Recruiting and retaining your team

There is a skills shortage in most industries at the moment, so it is more important than ever to look after your team. 

Ways that you can help your people to enjoy working with you 

  • Salary – this is an obvious one, but people rarely leave just for salary 
  • Flexible working – what hours would suit them? Do they really have to work full time office hours? 
  • Remote or hybrid working – where would they like to work? With modern technology do they have to travel to a single location to do their work?  
  • Workplace – if your team do come into a central workplace how can you make it nicer? 
  • Listen – do your team feel able to talk to you? Do you operate annual (or more frequent) appraisals? 
  • Training – this can be a great way to invest in your team to do their current job better or even to take on more responsibility 
  • Promotion – can you offer career progression for your team? It’s not always possible in small businesses but worth trying to expand their roles if possible 
  • Gifts – you can give your staff small gifts and experiences (but not cash or similar vouchers) for up to £50 six times per year and claim the tax on these. (Do check the full details of what you can and can’t provide) 
  • Entertaining – you can provide entertaining of up to £150pa as a business expense but any more than this and you pay tax on the full amount. 

Any other ways that you look after your team? 

When should I recruit?

It’s a question I’m often asked.

You need to recruit BEFORE you get busy so that you have time to train your latest employee. Particularly if this is your first employee as all the training will be down to you. With my first employee, a trainee accountant, I was doing my own work in the evenings for the first two months.

You need to recruit early to allow your new person to get up to speed with the work, your clients, and your systems. Even with fully qualified accountants this took about three months.

You can accelerate both of these with a good induction programme. (I share ours on our courses)

You need to recruit early in case you find that you have chosen the wrong person. It’s something we all fear when recruiting but better to move them on quickly (and kindly) if they’re not a good fit so that you, and they, can find something better.

So, my rule of thumb is to recruit 5 months ahead of when I need the team member to be at full capacity. 3 weeks to advertise, 1 week to interview and decide, 1 month for them to give notice, and 3 months for them to get up to speed.

It’s much easier getting new business than new team members so, if you have the right person, you can soon find the extra work for them to do that will cover their costs.

What’s your experience of recruiting and onboarding new people?