A guide to building the Right Team for your small business - ABF
- Red Key deliverables are essential in providing staff with direction and granting them the autonomy to strive towards a tangible goal.
- Amber While multi-skilled ‘jack of all trades’ candidates can be great in a start-up environment, growing SMEs should be wary of hiring too many people with overlapping skill-sets
- Green Devising scorecards to measure key competencies will help to eliminate bias during the interview phase.
Building a new team for your small business is not always an easy task. ABF provide some tips on hiring new staff and building your dream team for your business!
Seven Steps to Hiring Success for SMEs
Building the right team for your business is a delicate art. More than just assembling a group of individuals with strong skill-sets, SMEs must ensure each hire delivers tangible value in line with business objectives. As well as considerations of skill and competency, leaders should factor in the attitudes, behaviours and principles of the people they bring on board.
It isn’t an easy task to say the least – in fact, what many founders realise during the process is that building a team can be just as challenging as developing and selling your core product. Even one bad hire can have a domino effect on productivity and even the most talented team can be held back by friction or a clash of values.
Every business leader knows that the decisions they make when hiring for their SME is vitally important to the company’s success, but not all leaders can put theory to practice when building their team. To save you from the common pitfalls in small business recruitment, we’ve put together a list of seven steps that should set you on the right track.
1. Defining success in recruiting new staff
As eager as you may be to seize skilled candidates before your competitors get a chance, it’s best to begin by determining exactly what success will look like for your organisation. After all, if you don’t know where you want to go, you can’t communicate your destination to candidates. You may have an exciting solution, but every hire needs direction and a sense of purpose if they are to thrive as a team. Without it, potential cannot be reached and employees won’t get a real chance to demonstrate the full extent of the value they have to offer your business.
2. Determining business-specific needs when hiring staff
Setting off on your hiring journey without a clear road map of what skills your business requires is a sure-fire way to stray off course and put off prime candidates who would have otherwise been perfect for the job. Never underestimate the importance of a clear job description: writing one will force you to identify the purpose of the job in line with business objectives and determine the core competencies required of a candidate. Having already defined success, you should be able to break down the precise skills needed and identify which areas of the business are currently lacking.
3. Striking a balance between different employee skillsets
While multi-skilled ‘jack of all trades’ candidates can be great in a start-up environment, growing SMEs should be wary of hiring too many people with overlapping skill-sets and responsibilities. Overlap can lead to teamwork, but it can turn sour when individuals aren’t sure where their role ends and that of their colleagues begins. Clearly defined job roles and well-established targets will enable collaboration as opposed to conflict.
4. Getting to know your candidates strengths and weaknesses
If finding top talent wasn’t challenging enough, the success of your SME hinges entirely on the balance you create within your team and the values they bring to the table. Building a high performing team doesn’t mean bringing together a homogenous group who all share the same outlook. Rather, it’s about ensuring the people you do hire have a clear understanding of your values and that they are well-equipped to play their part delivering wider business successes.
Equally crucial is the attitude a candidate possesses, as leaders know this is difficult to teach. Before holding interviews, an initial call to find out more about a candidate’s ambitions, background, motivators and preferred working style will help you assess whether they will be a good cultural fit for the team.
5. Creating candidate scorecards to measure success & suitability
With a specification that is truly representative of the role and an ad that is exciting and appealing to a wide range of people, the applications should begin to roll in. When they do, devising scorecards to measure key competencies will help to eliminate bias during the interview phase. The scorecard should act as a framework for interviews, with each candidate being judged against the same categories. These will typically cover such areas as experience, personality-fit, key skills, competencies and desired traits. When interviewing candidates, scenario-based questions typically allow hiring managers to gain insight into how an individual thinks and how they would approach real-world challenges in their day-to-day.
6. New staff Onboarding with care
Onboarding new hires is a critical element of recruitment often neglected in SMEs. More than just a desk-plan, a handbook, a laptop and a team lunch, employees crave an onboarding process that sets them up for personal and professional success. Within their first few weeks of joining, new members of the team should start to build a clear picture of the company mission and how their role contributes to the success of the team.
Key deliverables are essential in providing staff with direction and granting them the autonomy to strive towards a tangible goal. Effective onboarding isn’t just a series of meetings – it’s the creation of a welcoming environment that encourages an open channel of communication and gives new hires a sense of purpose and place within an organisation.
We recently read a great blog post on this topic by Indeed. Take a look here
7. Establishing a culture of teamwork in your SME
Having recruited a group of talented individuals with strong skill-sets, you can either stand back and hope the team finds a way to work together towards a shared goal or lay down the foundations for a collaborative, productive culture. You can’t dictate how individuals will behave or interact on a granular level, but you can establish certain guidelines, cultural values and overarching objectives by which your team should stick to.
In an environment in which all employees feel respected, listened to, and appreciated for their contribution, success can flourish. Once the building blocks are in place – i.e. the talent, leaders must set an example by treating employees equally, promoting communication and energising the team with an exciting vision of the company’s future.
Is your business ready to move up to the next tier? Finding the right people for your team isn’t always straightforward. If you’re looking for funding to help super-charge your business growth, and allow you to build the right team, then ABF may be able to help.
Our service can quickly and easily help you explore funding options for your business - whether that be growing your team, powering your marketing or anything else.
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