Tips for Expanding your Workforce

28 October 2019

Struggling to meet your customer’s demand? Seemingly not enough hours in the day? Losing sight of the big picture under your workload? If these seem like familiar problems to you, it might be time to expand your workforce. Bringing new faces into a company can free up valuable time and assets, allowing you to kick start growth in your business.

Adopt the right mindset

Before you expand your workforce, take a moment to consider the impact that a new hire can have. The time you spend on placing an interesting ad, sifting candidates and interviewing for a good match is an investment. It will pay dividends when you have employees that are enthusiastic and well suited to their roles, performing better and staying with you for longer. So it’s key to hire the right person for the job, even if that takes more time and effort. Try and cut corners and you’ll likely find yourself paying for it in the end: the cost of replacing a bad hire is estimated to be in the thousands.

Keep it simple

The application process should be smooth sailing for any potential candidate. Overly complex and involved application requirements, normally involving long tasks and complex website forms, are definitely off-putting. In fact, 60% of candidates have stopped an application because it was taking too long. You might think that this is going to weed out those that don’t really want the job or aren’t willing to put in the effort, but in reality, it can easily deter the sort of skilled workers you’re looking for. They’re good at their job, why should they jump through all of your hoops when they can go elsewhere and not have the hassle?

Check their references

Identified a great candidate? No matter how promising they are, check their references. A reference is an invaluable resource when used correctly, a sort of half interview where you have the chance to find out much more about a new hire from someone who has worked with them directly. There’s a certain knack to this, as the laws governing references in the UK are strict and often lead past employers to avoid giving anything that can be perceived as a negative reference. Instead of asking about potential weaknesses, or concerns you might have, instead raise these points in requests for affirmative examples of the candidate’s skill set (or the lack thereof). Worried that your candidate seemed a little disorganised? Ask their reference if they have any great examples of the candidate’s organisational skills. A lack of examples or lack of conviction can indicate that your hunch is correct, and allows you to glean information without putting the previous employer in an uncomfortable position.

Let them make mistakes

Once you’ve made your hire, take the time to create an environment in which the new employee feels safe to ask questions and make mistakes. Even the most talented of new hires are going to need the chance to find their feet, so it’s key to place them in a situation where this is possible. This is easily achieved by scaling their responsibility as time goes on, starting them off with oversight in less important tasks, then shifting them onto the more difficult jobs as they grow more competent. Doing so encourages growth and communication right from the start of their time at the business, traits that are highly prized in employees later on.

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