Julian’s Business Tips: Employing Good Staff

One of the most critical aspects of growing any business is employing the right people.

Regard employing a new member of staff as an investment – and the best way to achieve a quick ROI is by spending time on a thorough recruitment process.

Firstly, develop a job specification by asking yourself why you need to hire someone in the first place (and do not accept obvious answers, such as you’re busy, tired or overworked!). Think what tasks they will need to carry out, what core skills are absolute necessities, how you want them to develop, what extra can they bring to the business?

Once you have a good idea of what you are looking for, you can start searching. And in this electronic age, there are many ways to find good candidates – social media and networking contacts are great free places to start.

Some of the best hires I have made have been referred to me through intermediaries, and people who know you tend to make good recommendations; when was the last time you recommended a bad restaurant to someone?
At interview, make sure your process is consistent. I would recommend asking the same set of open-ended questions to each candidate, as this helps move from the formality of an interview to open and honest dialogue. And write down their answers – this allows you to reflect on the conversation later.

I also look at ways to test candidates wherever possible. When employing audio-visual technicians, I used to make them quickly set up a data projector, laptop and projection screen in the middle of the interview – make sure they can walk the walk!

Also look at cultural fit – they must be able to get on with you and the current set-up.

Building a high-performing team can be very rewarding. Although recruitment takes time, it is time well spent if you do it right. If you hire the right people, most other things tend to take care of themselves.

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