I often get approached from small business owners to talk about recruiting a new member of staff.  Once I start talking to them I have noticed a few things that frequently arise.  This has prompted me to share a few things to consider in terms of Resource Planning.

Do you need the same again?

Every time a vacancy arises, whether it is a new position, or someone has left, it is an opportunity to look at your business and identify whether you need the same as what you had before or something different.

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What would support my business best for the short-medium-long term? Is it the same as what I had before (it might be), or has my business need changed?
  • What is my resourcing strategy? Is my business growing and am I thinking about the future, not just rushing to replace what I had without considering any alternatives? Would a temporary solution work for the moment because I know I am going to change my business significantly in 6 months’ time? Do I really understand the impact on staffing needs and costs of my growth aspirations for my business?
  • What are the tasks that I need completed? See the next section on clarity about the job/function.
  • Do I need to recruit, or is there an alternative option available to me? Do I need someone full-time or could this be done by another company under an agreement as and when I need those services?  Could I change other people’s roles to absorb this work, or could I employ an apprentice and develop them?

Clarity about the job/function

Many business owners undervalue the importance of having a clear job description and person specification.  Why are these important?

  • A job description outlines the key job purpose and job role – by writing this down it makes you really think about what the gaps are in your business that you need to fill. It also gives clarity to prospective applicants about what the job is and whether they want to apply for it.
  • A job specification identifies the qualification, skills, experience and behaviours that you require for someone to do the job and means that when you receive a ton of CV’s/applications you can sift through them to identify who actually meets these requirements.
  • These documents drive recruitment and selection, probationary reviews, performance management, and development/training during the employment lifecycle
  • Even if you decide not to recruit, by going through this process, you have clearly identified your business needs and considered what the tasks are that need doing.

So, if you do decide to recruit, do it properly!

Taking the time to recruit properly

Many people will say that employees cause them the most problems in their business but when they recruit, they don’t follow any structured process at all.  Conversely those that recruit well and treat their employees well, see them as the biggest asset in their business.

By not applying any selection criteria or tests to ascertain the suitability of potential new employees, you put yourself at a disadvantage from day one.

Manage Induction and Probation

Once you have your new employee in place, make the most of introducing them to the company, job role, colleagues and clearly set out your expectations in terms of behaviours, performance and quality of work.

Follow this up with probationary review meeting – this is your opportunity to sort out any niggling concerns right at the start and to set the path forwards from now onwards.  And it if isn’t working out, provided it is not linked to any discriminatory issues, it is a far easier process to address it at this stage than later on.

Employee Contracts, handbooks, policies & procedures

Some employers aren’t aware of the legal requirements around employment contracts.  Others have them in place, and may have an employee handbook and policies and procedures.  But …… why, when you have spent the time and money to have these created, do you ignore them and put your business at risk by not following the procedures you have put in place?


In an Employment Tribunal, they will not only look at statutory minimums, but also what you have put in place and if you haven’t followed your own procedures, get ready to take out the cheque book.


If you need any assistance to ensure you plan your resources well and consider all of the options available to you, please contact me at tbrink@sagegreen.com or Tarnya Brink on LinkedIn.

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