Hiring Headaches?



Starting or growing your own business and making mistakes go hand in hand.

Some business owners call the price you pay for the important lessons you learn from the decisions you make school fees. Some of the hardest lessons to learn are around hiring staff. It’s difficult enough to find great people, let alone hire them, manage them and hold on to them, especially as a small business. If you didn’t hire good people to start off with, it can cause you a great deal of stress and impact your business. Mistakes carry a cost, but there’s also a great deal to be gained from them.


1. Be honest about what you are bad at, and then hire people who are good at those things.

2. Spend more time getting to know people in great roles before starting your business.

3. Spend time with your staff and build good relationships with them. It’s all about people at the end of the day.

4. Know that going through an employment agency has pros and cons. It can be expensive for small-business owners. Referrals from people I know well, and whose opinion I trust, has been the best strategy.

5. Always interview multiple candidates and always check references.

6. Learn how to become a ‘boss’. Don’t focus only on the kind of people you want – spend time on learning how to become a better leader and delegator.

7. Don’t neglect the paperwork that goes with hiring someone. As well as an employment contract there’s also statutory paperwork such as UIF registration.

8. Follow the procedure! Especially when emotions run high. There are online short courses and even one-day workshops on South African labor law. Do at least one before you become an employer.

9. You need to have rules. More importantly, make sure your staff knows them and then make sure you actually follow through with them.

10. Communication really is everything. Make a point of sitting down regularly with your staff, in groups and one-on-one, so you can get issues out into the open.

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    What are the things you wish you knew or did before becoming an employer?
    @SimplyBiz I wish I knew how important people skill's were. To understand your customer and staff are vitally important.
    @AlexSimpson are you a natural extrovert or did you have to teach yourself people skill's?. Do you use a different set of skills with your customers and with your staff? How do you teach your staff people skills?
    Correct there needs to be a different skill set applied although it always comes down to simple values such as respect integrity and understanding.
    @AlexSimpson the more authentic and real the relationship is with your team the stronger your bond will be... I would focus on building personal relationships with them yet not to.cross the professional boundary.
    Companies that are successful in hiring have a process that includes attracting high-quality candidates evaluating them in several different areas and taking the time to get to know the people in different ways. A candidate's personality is another important factor to consider. For example a trait such as empathy would likely be much more important for a nurse or a social worker than it would be for a tax attorney or a computer programmer. Be open and honest about what it's going to be like to work for your company.
    Small business owners sometimes battle to hire the best candidates because they cannot offer the salaries or additional benefits that the potential employee could receive elsewhere. How do you attract & keep talent in your business?
    @TyMayer I like this feedback. Honesty - the key word!
    @RJohn and Tyrone I agree. I would also add the fact that if the owner actually steps into the shoes of their staffordable it would be of great sympathetic value.
    I agree around the importance of Communication. It is everything. If you cannot relate to people on their wave of communication and energy you will fall short in terms of progressing as an organisation. Effective communication can help to foster a good working relationship between you and your staff which can in turn improve morale and efficiency.
    @TyMayer I love your standpoint here.
    @SayoF. Very true point. Thanks Sayo
    @SayoF thank you for your remark.
    I agree around the elements and importance of communication. It really is the most important thing.
    Spending time with the staff and ensuring firm relationships are built is key. One cannot also force relationships although this human element and interaction is so vital.
    @AlexSimpson truth about forcing relationship. I like the 8th point listed above too as many emotional plays come into account and if there is no procedure in a company than many fundamental processes/rules will slip.
    @SimplyBiz keeping talent is all about establishing a business with core values and a culture which has a feeling of home. Employees should not feel that they are living a life which is centrered around generic work therefore creating a culture which is warm stimulating dynamic and engaging for the team is vital. There are numerous tactics to put in place around this although the first is to establish a good routine and roles/functions whilst complementing the daily routines with good breaks dynamic team discussions and workshops. Ensure the core values are in place and are apparent such as respect idea generation gender equality and more.
    @Rmichael agreed here on your point Ramon. No matter how technology changes with time one of the key skills to engage with and understand is around emotional connecting.
    @RJohn I think your points are very aligned towards how most leaders across industries should aspire to.
    @Rmichael all about relationships. Especially in a country as diverse in South Africa; owners should place a concerted effort on knowing and relating to their teams and background. Everyone is unique and should be treated as such in order to genuinely grow a business's optimisation.
    @theCJMan Nice.