What to Do if You Need Staff.

If you grow large enough, the time may come when there’s no getting around it any longer. You simply don’t have the time in the day to do everything that needs to be done. You need to hire some staff.

Staff Create Profits.

The chances are that you’ve worked for a wage for a decent part of your life, but you might not have realised the exact nature of the transaction that was going on. Essentially, you were hired to create profit for the company — if hiring you wasn’t profitable, they wouldn’t have done it. By taking a wage, you agreed to create profit for them, while your wages remained relatively flat (‘stable’) whatever you did.

In theory, this protects you against the consequences of your work being unprofitable. You could see what’s happening as being something like you giving the company a percentage (a big percentage) of your earnings in exchange for them being the ones providing the resources and taking all the financial risk.

In practice, of course, if you stop making money for the company, you lose your job. Thus you can see that the situation becomes win-win for your employer: they get to keep most of the profits you create, while maintaining enough control over you that you can’t really create any extra risk for them.

Employing people, then, is like investing — you put in some money as wages and get more out of it. If you stop getting more back, you can cancel and change your investment by getting rid of them and employing someone else.

The Interviewed Becomes the Interviewer.

The first step in finding staff that are going to make you a good profit is to advertise the job. You shouldn’t have too much trouble with this, since there are always people looking for work — put up a few signs, go round a few agencies, tell some people you know. You’ll pretty quickly have people beating down your door.

The next step, then, is the interview process. Since you’ve probably been through the interview process a few times, it’ll feel good to be sitting on the other side of the table. Don’t get carried away, though: remember that the purpose of the interview is to try to figure out whether the person you’ve got in front of you would do a good job for your business if you employ them.

Here are a few ideas for questions:

‘Tell me about yourself.’ While this sounds cliched, the applicant’s response to this will give you a good idea about their personality and what they think is important, as well as their ability to think on their feet.

‘Why should I hire you?’ You’re looking for the person who’s been listening to what you’ve said you’re after and responds by telling you how they meet your needs.

Give an example of a real problem in your business and ask them how they would solve it. This gives them an opportunity to help you and impress you in the process.

‘What did you like or dislike about your last job?’ This gives you an opportunity to spot problem candidates — if they use it as an excuse to have a bit of a moan, you probably shouldn’t hire them.

If in doubt, just remember that you can ask anything, as long as it’s open-ended. Whatever you do, don’t ask yes or no questions.

Finally, it’s important to know that, by law, you can’t ask as anything that could be thought of as discrimination, including questions related to age, race, religion, nationality, marital status, medical history or disability.

Paying Their Taxes.

Finally, when you hire people, you need to remember that you’re setting yourself up for all sorts of tax complications. You will usually need to pay their income taxes for them, as well as various other medical and security/insurance taxes. If you get this wrong, you can set both you and your employees up for a lot of inconvenience

By now you hopefully have an accountant who can help you. Still, make sure you’re paying enough that working for you will still be worthwhile for your employees after tax.

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