Recruiting for an SME or a family business

Recruiting for an SME or a family business

Recruiting for an SME or a family business

Hiring new staff can be a mammoth task; when it’s a small, or family-run business you’re recruiting for, it takes on a whole new level of complexity. You’re not just looking to plug a skill-set gap here. You’re looking for somebody who can share your values as an organisation and reflect your brand identity with conviction. A team player who can wear several hats – often at the same time. Someone more than a great cultural fit; they’ll blend in so well, you can consider them ‘one of the family’.

So, where do you begin your search for that epic person, or people, to help take your business to the next level? Here’s a guide to making your recruitment process a success created by One to One recruitment, based out of the York Eco Building Centre on Clifton Moor.

PIN-POINTING YOUR ‘WHY?’

What is it you’re looking to achieve by hiring somebody externally? Is this purely down to a gap in the skills you currently have in-house? Or are you looking to bring in new, fresh ideas and experience from the outside world? Perhaps your view is to hand over much of the day-to-day running of the business to free up your own time. It could be a combination of reasons, but make sure you know your WHY before you begin your search for Mr or Mrs Right.

SETTING UP SHOP

It’s all well and good having new blood come on board but are you genuinely ready for them? Has thorough analysis shown you can afford a new hire – their salary, plus ongoing benefits? Have you prepared all of the documentation necessary, such as a contract of employment and a job description? How about full job descriptions for you and any current employees working for the business?

This is vital in preventing ambiguity around roles and responsibilities once somebody external joins you. So, make sure you spend time getting the basics in place before you welcome them aboard.

SEARCH FOR A HERO

Once you’ve a clear objective as to why you’re looking to recruit externally then you can move onto finding he or she who fits. This is where you would most benefit from a professional recruiter. Not only do they have access to candidates, but they are well-versed in managing the hiring process from initial search to skill-assessment and background checks to final selection. That said, don’t shy away from any involvement with the interview process since this will be your single opportunity to vet each candidate and assess them at face value.

And involve your existing team (or someone who’s opinion you value) in the hiring process, too. Sure, if you’re a large family business with many family members it could prove too much for everyone to sit in on interviews but, at the very least, include your family in reaching a decision on whether or not to hire.

MAKING AN OFFER

Once you’re feeling like you’ve found the right candidate for the role, then it’s time to offer. You’ll need to go a little over and above the ‘See you on Monday?’ here. Remember, your candidate is also assessing you and may be feeling unsure on your offer over another one or four they’re considering.

A professionally prepared contract legible and with clear terms and conditions is an absolute must; with any probationary period laid out in full. You may be offering additional compensation and benefits; again, these must be clear to the candidate as part of their overall package. It would also be useful to give details of their growth path since many potential employees will be keen to see past the one year period.

RETENTION RULES

Your new shiny employee is all settled in. Job done! Isn’t it? Not if you want to keep them onboard indefinitely. Remember, they’re already more susceptible to feeling the ‘odd one out’ so do all you can to prevent this happening. Where appropriate, involve them in decision-making.

At the very least, organise a get-together away from the workplace where some common ground is felt; perhaps a meal out or an activity afternoon? Invite other family members not involved in the business along, too; it will help your new employee feel they know everybody and prevent them from feeling isolated during discussions.

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