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Starting a business

What you need to know about hiring staff

ANZ Financially Ready

2024-05-20 04:30

Key points

  • Hiring is an indicator that your business is growing.
  • There are five signs that can help you work out if it’s the right time to hire.
  • When preparing to hire an employee, you need to plan accordingly. When it’s done right, the pay-off is worth it.

So, your business has reached the stage where it’s time to build a team – congratulations! Hiring staff is a sign your business is growing. Employees can take the everyday tasks off your hands and allow you to focus more on what you know best – the business itself.

Of course, knowing when to hire and how to get started can be challenging. That’s why we’re here to take you through the best time to hire, how to prepare for the hiring process, and the key things you should know about adding staff to your business.

When is the right time to hire staff?

When it comes to hiring staff, timing is everything. Being too quick to hire puts you at risk of losing revenue and the chance to sustainably build your business. Hire too late, and you may struggle to sustain what you’ve worked so hard to build. With such a tricky decision at hand, it’s important to be able to spot the signs that your business is ready to grow.

Five signs that it’s the right time to start hiring:

  1. You find yourself working after hours to take care of tasks such as bookkeeping, customer service, and client accounts. If you can comfortably delegate these tasks to someone else, it might be time to hire.
  2. You have identified a skill gap that someone else would be better suited for. For example, if you know you struggle with marketing your business, or social media is not your thing, the time might be right to hire someone who can manage your marketing and social portfolio.
  3. You can’t meet customer demand and find yourself turning people away. Turning down business means losing sales and income. Having staff can help you keep up with customer demand.
  4. You don’t have time to focus on business growth and strategic thinking. Hiring staff that are trained to manage the day-to-day aspects of your business will free you to focus on where your expertise is best put to use.  
  5. You already have, or soon will have enough revenue to sustain the cost of an employee (or employees).

How to prepare for the hiring process

There are a few things you can do to get ready for the hiring process and ensure you and potential staff members are on the same page.

Work out what type of employee you need

Identifying the areas where you need support will be your first step in the hiring process. Whether it’s someone to manage accounts, a customer service specialist, or a project coordinator, work out what your business is lacking and start there.

Next, write a job description. You can look at websites such as Indeed and Seek for inspiration. A job description will typically include:

  • Your company’s background – who you are and what you do.
  • Position description – what the role is and how it will help the business.
  • Duties – what the employee will be doing.
  • Ideal skills, traits, and experience for the advertised job.
  • Selection criteria – a list of things to help you decide if the candidate is right for the role and your business.

You should also look at the current market rates for the jobs you’re looking to fill. Then take the time to understand what you can afford by looking at your cash flow. This will help you decide between hiring a full-time, part-time, or casual employee.

Decide on the pay rate and employment conditions

It’s important that you review the regulations so you’re paying your staff the correct amount for the work they do. Once you have identified the minimum wage for the industry you’re in, you can choose to offer that, or set your own pay rate that reflects what the work is worth to you – as long as it’s above the minimum wage.

You should also make sure you have the means to offer the right conditions by taking the time to learn about the National Employment Standards (NES). There you’ll find the minimum standards all employees are entitled to in Australia.

Want to learn more about the NES and minimum wage? Check out our helpful article on the minimum wage and how to navigate it.

Understand the legalities involved in hiring

There are some important legal requirements to be aware of when it comes to hiring, and while it might feel intimidating at first, once you get your head around them, they essentially boil down to filling out the right forms and complying with regulations.

Things to consider when it comes to the legal side of hiring:

  • Making sure your employee has a Tax File Number (TFN) and is legally allowed to work in Australia.
  • Taking out worker’s compensation insurance.
  • Setting up a payroll system to pay your staff. There are multiple software solutions that can assist.
  • Keeping records of your workers that are accurate and up to date.
  • Checking out rules and regulations for running home-based businesses such as local council requirements.

Find candidates, interview, and hire

Finding the perfect employee for your business can take time. Following these five steps will help you streamline the process:

  1. Advertise your job: when your job description is ready to go, it’s time to find the best candidates. You can post your ad on online job boards such as LinkedIn, Seek or Indeed, or go through a recruitment agency.
  2. Create a shortlist: narrow down the applicants based on suitability for the role. Do this by checking their application against the selection criteria, and then setting up a video or phone interview with your chosen applicants.
  3. Interview your candidates: when conducting your interviews, have a list of questions ready that will provide you with more information about why they’re interested in the job you’re advertising, their skills and their previous experience. Make sure you give the interviewee time to ask questions about the business and what the job can offer them too. Stuck on what to ask? Doing a quick search online can help you find templates and inspiration.
  4. Check references and hire: After the interviews are complete, it’s decision time. Start by checking the references of your preferred applicant and if they are positive, get in touch with your chosen candidate to give them the good news. Follow up by sending them an offer letter with a contract. Remember to inform the other applicants that they weren’t successful and provide feedback.
  5. Onboard your new team member: Once you have found the new addition to your team, it’s time to welcome them to the business. Clearly outline the needs and expectations of the role and make sure you share any relevant workplace health and safety information.

Next steps

Ready to start the hiring process? Here is a quick checklist to help you get the ball rolling:

  • Identify the type of employee you need.
  • Examine the impact that paying wages/salary will have on cash flow – remember to factor in additional revenue that the staff member could contribute.
  • Write a job description and advertise the position.
  • Screen and interview candidates.
  • Decide on a successful candidate.
  • Onboard them into your business.

Confirm you’re ready to hire, and review your cash flow with the ANZ Cash flow forecast template.

What you need to know about hiring staff
Business specialist
ANZ Financially Ready

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