Recruitment

Why Corporate Jargon And Nonsense Stops Businesses Taking HR Seriously

10 Jan
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Compensation, Contract of employment, Employees, Employment, Human Resources, people manaagment, Policies and Procedures, Recruitment, training   |  No Comments

(And The Four Processes That Most Business Owners  Need To Go Through When Dealing With Staff)

I’ve been studying and practicing HR for over 25 years. 

Which means that I ‘get it’.  I ‘understand’ it.  However ludicrously worded something is, or however jargonny a contract sounds, I can usually root out the genuine meaning, and what it means in the real world.

However, use the term HR or Human Resources in front of your common or garden business owner and you’ll often get a blank look, especially if they have never worked in large organisations or corporations that have had a whole HR department dedicated to looking after the staff, employees, and contractors.

But here’s the thing, whether you’re Mickey the Butcher or Microsoft, you still need to be able to practice HR correctly – failure to do so puts your business under significant risk from an employment tribunal.

With that in mind, this article is designed to help you to do exactly that, by cutting through the jargon and breaking down the four processes that you’ll need to go through, whether you’ve got two employees or 20,000.

So the first area is recruitment: the hiring of the right staff. 

Make sure that you know the skills that you need and that the people that you are hiring have the ability to do the job, but don’t forget that attitude and aptitude are also really, really important. 

Making sure that somebody has the right attitude, is going to fit in with your business and your culture will engage with your goals and has the ability to learn the rest of the skills that you need to give them is absolutely vital. 

Why?  Nobody is going to come fully formed, so you need employees who can be moulded, and moulding is all about attitude. 

And, as a plus point, when employees are not fully formed, they are generally easier to work with – they don’t have the same fixed ideas about things that someone who has ‘been there and done it’ has.

In addition, it is also really good idea to hire people who are better than you at key elements of the business. You shouldn’t be sweating over the books when someone else will be able to do them quicker, easier and more effectively than you.

Similarly, you may be good and able to type your letters up yourself, but actually having a VA or an in-house PA is going to drive your business forward much quicker for you as they are freeing up your time. 

 

The second element is Employee Relations

Now, this is a big area for HR!

At the most basic level, it means giving all of the staff that you hire a contract of employment. 

It means making sure that you have made decisions about:

  • How much holiday they are going to have
  • What you are going to do in the event of sick pay
  • What dress code you want within your business
  • What time you want people at work
  • What time they work till
  • How long their breaks are

Sound extreme?  Perhaps.  But by documenting all of these from day one, there is absolute clarity for you and for your staff, and no one can pretend that they didn’t know what was expected of them.

 

The third element is training, development and learning. 

Now, all three of these take time and happen in multiple phases, but all business owners need to be mindful of them; otherwise, they generally don’t happen.

Generally, the first phase is known as “induction” and when you first bring somebody into the business, the best way to get them to hit the ground running is to induct them properly. 

Once they know what they should be doing, it is all about monitoring and managing their performance so they are performing at the best possible level that they can.

And again it takes practice and they will improve over time, which is why regular documented progress meetings are a really, really useful tool.  No matter what size your business, whether you have one employee, five employees, or 25 employees, sitting down with your staff on a regular basis, sharing your vision, sharing the goals and asking them to deliver key elements of those goals is essential to moving the business forward. 

 

And then there is reward. 

Reward can come in multiple formats. 

Pay is the most obvious but there is also commission, bonus and other incentives which you give to your staff to encourage them to reach the targets that you set or to reward them for achieving certain outcomes. 

However, reward is also about the environment in which people work. 

It’s about the way in which you treat them, the pizza in the office on a Friday or giving people a day off to go and deal with an emergency because you know that they have been in the office late working on projects for the last three or four weeks.  

Reward is also about the culture and the corporate social responsibility that the business shows. 

Many youngsters nowadays are choosing to work or not work for companies based on the ethos of those companies. 

