary periods, remuneration, pay schedule, training, KPI’s, house keeping rules etc. Make sure they sign this offer which should be returned before the role commences.   

Staff Induction  

To get the most out of your employee and for them to get the most out of their new job, you should invest time in a thorough staff induction. It will allow them to feel both well informed, welcomed, well equipped to do the job and will settle them in quickly. It’s important to go over the contract with them, ask if they have any questions and talk them through workplace policies and procedures. This also gives them an overview of the company, their new colleagues and their roles and responsibilities. The more confident a new colleague is, the better their productivity – you want all new employees hitting the ground running! 

More information here guide-to-hiring-new-employees


Payroll and New Staff

Our payroll software, it’s easy to add new staff to your payroll – just complete the boxes and you’re done! Even better, our Payroll Angels are always happy to help. We offer full payroll support free of charge and free workshops across Australia. We understand the everyday tasks of running small to medium sized businesses, and have designed our payroll systems to make your business run as efficiently as possible. Sign up for a free payroll trial today and if you have any other questions feel free to give us a call. 

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