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Mind the Gap – Recruiting for Business Growth

If you and/or your staff are working long hours, turning down contracts, not following up opportunities, then it may be worth thinking about eliciting some additional help?  I have been working with two clients on this very subject recently and thought it worth sharing. I have also been party to some information about River Simple’s brilliant new business model for sustainable transport. Whilst their job description and person specifications are inexact they do have a clear vision and are attracting candidates based purely on that.


First be clear about your vision for the future.

Make sure that your company goals are compatible with your personal ones.  If you wish to develop and build the business but wish to retire in three years, your people requirements will be different.  If you are a control freak and can’t bear delegating you may find taking on staff is a waste of your financial resources.  If however, you wish to grow your business what are the skills gap between where you now and where you would like to be?

The decisions needed before recruiting.

Recruiting is a serious business as the latest CIPD polls suggest the average replacement cost of a member of staff is £8,200 and it can cost up to £12,000 to recruit a Senior Manager or Director.  The cost of recruiting is not just the advertising costs but other costs like time spent recruiting, lost business, lost business opportunities, induction training, down time.

Think about the following decisions that will be required when recruiting an employee, because they will all have an impact on the content of the employment contracts:  Full-time or part-time? Permanent or temporary? Workplace or home-based? Internal or external recruitment? In UK or outside UK?

Do some Preparation.

Most companies will need a good Job Description detailing what the job involves; describing the job tasks and responsibilities.  The clearer you are about what the job involves the easier it becomes to attract the right person to apply.

Write a Person Specification detailing what attributes and characteristics are required to fill the role successfully.

There are many places you can advertise for job applicants.  Don’t just think the paper!  Do consider which is the right media for the type of applicant you are looking for. 

  Job Centre – it’s now online or Gum Tree perhaps other online adverts

  Shop window and/or own website

  Contacts – Networking on and offline:  LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

  Radio (TV or Cinema) 

  Internal applicants (of course)

  Agency or head-hunters

  Liaison with schools and colleges open days

Which ever vehicle you use, prepare your advertisement, don’t forget that you are ‘selling’ this position, do it justice and use the Attention, Interest, Desire and Action approach to communicating this position. 

During Selection.

Beware of discrimination issues, Working Time Regulations, Asylum and Immigration, Data Protection, Rehabilitation of Offenders,

After Selection.

Employment Offer, Employment Terms and Conditions of Contract (including disciplinary and grievance procedures), Employment Documentation including sickness policy, maternity and paternity policy, smoking policy, induction, health and safety, references, salary, NI and taxes, managing performance, motivating and rewarding staff …

To recruit or not to recruit?

Get it wrong, your goal will be out of reach due to poor performance, increased costs and lower productivity.  You’ll have less time, more stress, demotivated staff and at worst employment tribunals!  Get it right, and you have the wings to fly with, the company grows with loyal and engaged staff, that has a clear vision and you all have some fun.

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