People are becoming more picky and people want to work for great bosses and brands that they believe in. 

Consequently, positioning your business (no matter how big or small) as an employer of choice will really help you to recruit and to retain the right staff for your business. 

So, as a business owner, the next time you think about your role within the business, you are not only the finance person, the marketing person and the salesperson – you are also the HR person. 

You are responsible for the recruitment and retention, the training and development, the reward and the frameworks within which your staff work and operate. You are also responsible for the way in which your staff are going to help you to achieve business success, by making sure that you are an effective manager.  That takes practice, but as they say, practice makes perfect.

Discrimination

15 Dec
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Discrimination, Video   |  No Comments

This is one you need to understand to ensure you protect your business!
Boring – Yes!
Essential – Yes!
Expensive if you get it wrong – Yes!

Special Needs

05 Dec
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Disability Discrimination, Discrimination, HR, Interviewing, Recruitment, Video   |  No Comments

People don’t need to be employees to take an employment tribunal claim against you (although they usually are, or have been). Job applicants who feel they have missed out on a job due to discrimination can also lodge an employment tribunal claim and therefore taking any special needs into consideration at the recruitment and interview stage is really important.

 

 

If you need any support with recruitment or interviewing, give us a ring or take a look at our Interviewer’s Toolkit.

 

 

Behavioural Evidence

25 Nov
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Video   |  No Comments

Want to know how well someone will cope under pressure or in an emergency?
Don’t ask “what would you do?”
Ask “What have you done?”

People learn from their mistakes, so look for what role they actually played in a situation and understand what they learnt from it. The past is for reference, not for living in.

Questioning

24 Nov
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Video   |  No Comments

When you are carrying out an interview with a potential new employee, you need to make sure you ask the right questions. The right questions are ones which will enable you to get responses on which you can take a recruitment decision:

  • Can they do the job?
  • Will they fit in with the team?
  • Can they learn the skills they need, to perform at 110%
  • Will they be able to drive the business forward successfully?

 

Interview Set Up

23 Nov
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Video   |  No Comments

You only get one chance to make a first impression and the way in which you deal with the applicant throughout the interview process will say a lot about you and the business.

If you decide to make an offer and the candidate has more than one offer – you want them to chose you and the better their experiences with you, the more comfortable your interactions and the more professional and organised you appear, the more likely you are to secure the applicant of your choice.

Never forget that recruitment is a two way process – they have to choose to apply and then choose to complete the application process and then choose to accept an offer!

Testing

22 Nov
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Video   |  No Comments

Testing applicants is a great way of determining whether they can actually do the job you need them to do. You can test for skills, aptitude, personality etc. There are hundreds of tests on the market and selecting the right one is really important. You also need to ensure you know what a pass or fail looks like and why.

More nuggets for you in the video

 

Telephone Screening

21 Nov
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Interviewing, Recruitment, Video   |  No Comments

When you are recruiting, you could end up with hundreds of applications, once you have sorted the ‘not a chance’ from the ‘possible’, telephone interviewing is a great way of producing a manageable long list (or short list, if you are able to be that tight on your criteria).

Work out what your key questions are – if they MUST be able to drive, or MUST hold a specific qualification or MUST be able to work evenings, then these questions should form part of your telephone screening process.

Do make sure that you don’t inadvertently introduce any discrimination – you can ask any question, it is how you do it which matters!!!

Sifting CVs

18 Nov
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Recruitment, Video   |  No Comments

Once you have a pool of aplicants, you need some way of determining who to short list, who to reject and who to keep warm and put on hold. In today’s 52 Top Tips, I share a few thoughts.

To find our more about our recruitment services, check out our recruitment pages

To order your 52 top tips, you can do so here

 

 

Selection

17 Nov
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Video   |  No Comments

Once you have a pool of candidates to choose from, it is decision time!
Don’t just go with your gut instinct – test them. Make sure they can actually do the job you need doing.

 

 

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