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When and How to Bring in New Talent

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

How and when should a new business welcome a new employee? Is the company a sole proprietorship that finally needs help, or a larger organization with an existing culture? All are relevant questions for a growing company.

  • Understand the Employment Relationship, Especially your Needs vs. the Ambitions of the Employee.

Employers’ needs vary. Some businesses only need certain employees on a seasonal basis. Others require workers possessing a comprehensive set of skills relevant to a specific industry. Some companies need workers on-demand or on-call. Others require ongoing monitoring of business processes. Once a business owner realizes the need for help, they should carefully develop the job description.

Any recruits should understand the expectations and needs of the employer. The best employment relationships strike a balance between the needs of the employer and the ambitions of the employee. Finally, the nature of the relationship could mean the difference between a 1099 and a 1040 for tax purposes.

  • Consider an Ideal “First Day on the Job.”

Assuming an on-site position with organized training, consider methods to place your new employee at ease and make he or she feel at home. Owners should prepare the new hire’s workstation before they arrive.  An agenda for the job description generally helps the new employee orient themselves. Perhaps even small gifts such as candy, company paraphernalia, or welcome letters might help the new employee orient themselves and feel welcome and more comfortable.   Additionally, a tour of the office and introduction to the team may smooth the transition for both parties. At the end of the day, many companies call the new hire into their office and discuss first needs and impressions.

Of course, not all new businesses have the resources for an elaborate welcoming ceremony. Indeed, most small businesses hire their first employees quite informally. Such employees may be independent contractors, temps, or remote employees. Informal rather than formal onboarding may prevail in these situations. Informal onboarding generally involves learning by doing, on a spectrum with the above formal onboarding, based on each organization’s resources.

  • Look to the Future: Consider the Stages of Employee Development

A good resource is the website Peakon.com.  This website describes four phases in an employee’s experience over the course of a job:

The first phase is onboarding. For the smallest companies, the value-added should match the company’s expenditure in this process. Letting an employee go after a drawn-out onboarding process wastes money. An effective relationship can be very informal or even personal. Veteran owners should consider their own interests before spending valuable time and resources on new hires that may not work out.

The second phase is initial development. From the start, businesses should consider their contributions to the future of a new hire. The new employee’s ambitions may not match the employer’s needs. Sometimes, the employer really does only need a few minor tasks. Good business operations require honesty and straightforwardness regarding the scope of the business, the needs of the job, and the employee’s future within the company. Many smaller businesses can only promote their employees to a certain point, if at all. However, they can still provide basic needs such as income and references. Employers should recognize that relationships with employees are always a tradeoff. Ideally, in the best of circumstances, we should all get what we deserve.

The third phase is ongoing development and retention. Industries vary in necessary retraining throughout the employment relationship. Relevant factors include the employer’s plans for the employee over the development of the company, and whether the employee’s role falls within a professional specialty that may have education programs. For the former, the employer should consider the prospects of the company and the plans for expansion.

The fourth phase, finally, is separation. Believe it or not, many a business owner starts their business with plans of ultimately selling it. Sometimes, the planned sale occurs after years of development. Keep in mind, though, separation often sparks trauma in employees. Hence, best practice is honesty from the get-go.

In conclusion, strike a deal. Ensure an understanding. Onboarding a new employee should reach a “meeting of minds.” Each party should understand the other’s needs. At the same time, they should understand that their own needs are being respected.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that you have found this article on “When and How to Bring in New Talent” to be helpful and that it provides you valuable information.

VAMBOA invites you to become a member.  There are not any dues or fees.  VAMBOA is the “go to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.   You can also use the VAMBOA seal for your collateral and website.   Below is a link to join and register here:

https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

 

What Attracts & Retains Top Employees Today?

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Today’s employees have much more sway when it comes to their work environments, benefits, and job perks than ever before.

 

If you are looking to find, hire, and retain top talent in any field, there are some expectations from the candidates that you need to meet:

  • Flexible schedules
  • Flexible and adaptable workplace design
  • Connected to nature
  • On-site health and wellness

 

Flexible Schedules:

This is one of the number one issues and benefits that employees today demand.  Flexible schedules also ranks amongst the top two reasons why employees will stay with an employer.

 

Flexible scheduling can be accomplished in numerous ways and you may consider offering:  

  • Flexible hours
  • More paid time off
  • Days that can be worked from home

 

Flexible and Adaptable Workplace Design:

The days of endless rows of cubicles are in the past. Today’s employees do not want to sit in a small area with fluorescent lighting surrounded by their fellow workers in their cubicles.   You need to think outside of cubicles when planning your workspace areas.

 

You might consider offering your employees a variety of individual and group workspaces including:

  • Lounge areas with laptop tables
  • Sit-to-stand workstations that are becoming very popular with lounge areas
  • Conference rooms available for general use at any time
  • Informal meeting rooms with comfortable chairs
  • Casual work areas with high-top tables and barstools

 

Many progressive employers also include pool tables, ping pong and games in the workspaces.

 

Connected to Nature:

Employees are tired of being kept in workspaces that have artificial lighting, heating and cooling in a cubicle type setting They want to enjoy the hours they are required to be indoors at work. Many employers are shifting to more natural light sources with better outdoor views, more plants and outdoor space.  They are finding that the time spent outdoors dramatically increases employee happiness and productivity. Keeping in mind the importance of nature and natural elements in the workplace really increases employee morale.

 

On-site Health and Wellness:

More employees expect their employers to care about and help foster their well-being, including their mental health and well-being.   This is a win/win for both. Happy and healthy people are more energized and engaged with their work.  This increases productivity and can even reduce the overall cost of healthcare.

 

Some examples of ways your company can do to help promote better health:

  • Offer mental and financial wellness education, through literature, seminars, and webinars
  • Offer on-site flu shots, biometric screenings, and massages
  • Many large companies have their own medical team with one or more Physician Assistants and/or Nurse Practitioners making it simple and convenient for their employees.
  • Offer healthy food and beverage options if you have a stocked break room or cafeteria.
  • Try to add a regular catered lunch that includes healthy foods, vegetarian options, and salad bars
  • Try adding some fitness challenges that are focused on promoting holistic health
  • Build a wellness room with exercise and stretching equipment including offering classes such as Yoga and Pilates.

 

Utilizing forward thinking and a bit of creativity when planning your workspaces, employee benefits work schedule, and more will go a long way towards attracting and capturing the eyes of top-performing employees that are excited to work for you.  They will be more productive and will stay with the company putting forth their very best work.  Healthy and happy employees are a recipe for success and avoid the financial of other costs of employee turnover.

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