Small Business Diva

October 24, 2007

7 Things to Think About When You Employ Staff

Filed under: Employment,Small Business,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 7:05 am
Tags: , ,

I have recently employed an assistant here in my office and so I thought it time to share some tips employing staff.

Everyone’s situation is different and so only you will know when the time is right, or even whether employing staff is the best option for you. In the case of many small businesses, rather than employee staff as such you can look at outsourcing certain tasks to other businesses and consultants. Things such as general administration, bookkeeping, writing, PR, website design, database management, marketing… the list goes on and on.

However if you decide that you do want to employ staff there are many things you need to consider, such as what tasks they will be doing, what hours you’ll need them to work, how employing staff will affect your insurance, workers’ compensation, tax implications and what your requirements are as an employer – just for starters.

In summary, here are seven points to consider:

1. The Position Description – this document should provide a written summary of:

  • Title and Classification
  • Duties and Responsibilities
  • Qualifications and Experience Required
  • Reporting Relationships
  • Working Conditions (including rate of pay)
  • Supervisory Responsibilities

2. Finding the best person for the job:

Decide how you will find the ideal job candidate. Will you advertise online or in the local newspaper, use word-of-mouth techniques, advertise with a job network provider or hire a recruiting agency? Would this position be suitable for a trainee or apprentice?

3. Know your requirements:

Make sure you are aware of your legal and obligatory requirements regarding things such as workers’ compensation, insurance, tax, superannuation, rates of pay, awards and conditions of employment, anti-discrimination legislation. These areas differ greatly between countries and even between states within countries. For somewhere to start, I have a list of helpful organisations/agencies on one of my websites – YourSmallBizExpert.com. Have a look here under your relevant country for some helpful websites.

4. Undertake appropriate reference checks to verify details provided in the application and to get an idea of the applicant’s past performance as an indicator of their future potential. Some industries, such as those where staff will be working with children, require further checks to be carried out.

5. Human Relations Forms

Before you employ staff make sure you have all the necessary forms such as:

  • Tax Declaration
  • Employee Timesheet
  • Leave Application
  • Personal Information (next of kin, etc)
  • Banking Details (if you will be paying wages direct to their bank account)

6. Employee Induction

Some of the things you should ensure new staff are aware of include:

• All leave procedures
• Company hours of operation
• Company policies and ethics
• Completion of forms such as personal information, emergency contact information and Taxation Office forms
• Confidentiality requirements
• Customer service and complaints policies
• Emergency procedures
• First aid procedures
• General overview of company products or services, other outlets or offices and company aims
• Parking regulations
• Pay procedures
• Security precautions
• Smoking regulations and any smoking designated areas
• Superannuation
• Telephone, Email and Internet usage
• Terms of employment
• Their job requirements and area, and who to ask for assistance
• Their work hours
• Timesheet procedures
• Tour of premises, including toilets, lunchroom, canteen,
• washbasins, personal lockers, and introduction to main people they will be dealing with.
• Unions
• Vehicle and logbook usage
• Workplace health and safety guidelines

7. Looking after your staff

Okay, so now you have employed your staff, you have to look after them. Firstly, there are workplace, health and safety considerations. As an employer you have a ‘duty of care’ to look after the safety of your employees. Additionally, on-going training will be required to ensure that your staff maintain a high standard of job competency, including safety, service, technical knowledge and efficiency. 

You may have legal obligations to train your staff, including in areas such as food handling requirements; responsible service of alcohol or tobacco; first aid and occupational health and safety practices; or environmental issues. You should first identify the training needs relevant to your business, and then draw up a suitable plan including details of how the training will be provided and the costs and time frames involved.

And remember… “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”

Stephen R. Covey

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