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Building a team

As your business expands, you will need to take on staff or train your existing workforce in order to meet increased demand for your products or services. Whether you already have employees and are looking to expand the team or you are a sole trader thinking about taking on staff for the first time, building a team will allow you to delegate responsibilities and take advantage of new and different skills.

Successful team building is vital as it will define the future of your business. It can also be a bit of a headache and a drain on your valuable time since the recruitment process demands a lot of attention, but putting in the effort now will pay off in the long run.

The right time

When making the decision to recruit, there are some important factors that you need to consider, such as the legalities, financial implications, and timing. Timing is all important – if you recruit too early you might be faced with cash flow problems, but if you leave it too late you may be unable to meet demand for your products or services and miss out on new business opportunities.

The first step is to define your goals and establish where you are going as a business. Defining what you do well and what you need to do better will help you think about the type of employer you want to be and develop a brand candidates will want to be part of.

Employing people who share in your vision is important, so think about what your company stands for and why people would want to work for you.

Test your skills

Identifying the skills, disciplines, competencies and qualities your team needs to help you achieve your goals can be challenging for a business owner, so it might be worth employing someone from outside the business to undertake this task.

We have focused on recruitment so far, but you can also improve the range and level of skills in your business by training up existing staff. Giving staff new training opportunities can increase their loyalty to your company and improve productivity.

Once you have decided what skills you require you should also think about setting some ground rules on how you expect the team to work together, communicate, plan, and meet.

Clarify your offer

Once you have identified the type of people you need, you can start to think about the job description. It is important to be honest, clear and accurate on what the role entails and the skills and expertise you are looking for – there is no point attracting potential candidates only for them to decline an offer because it wasn’t quite what they were looking for.

Stress the opportunities and be clear on career progression. What can you offer talented people to make them want to work for you?

Finally, remember that great teams are made up of people who complement each other, so don’t be tempted to employ candidates just because you like them.