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How to Simplify Small Business Recruitment

There comes a point in the life of many small business owners who’ve started out as a sole trader where their business becomes too big to handle by themselves and they have to bring someone else on board to help out.

On first thoughts, this can be a particularly exciting experience as your business is developing and expanding, meaning a whole host of different things, including that your product or service is liked and wanted and that you’re doing the one thing every business wants – supplying a demand that seems to only get bigger.

However, if you’ve never taken on a member of staff before, your thoughts can soon turn to negative ones as the entire recruitment process begins to seem complex and intricate.

Fortunately, it’s often not as difficult as you first think and the following points explain just what you need to do to make the recruitment process for your small business as simple and as straightforward as possible.

1.  Define the job role

OK, you know that you need help, but what help is it that you exactly need?

Saying that you just want a ‘helping hand running the business’ isn’t often enough, as you’re going to find it difficult to narrow down any specific requirements and experience.

Therefore, it’s important that you write a list of what it is that you want the member of staff to do or that you need help with and take it from there.

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2. Be sure you can afford someone

Depending on where you live in the world will depend on what costs you have to take into consideration, but the most important thing to remember is that a person’s salary is not by any means the only related cost – in most cases it would actually be advised to put aside twice as much money as the person’s salary to make sure you have enough money available for any additional and related costs.

If you don’t think you could afford someone in a salaried position, consider freelancing – you’ll generally pay more per hour than for someone who you employed, but you’ll usually have more of a handle on how much work you want them to carry out, meaning you can tailor each month around what money you have available.

3. Check any specific employment laws

Although most of the information you’ll require regarding employment law and any specific laws related to the location and industry in which you work will be available online, it’s strongly recommended that you speak a professional in the field.

It will cost you money – money that you might not have expected to pay out – but it could be the best money you ever spent, as if you get don’t get the employment process right, it could cost you a lot more in legal fees further down the line.

4. Advertise properly

You might have the best vacancy in the world that’s extremely attractive, but if you’re not putting it in front of the right people, you’re never going to get someone suitable to fill it.

Don’t just put an advert in your local paper, but don’t advertise everywhere online as you’ll be inundated with inquiries.  If you’re wanting quality, take your time to research some suitable job vacancy websites or outlets in the industry and use them, even if it means paying a small fee.

5. Learn how to interview in an appropriate way

Although an interview doesn’t have to be formal in the corporate interview sense, it is recommended that you gain some interview skills so that you can be sure you’re employing the right person.

Ask some standard questions to start with, such as asking them to explain their past or current role and perhaps what education they have; move onto more specific questions about what relevant skills they possess, how they could be utilized in your business and explain some instances of when they’ve been able to showcase these skills before finishing with a few open-ended questions, such as what could they bring to the business.

What’s important to remember here is that you’re going to have to tailor your interview techniques and questions based not only around the individual person dependent upon their resume, but also in relation to the actual post.

An SEO Consultant and a cleaner, for example, whilst both important jobs, are going to require different interviews and it’s this ability to provide a different interview experience that’s going to help considerably when deciding on the most suitable member of staff.

Taking on someone to help with your business is fantastic and can really make you feel positive about where your business is headed.  Without the proper knowledge and planning, however, the whole recruitment process can be a particular hassle and therefore it’s strongly advised that you’re fully understanding of just what’s involved before you start to look for your first member of staff.

This article was originally featured on February 8, 2011. 


  1. Pingback:How To Be A Fantastic Interviewer By Asking These Five Questions | BizAmmo

  2. Trixie

    Great advice for small businesses looking for an employee. Defining the role is so important – as I have applied for many jobs believing it was in one field, only to be stumped by the fact it is in another. For example, I was employed as an editor at a local college only to be placed in the informational technology part of the company and asked to create elearning models – what?! In addition, when advertising online be sure to include your website details. This helps job seekers to research your company and then decide whether or not they will fit into it.

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