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Preparing for staff recruitment

'My business needed help.  My biggest concern was whether I have enough work to justify staff.'
Ailsa Page, Marketing Works

Top tips

  • Choose staffing arrangements to suit you
  • Be organised: know what you need
  • Be flexible with your staff and think about their needs too

Ailsa Page of Marketing Works explains how she prepared for staff recruitment and what you need to know to increase your chance of success. 


What I did before recruiting staff

I researched the options available (part time, casual, contractor, full time, trainees, etc.), and I made a list of all the tasks I wanted the staff person to do.

This formed the base of a job description and gave me an idea of the skills I needed. I have used agencies, other small business owners, family and friends. Initially it was scary, but I also felt excited about getting help.

Recruitment - what works best for me

Most staff appointments have been great and added to my business. I only had one appointment that didn’t work, and that was because I was unrealistic about what I needed, and didn’t get someone with the right skills.

I love using subcontractors or casual employment as it is on an as-need basis. Yes, you pay more, but for a variable work flow it can be a great solution.

I also choose to employ university students and act as a mentor for them so that they get more value from the experience than just the wage.

My lessons from recruiting staff

The three main things I learned from recruiting staff were:

  1. Choose staffing arrangement to suit you and your business. Don’t be seduced by subsidies - make sure you get the right person for the job which may mean having to pay more.
  2. Be organised and clear about the tasks you want staff to complete for you - ensure that you set priorities and check up on work done
  3. Be flexible with your staff and pay them as best as you can.  Always think how you can help them and they will reward you with loyalty. 

The result

Ailsa Page did her research and properly analysed her staffing needs. It has allowed her to go from nervous first-time employer to getting great staff that grow her business.