You made it through another week. What were your celebrations and your struggles related to your workforce? In my role as a business consultant and the interim Executive Director of a local Chamber of Commerce, every day I connect with leaders in the community. They all have very similar experiences related to their workforce and this week I heard a lot of struggles around building the team. When to hire? How to be competitive with benefits? When to let someone go? When will I get back to working on the core activities of my position? Here are a few thoughts from my experience building teams that I hope will give you hope if you also are facing workforce struggles.
EVALUATE THE JOB DESCRIPTIONS
Who do you need to do the work of your business? Start to list all the skills and experience that is needed for the various roles that will make your business operate. How do you package these skills into a job description(s) that you could use to recruit top talent? Don't forget to include a job description for yourself. I work a lot with small business owners and I encourage them to develop FAQs that could be used for a receptionist or even on a website that help customers know what to expect, what information is needed on an order and what products are sold there. I also encourage everyone to use calendar scheduling software (such as Calendly and WeSparkle) to reduce the back and forth of scheduling meetings or appointments. Lastly, voluntary health benefits are a great opportunity to support your hiring top talent with no direct cost to your business.
WHERE ARE THE EMPLOYEES?
Business leaders need to be creative. The traditional job board posting may not be how you fill roles you have. Outsourcing accounting, human resources, marketing and administration is a great opportunity to develop your back-office functions without the overhead of many employees. Part-time can be something people are interested in and could develop into full-time. Don't forget about temp agencies. There was a season where I was trying to hire a research accountant. We were realizing we were going to have hire a successful accountant and train them for a research accountant role because there weren't experienced research accountants in the applicant pools. We made an investment into an accounting recruitment agency and were successful to get four employees who brought great value to our team in a short period of time. Three of them have been promoted from where they started and are still at the institution we hired them into. This was 6 years ago. Recruitment agencies can provide value to your hiring barriers.
LETTING EMPLOYEES GO
Having to let employees go is the top reason that business leaders don't hire. So what do you do? I have experience with this both in my own retail shop and also as a manager of a large higher education department. I'm very passionate that if you have an employee who with coaching continues to bring a negative energy to the team, they must go. Be clear of expectations. Keep facts, not emotions of their behavior and the impact it has on the team. Get human resource guidance to ensure the departure is compliant to employment laws. If you don't have the work to pay for an employee and need to let them go, help your employees find another position with referrals and/or help them get to their next promotion. I do encourage you to know when you need to hire for your own mental health. You will get through whatever happens after the hire.
Thank you for reading. Was this helpful? What ways have developed a workforce? Have a great weekend!
For the past few years we have been active in the community learning about the barriers that small business owners face in running their business.
What we continued to see in all industries is the burden on small business owners to either do all their own back-office tasks and/or navigate multiple outsource entities in order to put together their back-office business solutions.
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Written by Faith