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HR Tips for Business Owners

Perhaps you’re a new business owner?  Or even if you’ve been running your business for a while.  Well, recruiting and managing people effectively, and legally, can sometimes be a minefield.

And of course there’s different approaches to this.  Some businesses take the “work their employees to the bone” approach.  And then expect high turnover of staff.  Whereas other businesses are more interested in developing a productive, and friendly culture.

Well, your approach to your staff does align with your business goals and your personality.  But however you choose to approach this, here’s some tips to effectively recruit and manage staff:

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What’s the Job, Exactly?

The more specific you are when advertising for a position, the more likely you are to attract the candidates you want.  You could of course keep the description broad.  But then, you’re likely to spend a lot more time filtering applicants that just aren’t suitable.

That said, being too specific and putting that across too strongly, can put off perfectly qualified people.  Sometimes in IT recruiting for example, years of experience in all the ideal skills is requested.  Even when no one with that level of experience in all those skills would be looking for a position at that level.

And consider the type of health and safety warning signs an applicant may consider.  If the work is potentially dangerous, or even just outdoors, they’ll want to know you’re looking out for them, every day of the week.

So realistic expectations when recruiting is helpful.  And also, attracting not only those with exact experience, but also the ability to learn quickly.  Some applicants have the ability to become more productive than others, even if an area of business is new to them.  So attracting fast learners and those who are very motivated, may require a more open approach.

Always Check References

You may think you’ve found the ideal candidate and are in a rush to secure them.  But don’t do that at the expense of not checking references.  You may be surprised what you find.

All it takes is asking the applicant for reference details, and then getting in touch with them.  A phone call may well be better than email or letter.  Although written first contact generally works best.  And then a short five or ten minute conversation just to check everything is in order is perfect.

Money Isn’t Always the Best Incentive

People are often motivated by more than money.  Sooner or later, many people decide that they’re not ambitious enough to put up with everything required for the really big bucks.  Most people are quite happy to have a decent salary in a job they enjoy.

So job satisfaction, feeling that they’re making progress in their career, is great.  And also feeling that they’re doing something worthwhile, and working with people they like, can be worth a lot more than big salaries.

Although competitive salaries is definitely helpful, since underpaying people is not motivating at all.

Exit Interviews

When people leave, as they invariably do, it’s suggested you do an exit interview.  You’ll want to ask them why they’re leaving.  Plus, what they feel you could have done better, and what you could have done to make them stay.

Of course people aren’t always overly direct here and may just give you polite answers.  But occasionally, you may discover something that is valuable for all your existing employees.

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