Introduction To Human Resources Management

With a title like that it’s most likely you’re on to the next article or website… Managing human resources is not the most glamourous part of running a business, but it is critical to the success of your business if you need extra hands to help you out.  Here are some of the areas that small business people often fall short on:

  • Hiring the right person for the need
  • Evaluating an employee’s performance
  • Motivating employees properly
  • Delegating without giving away the store
  • Training employees for growth

I can tell you that there are whole books (i.e. textbooks) written about human resources, and probably whole books written on the above areas of human resources.  And perhaps you just want to hire an employee to help you with a particular area of your business that you just don’t have time to deal with.  So reading a book about hiring the employee is probably out.  However, screwing up the hiring process can cost you big time, so let’s take a quick look.

What do you need the employee to do? Make a list of tasks you expect the employee to handle.  What do you expect his day to look like?  What functions do you want to offload to her?  What long term objectives do you want them to achieve?  Write it all down.

What qualities will the employee have? Do they need to be college educated?  Do they need to work well with others or just work well with you?  Can you train them on the job, do they need to be trainable?  Make a list of attributes you expect your new employee to have.

What must you pay them? Yes, your new employees expect to be paid.  How much can you afford to pay, taking into account double taxation, benefits, and base pay?  How much is this position being paid in the marketplace (a little research)?  Do you offer something unique to the employee that they might be willing to work for less?

How do you reach them? Are you going to use a recruiter or a newspaper ad?  Some methods of recruiting are going to work better for some employees and some for others.

Work with your friends? Think long and hard before you put your friendship on the line by having your friend work for you.  Friends are no longer friends once they are on your payroll, so it might be better to work with a non-friend.  Relatives are even worse… but some people find working for/with friends or relatives works out ok, just consider the potential downfalls.

Prepare for the inteview. Before you interview your candidates, and there should be several, be prepared with written questions to ask your candidate.  Keep notes of answers and grade them on fit to the position once the interview is over.

Making the offer. An offer of employment is a written letter to the candidate specifying all of the details of the offer.  How much is the salary, what is the starting date, what are the conditions of employment, etc.  You should consider your offer letter to be an initial contract with the employee… and what you leave out is just as important as what is included.

Good luck hiring your first employee!  Keep yourself organized and things will work out much better.

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