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Hiring Staff Without the Headache



Hiring Staff Without the Headache

Be confident that you’re hiring the right person for the job, every time.

One of the most exciting parts of operating your own business is that it gives you the opportunity to work independently; you are in control. Once you start hiring employees, that dynamic can shift. 

Getting the right staff for your business is critical. These are the people who will be representing your brand every day, in their dealings with customers. You’ll need to be able to learn to trust them to get the job done the way you expect, so that you can work on other parts of the business (and take a breather, when you need it). 

According to the latest Business Conditions and Sentiments report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, an increasing number of businesses are struggling to find employees. Follow these steps for hiring staff for your small business to ensure they are the right fit.

Five steps to hiring employees for your small business

1. Write a clear job description

The job description is the first step to finding the right staff for your vacant role. It should outline the desired criteria required for the position, as well as how to apply. Your job description should include:

  • job title
  • day-to-day duties and expectations of the job
  • level of authority
  • necessary qualifications, skills, licences or education requirements 
  • application deadline

It is also important to specify the type of person you want to hire and the role’s salary or pay range. This ensures that only interested and eligible candidates will apply. 

You should be clear on what the role really offers and requires, and not overpromise in the description. Sometimes a holiday job is just a holiday job necessary to get you through a busy period — be upfront about that.

2. Advertise the position on job sites

Now it is time to make your vacancy visible. Think about the kind of employee you are trying to attract, and how they might search for jobs. 

To help potential employees find you, use sites like LinkedIn or your social media channels. Alternatively, you can pay a small fee to post your ad on hiring websites like Seek and Indeed to reach maximum people. 

There are also industry-specific job boards you can utilise, such as ones for hospitality roles. You could encourage fellow employees to share the posting, or even put up signs within your own business’s shop window. 

3. Review job applications

Often, the most consuming part of hiring employees for your business isn’t the interviewing itself — it’s deciding who to interview. Reviewing job applications is a time-consuming step, because you’re judging from a piece of paper (or digital document) whether the person can do the job. 

A logical first step is striking out all those who have never worked in your industry — unless, of course, you’re looking to train someone from scratch. It’s easiest to keep a record of each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses as you read through job applications, then create a shortlist of those that have the required experience. Keep these to review when it comes to selecting the candidates that you choose to interview. 

4. Interview your selected candidates

When it comes to interviewing potential employees, there are a few criteria you should be looking for and questions to ask. 

Background and training

Does this person have the knowledge and skills required to do the job? Ask them to explain how their current knowledge and previous work experience could help them in this new role.


Fit is an important consideration, especially in a small business. Ask yourself, will this person fit our team? Seek examples of how they’ve dealt with conflict, or what kinds of personality traits they think they will bring to the job.


How will this person deal with the job and the specifics of your workplace dynamic? Workplace-based scenario questions could show how the candidate will respond to the stressors of the job — such as rush hour at a CBD cafe, or Black Friday at a retail store. 

Ability to improvise

Can this person deal with the unexpected or unfamiliar? Ask questions that they might not have prepared for, or for an example of a way they have overcome an unknown situation.

Thought processes

How does this person solve problems? This is when ethical or metaphorical questions and scenarios can be used to show how they would respond to hypothetical situations, such as when a customer’s card is declined.

Many small business owners find they don’t have the time to train staff for the job. You could also consider testing a potential employee’s skills by asking them to undertake specific scenarios, such as making a cup of coffee if the role is for a barista.

5. Prepare for their first day

Congratulations — you’ve found the right person for the job. Now it’s time to onboard them and ensure they are ready to start working. 

Use the training and orientation process to not only teach new employees about their role and the expectations that come with it, but also to outline your business goals and values. Training should be detailed and specific to the job, but not overwhelming and not all at once. Utilise other staff to teach the intricate ways of your business.It is important to bring new employees up to speed as quickly as possible, to help them feel part of your business and to ensure they add value to your business.

A proper staff induction usually involves a run-down of the business, staff organisational chart, HR policy, and safety manual. You will also need to set up new staff with the tools they need to do the job. 

In their role, do they require access to your accounting software? Social media profiles? Stocktake tracking technology? Consider what level of access is required for this person to fulfill their role. 

All customer-facing staff will need to learn how to use your Zeller Terminal, for example. However, you can still restrict their ability to provide refunds by requiring a PIN. The PIN can be given to employees after they pass probation, if you wish.

Ready to get started with Zeller?

Hiring the right staff for your small business is a time-consuming but important step in growing your business. Think carefully about the type of person you want in the role and make sure your job ad reflects that. When it comes to interviewing and selecting the right candidate, asking thorough and relevant questions is critical.

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