As a small business owner, when hiring new staff and retaining current staff, your best bet is to take a local approach using traditional and modern managerial methods.
I've been in the pharmaceutical business for 10 years and can happily say I own two pharmacies. Over the years, it's been clear that the strength of my team has come from implementing a local approach to staffing. Local is my preference because the staff members who’ve stayed with us for long lengths of time are people who are local. It's also easier for them to get to work, even at short notice.
When looking for new local staff, it’s essential to integrate traditional and modern hiring tactics – they go hand-in-hand with ensuring you find the best person to fill the position:
Place an ad in your shop window
Go further and place ads online and in print media
Word of mouth can travel fast, so tell everyone you know that you’re hiring
Don’t be afraid to involve your team in the hiring process
It’s important that we match the personality of the person we are looking to hire with the rest of the group.
We've evolved a lot since we first started our business. In the old days we said "if anyone's got experience we'll give them a go," but that didn't always work out because the person may not match the group of workers you've already got in your business.
I appoint another staff member to go through the CVs that arrive and shortlist candidates. We then begin a first interview process where a senior staff member and another worker will conduct an interview. Another shortlist is compiled, at which time I make a final decision. If we don't follow that process, we're less likely to find a person who will match the role and stay with us longer.
Team building and training are key to keeping staff
Training has become a big part of our business and we tell our staff right from the start what’s expected of them. We’ve learnt that individual training plans work best. Every year we review and update each plan, as staff may have met their goals or discovered what they want to do more of.
Team building tactics for retaining staff
Hold staff meetings at least once a month to discuss issues and conduct presentations.
Send staff to industry conferences are incentives that also increase professional development and allows them to bring new things back to your business.
Host staff days to get people bonding through activities such as cooking classes, jet boating and scavenger hunts.
Consider the kind of environment you’d like to work in – this will help you create a professional and fun working environment.