By Goke Ilesanmi
If you have reached a point where you need to employ more people for your business in order to remain competitive and become more empowered, you need to understand that extra manpower entails a whole new string liabilities, expenses, paperwork and even of legal obligations before bringing just anyone on board. Research shows that hiring mismatches can result in high turnover, absenteeism, higher healthcare costs, workplace violence and theft, which mean huge costs to an organisation’s bottom line as well as corporate reputation.
In the course of your hiring process, you should take precautions and ensure you make informed decisions, while staying within legal and ethical boundaries. One of the things you must not do in the hiring process is to trust your instincts. According to Erika Welz Prafder, a human resource management expert, “Whether your new recruit will be filing reports or configuring computer networks, realise that criminal, under-qualified, and emotionally unstable minds hide in all uniforms and job titles.”
Another thing is to screen for unwanted behaviour. Depending on the position you are trying to fill, there are supplementary screening options available. Psychological testing, handwriting analysis, skill and aptitude tests and even lie detector tests are additional assessment tools that business owners exercise today to help them select the best job candidates. Prafder says such profiling allows you to select people who have the skills and the temperament needed to succeed in your business.
Personal knowledge of a candidate is one of the ways to a successful hiring process. Martin E. Davis, a human resource management expert educates that the best candidates are usually not hunting for a job. He adds that they may be people employed by one of your customers, your competitors, people in the same industry but not in the same line of business, or people in other industries who have exhibited the talents necessary for the job. Experts say if the selected candidate works for a customer, it is appropriate to contact the customer and let him know that his employee is a candidate for your position.
Paying the price
Paying the price constitutes yet another strategy in the hiring process. If the first approach could not provide a candidate, the next best avenue to getting the right candidate(s) is a toll road. A search firm or a highly reputed employment agency is a good but expensive route. The value of an outstanding employee is more than what you may want to pay. Your agreement with the search firm or agency should include the right to reimbursement if the hired candidate does not work out within a reasonable time period, perhaps six months and one year. This may be negotiable with each individual firm. This avenue is most often appropriate for higher-level positions and not entry-level jobs. The search firm or agency should do all preliminary screening, which often includes intelligence, personality, aptitude and skills testing, the cost of which should be included in the agency’s fee.
Hiring additional employees
After the initial process of hiring employees for your new business, you may also need to bring more people as the business continues to grow. One challenge that business owners normally face here is when and how to hire additional employees. David Javitch, an organisational psychologist, internationally-recognised author, keynote speaker and consultant says as a business owner, one of your most important tasks is workforce management.
It is your job to make sure you have the right people—and the right number of people—to keep your company running smoothly. Javitch adds that if your business is growing and you are sensing you need to hire new employees, there are common clues to guide yourself.
One of the clues is persistent complaints from your hardworking employees. Complaints of this nature are common, but your task is to determine if they are legitimate by talking to your employees and asking them to validate their concerns of being “overworked”. Then look at attendance and productivity indicators to substantiate their claims. If what you find confirms their feedback, then you might decide to re-organise and restructure roles and responsibilities to better deal with the workflow. Javitch says you could use your new knowledge as a guide to hiring additional employees.
Growth curve and new set of skills
Another sign that you need to employ more people is when the growth curve for your products or services is increasing, and you identify that as a positive trend that you need to get additional people. Javitch illuminates that when you determine that your employee’s existing job skills and knowledge are fine for your company’s current level of productivity, but to expand, you will need either increased skills and knowledge or a new and different set of skills, then it is a clue for you to get more people.
Finally, when revenue is at or above target and you project it to continue; other than financially rewarding yourself and/or your employees, you wonder what to do with the increased revenue, then it is time to empower your business with more hands.
When it comes to actually choosing the best candidate for a job, hiring someone simply because you need an “extra body” is not wise as this inevitably results in poor performance, decreased productivity and decreased morale. Ensure that you hire only people who actually fit the job descriptions you have created when employing people for your business. You need to emphasise skills not fruitless experience in your job advert.
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GOKE ILESANMI, Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Certified Public Speaker/MC, Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker and Career Management Coach. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant.
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