Posted by Simon Johnston
Deciding to Hire
97% of Businesses in NZ are small businesses, and as such hiring is an important decision with measurable effects on your business.
Fortunately, with proper planning and preparation; hiring a new staff member can be uncomplicated and straightforward.
Before you start your hiring journey, it’s essential to know if your business requires a new staff member and if so, what kind of employee the business needs.
First, you need to determine your business needs.
Does the Business Have a Need?
What to examine:
- Business Revenue and Gross Profit, what can you support with your current returns? If you were to take on a new employee right now, how long would you be able to support them before they become profitable?
- What opportunities are there? To hire a new staff member, there needs to be an opportunity for you to get a ‘Return on Investment’. An opportunity may be a new project, a new business venture, or a gap in the market you want to take advantage of. You should identify the benefits the business will receive, e.g. a new operator will add another person capable of using an excavator and bring in X amount of revenue.
- Work out your ‘Return on Investment’. If you, for example, hire a new excavator operator and purchase an excavator for them to use what is the time frame for profitability? Work this out in a budget to see when you start making money from the investment.
- Is your equipment, existing staff or your own time being over utilised or underutilised? Knowing this may help you to determine your business's growth and usage of resources. Ways to track this: Hours on machinery over a period of time, existing staff time sheets and your own time in the related business activity you are hiring for (e.g: If you're hiring a new digger operator you would measure your time operating a digger in your business rather than admin time, unless they will performing this role too.)
When you’ve examined these against figures (not just gut-feel!), you’ll be better prepared to determine whether to hire.
What Staff Type do you Need?
With this information, you’ll also be able to determine what kind of staff member would suit your business, such as Permanent, Casual, Fixed Term or a Contractor.
What Skills do you Require?
You likely already have an idea of what skills you’re after based on what you see the business needs are.
Sort your requirements into two lists: Must haves and Good to have. By sorting them out, you can quickly sort through applications to the shortlist in the future and hold yourself to these requirements.
Lastly and just as important, ask yourself what your company’s culture is? For smaller businesses, you may not have given this much thought, but determining what your culture is will help you find a candidate that not only has the skills your looking for but will also fit in with the company’s culture. Why not establish what your ‘core values’ are? These are likely based on key values that are important to you. For example, these could be a Commitment to deadlines. Great customer service. Second to none job quality.
This article is part of a series on Deciding to Hire.
Next up: Planning the Role ►
*Please note this was written as a guide only and is not advice or a replacement for qualified advice/expertise in hiring and it's legal requirements.