For many small businesses looking to grow their team, the process of getting the right people can be likened to digging a gold mine. The success of any company is highly dependent on its employees.
Simply put, the people within your organisation will either grow your business or drag it down.
If your employees are key to your success, how do you make sure that you hire the best? How can you grow your team without putting your business at risk? Can you grow your team and your business at the same time?
Executive recruiter John Swan developed a hiring strategy called the SWAN Formula. This serves as a yardstick to ensure that businesses are able to pick the best candidate by setting apart the best of the best from the rest.
The formula stands for Smart – Works hard – Ambitious – Nice – qualities that employers find common in great employees, qualities that should be evident in the job candidates you pick.
In the book Now, Build a Great Business, co-authored by Mark Thompson and Brian Tracy, they explained Swan’s formula in detail. Every small business owner should be guided by the following:
- Successful people are Smart. They know how to use and maximise their skills and competencies for their specific job.
- People who want to Work hard go the extra mile and are generally more successful at their jobs.
- Candidates should be Ambitious and be able to demonstrate why they want a particular job. They should have a clear vision of what they want to achieve.
- Nice people are desired for their ability to fit into existing work cultures and work with others.
These are important to ensure you’re picking the right candidate. That person will have the right set of skills and be willing to work hard to achieve targets. They are someone ambitious, career-driven and at the same time, one who values collaboration and teamwork.
To grow your team and reap the benefits of employing the perfect fit for your company, here are 5 easy guidelines that you, as a hiring manager and business leader, should follow:
1. Establish a sound hiring process
Figure out the qualities that you want common in all your team members before you create detailed job descriptions for every position to be filled. Look for professionals with high qualifications who can also play well with a team, and use the SWAN formula as your standard.
Once you know your requirements, put a hiring process in place.
Start by providing an easy application system that saves both your time and the candidates. Discuss your job descriptions and make clear your expectations, and go over your salary offer and the benefits package that awaits successful candidates.
2. Hire the right people
The internet has made recruiting potential workers easier with various job posting sites like Indeed, Jobstreet, Monster and the like. By using these websites to post your job requirements, you reach out to more qualified candidates and make it easy for them to apply.
Linkedin is also great for connecting with professionals within your area who could be a good fit, and online recruitment tools like Bullhorn and TalentBin are also available to help you select the best candidates for your company.
3. Help new employees blend in
For your team to function smoothly, new hires should be able to work harmoniously with your existing employees and vice versa. Conflicts may arise among team members due to differing opinions, so it’s important to set rules and standards that will nurture a collaborative working relationship and real teamwork.
To do this, be fair to all and strive to be actively involved in your team’s professional lives.
Carry out regular brainstorming sessions, team building workshops and other activities that help to build rapport, get rid of animosity, and cultivate relationships. Some managers use the buddy system, making employees work in pairs (tenured with new) until the new members become familiar with the work culture.
4. Keep the team motivated
Once you have the right people, it’s up to you to keep them. Be fair by offering wages above or within the legal minimum following the National Employment Standards set by the Government.
That said, a high salary is never enough to foster loyalty – incorporate incentives and reward systems to motivate them to perform at peak levels. Offer benefit packages tailored to the needs of individual team members – ask your team members for input, if possible. Some might put a premium on family flexibility, while others will want professional development courses.
5. Foster growth
As your business grows, your team should grow with you.
Foster growth to nurture your employees’ self-esteem which has proven valuable in maintaining loyalty. Encourage them to learn new skills that will help advance their careers.
Include relevant seminars and other useful training in your employee development programs whenever you can. Allow them to represent your company to industry events and other activities.
Whenever you find vacancies in your organisation, especially for higher positions, look within your current employee pool first before you consider hiring new employees from the outside.
Regular face-time with your team members will facilitate feedback and keep your business moving forward. This can prove to be a challenge for startups and teams whose members are mostly remote or home-based.
For many small business owners who see the need for a central location where team members can come together but find the costs of maintaining a traditional office prohibitive, coworking spaces are the answer.
A shared office lets you conduct business in a fully functioning office at a fraction of the usual rent, and Hub Australia connects you to a network of over 2000 members, including multiple HR and recruitment companies that can work alongside you to find the right person.