Hiring and Managing People Wisely: HR Mantras For Small Businesses

. 6 min read
Hiring and Managing People Wisely: HR Mantras For Small Businesses

Are you a small business owner who would like his company reach a high level? The skills and tenacities of your employees can propel the success of your organisation.

Recruiting is a very challenging activity for a small business owner. Since resources are a problem for small businesses, they have to think of new strategies for recruitment. In most such businesses, the hiring is done directly by the owner, who might not have the experience or the time to do it properly.

It is important to hire the right person-someone who is technically competent, and also a good fit for your company. A wrong hire can have disastrous consequences for your reputation and your business. Small businesses face three main challenges in recruitment and retention:

  • Attracting experienced and qualified candidates.
  • Retaining the best employees.
  • Staff adjustment issues.

Smart Recruitment Strategies For Small Businesses

Recruitment need not be an arduous and frustrating task, if you do it smartly. A small business can improve its hiring process through the following ways:

1. Job Descriptions

You should give accurate details when you post jobs. Otherwise, the right candidates won’t apply. One tip is to provide greater details of what your company can provide to the aspirants.

A small business owner can use job boards like Indeed, and social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to post his requirements for specific roles. They are not very expensive. You can send a relevant message to a potential candidate.

You should also check the social media profile of potential employees and their activities on the platform. That will reveal what type of person the candidate is and help you to take a decision on hiring.

Also, make sure that your website is mobile-friendly.

3. Technology

You should check whether your HR department is using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or a Human Resource Information System (HRIS). Either of these systems can customise and improve your hiring processes. You can also use AI systems to automate the screening process and remove the un-qualified candidates.

4. Focus on Soft Skills

Although a candidate with the right skill-set and knowledge is important, the truth is that skills can be acquired, but personality cannot. It is important for employers to identify soft skills in potential employees, and see if they can adapt.

5. Recruitment Agencies

Though recruitment consultants cost money, they do a lot of administrative work associated hiring people, thus saving time and reducing hassles. They typically engage with a client or a company, when the client finds it hard to fill a particular post.  These agencies will post your job requirements on job-boards like Indeed, and also call candidates on your behalf.

6. Background Check

‘Never judge a book by its cover’. Job applicants often give false information in their applications. So Human Resource professionals must do complete and effective background checks. A background check includes verifying the educational qualifications and work history before the interview takes place.

7. Referrals

One of the best recruitment strategies is to ask current employees for referrals. It will increase your chances of getting candidates who match your culture.

8. Fit

Check whether the candidate is a right fit for the job. For example, a quality like empathy might be more important for a nurse, than it is for a computer programmer.

9. Improve your interviews

Interviews should be focussed and to-the-point, and not digress to other issues which are not important. Everyone cannot take interviews, so the right person should be given the charge. Important things to see in a candidate are emotional intelligence, learning ability, problem solving skills, etc.

You should also allow the candidates to interview you. This will help them to better understand the job responsibilities and also decide whether your company is a right fit for them.

Tips on successful staff management for small business owners

In any small business, employees are the most important asset. Right staff management can unlock an enormous amount of human potential. Here are some tips to manage performance and maximise results for your team:

1. Set Goals For Each Department

If you can show your employees the finishing line, it will be that much easier to motivate them. An organisation in which different departments are working in different directions, can never achieve excellence, unless they have a common goal and purpose. Create Standard Operating Procedures for the entire business which will explain the company’s broader goals to employees.

If you compare the past performance of the business with the current performance, you can know if the goals that you have set are being met or not. Find out the existing patterns in which your current team members are moving.

2. Encourage creative thinking

Encourage creative thinking by asking your employees questions like “How are planning to contribute to organisational goals”? Inspire him to come up individually with a game-changing idea. This is an empowering and employee-engagement activity which will help to create retention in your organisation. Remember, involvement leads to commitment.

3. Leading from the front

Leadership is the most important skill in management. Employees look upon their leaders on how to act and think on their jobs. A true leader drives performance and sets goals, but in a fun way.

Strive to project the behaviour that you want to see in your workers, but try to be consistent.

4. Create a clear performance metrics for every department

Anything that you cannot measure, you cannot improve. As an entrepreneur, you have to measure the performance of every employee, from top managers down to the security guard. The tool which you have to use for measuring will vary from department to department. But it has to be numerical.

In this way, the entire organisation will be running in a single direction in a numerical format.

5. Performance Appraisals

A performance appraisal is an individualised two-way communication among an employer and employee about the latter’s performance, development and growth. Employee performance reviews can improve performance, and are a good way of showing employees how well they have worked. It acts as a motivator.

You have to identify the skill deficit of every team member, and have individual meetings with that team member. Try to become the gap-partner and don’t harp on the past. Instead, if your staff lacks a particular skill, try to give him training in that area.

6. Maintain a score board

This is a true story. A manager was watching a football practice at his son’s school. It was going on a very lackadaisical way, and he got bored soon. He went out for a cold drink.

Upon returning, he found that there was a drastic change in the kids. They were playing with fire and zeal. What he found out was that the coach had imaginatively divided the players into two teams, and was maintaining the scores. That was the reason for the fire in their bellies!

By the same logic, it is important to give a score board to your employees. They should know if they are winning or losing.

7. Development Plan

You have to find out opportunities for a team member’s development and discuss with them. Creating an employee development plan can boost their careers and ensure that the employee is also growing personally. It can be an educational and job training program to improve their skills.

8. Communication

The pandemic has shown us the benefits of employee management in a crisis. Clear communication can erase doubts and fears in the minds of employees, andis essential to manage them. The aim of your communication strategy is to improve employee engagement through briefings by senior managers, and conducting brainstorming sessions.

9. Hire wisely

Hiring the wrong staff is costly and time-consuming. When the budget is small it is important to correctly hire each employee. Hiring the right employee will pay you back in productivity, and improve the work culture.

Committed people are the real resource in an organisation. Henry Ford once told that you could take away his entire organisation, plant and machineries, but give him back his best people!  We hope that the hiring strategies and staff management ideas for small business owners that we presented here will be useful to you.

Also read:

1) Think Global Act Local: Tips to Run a Small Business Effectively
2) Why Do Businesses Need a Good ERP System?
3) 50 Work-From-Home Careers to Mint Handsome Money
4) How to manage the staff & maintain sales?